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Five Ways to Nurture Your Marriage After Baby

May 7, 2012

Between feeding, pumping, changing, and bath-time, your first year as a new mother really packs a lot into your schedule! Throw in the back-to-work juggling routine, a less than ideal postpartum belly, and the feeling that your home’s square footage is shrinking. Connecting with your partner may be the last thing on your mind. Learn to prioritize your relationship and make it stronger, and your entire family dynamic will flourish!

1. Remember that your baby and your partner are equally important to you and your family. While your baby’s needs may be more immediate right now, your relationship with your partner is a major factor in your children’s lives and in your own happiness. Plus, when your kids are grown up and out of the house, it’s your marriage that will come back into the foreground. Looking at your partner and your child as equally essential pieces of your family’s puzzle will help you to prioritize and make a place in your busy like for your relationship.

2. Scheduling is everything. You have a to-do list at work and routines for house-cleaning, and you’re obsessed with getting your baby on a schedule. Why don’t you carve out some time for your marriage as well? Scheduling a routine date night with your spouse means that you’ll always have a sitter lined up. Even if you don’t feel 100% up to your date on some of these nights, that’s OK! You’ll have good dates and so-so dates. But at least you’ll have a chance to continue to grow your relationship with your partner in an adult setting, on your own terms.

3. You know that you need to make time for sex. But have you thought about making space for it as well? A bedroom covered in laundry and burp cloths is not exactly a romantic setting. Take the time to straighten up your bedroom and up the “adult” factor by clearing out baby items is worthwhile. And after putting your child to sleep, take a few minutes to clear a toy-free space for you and your partner in the living room. A couple of glasses of wine and a movie makes for a much more romantic evening when you’re not being stared at by Sophie the Giraffe.

4. A regular dose of alone-time can contribute to happier couple-time! Allow your husband to occasionally get out of the house for a trip to the gym or a night out with a friend. And ask him to stay home while you take a walk, get your hair cut, or have a drink with friends. Feeling independent and meeting your own needs will boost your energy and confidence on an ongoing basis, which makes you a better partner and may put you in the mood for that date night you’ve got on the schedule!

5. Focus on problem-solving instead of winning battles. Your life has changed and your style of arguing needs to change as well. While in the past, it was easy, and maybe a little self-indulgent, to try to win every argument or get your way after a fight. But your baby’s needs require you to put aside your ego and focus on getting to solutions without undue strife and petty squabbles. Keep your eye on the fix for issues that arise and take the competitiveness out of the game.

You won’t get it perfect every time. And that’s OK! But keeping these principles in mind will help you to make small changes and adjustments that will set the stage for a healthier and more romantic partnership.

Photography courtesy of Flickr.

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