Rekindling Romance After Having Children
Collin and I have always had a solid relationship.
Before we had Izzy, we were able to hang out when we wanted to, go out when we wanted, stay out as long as we wanted, and spend tons of quality time together. We also had more energy to do all the things we wanted to do.
Motherhood has been the most amazing gift I have ever received… That being said, it has also been the hardest job I have ever had. Not only does it put a lot of stress on me, but it has also completely altered all of my relationships - especially my marriage.
Before I get in to my tips on rekindling romance, I have one major point I would like to get across to you…
It’s okay for your relationships to change.
Relationships are meant to change as you do. You are meant to grow WITH your spouse. Not only is change supposed to happen, but it is a GOOD thing. Allow hard times to change your relationships for the better, and get stronger in the process of changing.
That being said, I will get back to the point of this post!
Parenthood was super tough for us in the beginning. Izzy has always been an amazing little girl, but becoming a parent is a tough transition for most people. So much is changing (especially when you are the one who gave birth to the baby): you’re tired, “me” time is hard to come by, you can’t just go out whenever you want, and when you do go out it’s an ordeal with the car seat, managing feedings and naps, and so much more.
And if you’re the one who gave birth, you have so many postpartum hormones and changes to your body. Being a new parent is a challenge, but don’t get me wrong, it is so worth it in the end.
One major change I noticed after Izzy was born, was that Collin and I became “Co-parenting Roommates”.
We basically revolved our lives around keeping the tiny human alive, managing housework, work and life; all while our relationship went on the back burner. We didn’t continue our traditions that we used to do, we didn’t go on dates anymore, and we rarely spent quality time with one another.
It is so easy to lose yourself once you become a parent. After Izzy was born, not only did I forget who I was, I forgot how to have “me” time, I forgot how to cultivate my relationship with my husband, I forgot how important it was to care for my mental and physical health.
I don’t mean this is any way to bash on being a parent, I’m just trying to be transparent on my situation in hopes of helping someone else out there.
We eventually started making changes, and there were 6 main things that really helped Collin and I rekindle our relationship.
1. Stay open and honest in your communication with your significant other.
It is so important to talk to your partner so they know what you’re thinking and how/if they can help you. As a new parent, it’s super easy to expect your spouse to know what you’re thinking or what you need help with. You can’t expect them to just read your mind: they don’t know you need help with the laundry, you need more affection from them, you need a break from the baby, etc.
Let them know what you are thinking, and give them the opportunity to help if that’s what you need.
2. Have realistic standards for yourself and your relationship.
Different life stages should determine how much “pressure” you put on yourself and your relationships.
After you have a new baby, and as a parent in general, remember that you can’t expect to be able to do all the things you used to be able to do before you had children. Maybe you can’t spend as much money, can’t go out as much, can’t go on as many vacations, etc.
Same goes for what you expect of yourself. It’s okay if your house is messy, your clothes have spit-up on them, you don’t have time to go out with friends.
Be realistic with what you expect of yourself and others.
3. Remember why you love your spouse.
This one is such a great reminder for me.
When Collin says something that upsets me (which is super rare, if anything this point is way more applicable to him), I remember WHY I chose to marry him. I remember all the qualities about him that I love, that he only wants the best for me, and that he loves me with his entire heart.
And this can sometimes change everything!
4. Do old things that you used to love to do.
This is a recent thing Collin and I started doing, and it has definitely been making us closer.
We used to watch movies together all the time. So we recently started watching more movies together, and spending time together after Izzy goes to bed. We also started having a few drinks together occasionally after Izzy goes to bed. We stopped this when I got pregnant (obviously) and couldn’t really start back up until I finished breastfeeding. But it has really been nice being able to relax, have a couple drinks, and watch a movie with my husband again.
5. Spend quality time: just you and your significant other.
It’s so important to spend time together BABY-FREE.
Collin and I are trying to make it a point to spend time together after Izzy goes to bed (and if relatives are reading this and are uncomfortable with me addressing intimacy, please go to the next point).
It has also been important for us to remember to be intimate with one another. To make it a point to not go too long between times we have sex, or even just times when we lay down and cuddle. Physical intimacy is super important in marriage, so make sure you are making time for that as well!
6. Remember that this is just a season.
Such an over-used, but true statement. This is just a season. You won’t have (young) kids in the house forever, and just remember some day it will be just you and your spouse and you will have all the time in the world to spend with one another!
Just remember to make every second count!
I know this blog post may not relate to all married couples, but I want you to know if you are struggling with this issue you are not alone. You may have to rekindle your romance and relationship with your spouse after having children, and that is perfectly okay. Like I said before, it’s normal for relationships to change overtime. Just remember to work on your relationship and make it change for the better.