When a new baby arrives, the parent’s focus dramatically shifts from their partner to the little one. When this happens, communication and intimacy often decline for couples, whereas stress and arguments tend to rise. However, just because life is a lot more hectic with a new baby doesn’t mean your relationship has to fall to the wayside. So, take steps to stay connected with your partner as you navigate parenthood together.
Make It a Date
According to the University of Virginia’s National Marriage Project, new parents who maintain their same level of couple time together after the baby is born are less likely to see a decline in the quality of their marriage. Plan a date night every week, put it on your calendar, and stick to it. It doesn’t have to be a full-fledged date where you hire a babysitter and go out on the town; even a date night at home can allow frazzled new parents time to reconnect with each other. After the baby’s in bed, order some food and snuggle on the couch while watching a movie or bingeing on your favorite show. This simple time together can be a blessing to your relationship.
Take Advantage of the Weekend
If one or both of you work, it may be almost impossible to spend any time together during the week. Therefore, you need to take advantage of your days off. On the weekend, hang out together all day, whether you are strolling with the little one at the zoo or chilling out at home. When the baby naps, nap with your partner too. Everybody loves naps! Nap time is a great opportunity to recharge your batteries and sneak in some couple time, too
Get Out and Walk
According to Psychology Today, studies show that couples who exercise together feel more satisfied in their relationships. Even if you can’t get to the gym together, you can still enjoy each other’s company while exercising. Plan to take a walk every evening with your partner and the baby; the exercise, fresh air, and conversation will be beneficial for both of you. Even if it’s just 10 minutes around the block, a little walk can do wonders.
Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff
When tensions are high, we tend to overreact to every little thing, which can lead to arguments and more stress. Before reacting to your partner leaving dishes in the sink or forgetting to pick up something at the store, take a deep breath and count to 10. It’s not that serious and not worth arguing over. When you are a busy parent, you need to let some things roll off your back. Petty arguments aren’t worth the stress they will cause for both of you. Treasure what you have together instead of worrying about little things that don’t really matter in the big picture.
Give Each Other a Break
Sometimes, what will bring you closer to your partner is giving the other person a little grace and some “me” time of their own. Once every week or two, give your partner the day off – completely off – where they don’t have to do a thing for you or the baby. Also, let them reciprocate. You both need a break. Having a completely stress-free day will allow you to return to the relationship happy and refreshed, and appreciative of your partner.
Yes, it’s true that new babies need round-the-clock attention. Nights are sometimes sleepless, and mornings seem to come all too early. As new parents get swept up with the needs of their little bundle of joy, it’s important to make quality time for each other. Hopefully, with these simple tips, you can strengthen your relationship together and be the best parents you can possibly be.
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