Wondering how to keep a relationship strong after having a baby? Don’t worry, you’ve come to the perfect place to solve your dilemma. Often people make the mistake of trying for a baby when the relationship is failing in the hopes that it will “save” their marriage. But couples who have had kids know that learning how to keep a relationship alive after the baby can be trickier than raising the child itself.
Feeding, cleaning, laundry and other chores tend to take up all your time, and keeping the romance alive in a relationship takes a backseat. This is what kills marriages. Couples who forget to talk and spend time with each other inevitably grow distant, despite staying under the same roof and providing for the same child. Not any more. In this article, we’re going to look the different ways of how to keep a relationship strong after having a baby.
Ways To Keep Relationship Alive After A Baby
How do you keep a relationship alive after a baby? Start with the little things — cook your spouse’s favorite meal, dress up, find romantic ways to welcome your husband back home after a long day or make your wife feel special at the end of a long, tiring day, and so on. It’s important not to neglect the ‘romance’ part of the relationship, because once it’s strained, it’s hard to go back to the way things once were.
Relationship after a baby becomes the second priority for most parents. The foremost priority becomes the tiny bundle of life that you two have brought to this planet. This is why the question of how to keep a relationship strong after having a baby becomes even more important. When you’re the least worried about something, often that’s when it tends to leave you behind. Don’t let your relationship be one such thing.
If these cliched things don’t work out for you, don’t fret. It’s not supposed to work for everyone. Instead, find your own ways to ignite your relationship after a baby before it’s too late.
Related Reading: 10 Romantic Ideas For Parents
Time flew past after our first child
6:00 a.m. A simmering hot cup of ginger tea. December chill seeping in, despite the layers of blankets we’re swaddled in, snuggling closer on a single chair on the balcony. Happy conversations. Sudden laughter. And out of nowhere, a delightful realization!
Four years later, all of that is clear as daylight in my memory. The moment when my husband and I realized – as we sat there, enjoying our tea and discussing everything and nothing – this was the first time in months that we were alone, having fun while trying to find romantic things to say to each other. There was nothing else to attend to, right at that moment, it was just the two of us, cherishing each other’s company.
We’d had our first child in August. The five months since then seemed to have whizzed by in a flash. Which felt odd, because surprisingly, all I’d done in those months was nurse, bathe, change diapers and then nurse again. And yet, even with that limited job profile, I was constantly deadbeat and harried. No matter how I tried, it was almost impossible to find some time for myself. So if you’re worried about not being able to spend much time with your partner, it’s okay.
Understand that this phase will pass you in no time, even though it might not seem that way right now. Once again, you’ll have time for yourself, for your spouse, for all the things you love doing together or alone.
Parenthood hit us hard
Let me share some background information first. Both of us had lost our mothers years ago. We couldn’t expect our fathers to adjust their lives to help us with the baby. And long before we even decided to have a baby, we had ruled out the involvement of a nanny. So, going in, we knew well that it would be ‘just us’ raising the baby. And it seemed okay.
Shortly before quitting my job for my pregnancy, I was managing a team of over 80 people. My husband had ten years of work experience under his belt. What could a six-pound baby possibly throw at us that we couldn’t handle, we wondered? Nothing, we foolishly surmised. We definitely didn’t anticipate all the relationship problems after having a baby that were to come our way.
And then parenthood hit us. And it hit us hard. We were caught in the vortex of diapers and feeds and nap times and bath times and vaccination schedules. And despite all the reading, researching and preparation, it took us a few months to find our sea legs. Keeping marriage alive didn’t even strike us as something worrisome at that point. But that would soon raise issues in our marriage, the neglect we showed towards each other would come back to bite us.
Related Reading: Parenting issues as a couple
We became parents before lovers
In the quest to be perfect parents, we’d completely forgotten we had been something else as well, not too long ago: a couple. A husband and a wife who could hold a conversation that wasn’t only about our child, who spent time together and not just crashed next to each other every night with a hasty “Good night and I love you.” Probably you experienced (or are experiencing) something similar and that’s why you want to know the answer to how to keep a relationship strong after having a baby.
We knew we were alone in this, sans any support structure. But it sure didn’t feel like we were in this together. Alternating our time with the baby so that the other parent got a break for a quick nap or a relaxing bath meant operating on alternate shifts. I started feeling neglected by husband after having a baby. I’m pretty certain it was something similar for him as well.
We didn’t realize we were doing all the things that kill the romance in a relationship. We were like two employees of a company working on different shift timings; a nod in the hallway, a smile in the cafeteria – co-existing but hardly interacting. This was where all the relationship problems after having a baby creeped in for us. The lack of interaction was killing our love and chemistry for each other, because we were so intensely focused on this little life, that we forgot about the other life we were living with.
We decided to work as a team
Thankfully, it hadn’t started to strain our relationship irreparably, yet. But these marital problems after a baby eventually would have had we not realized it in time. The thought got us immensely worried. But what could we do? It didn’t seem like we would be getting any control back in our life for another few years, till the baby got a little older. Each of us worried about it, even though we didn’t say it much. Would our marriage suffer on account of us being parents now? I aggressively began looking for ways to get back my relationship with husband after having a baby.
The next morning, my husband nudged me awake at 6 a.m. again. He stood by the bed with two cups of tea and a suggestive smile. The tea, the blanket, the small chair, and the one hour before the baby woke up soon became our daily routine. A refuge for a couple who had got lost momentarily in the labyrinth of parenting. And right there stood my answer to the question of how to spice up your love life after having a baby. By doing small gestures for each other.
They need not take much time, but they should be enough to show our appreciation for each other. It’s possible that you might be feeling neglected by husband after having a baby. It’s quite probable that your husband feels the same way too. And the only way to work towards that is both of you working to help build your relationship.
We started expressing our love for each other more
In the evenings, no matter how tired I was, I’d stay up to keep my husband company for dinner. Then began the text messages to each other every few hours, something I don’t remember doing since our courtship. Saturday nights were strictly movie marathon nights after we put our child to sleep, a tradition that continues even now. Sundays became ‘no-cooking’ days so that when my husband is home all day, I don’t waste my time in the kitchen. And this is how to spice up your love life after having a baby, by valuing and cherishing each other.
I found myself watching sports with my husband, something I had never done before. And he would hang around in the kitchen while I cooked or did the dishes. We, in our own little ways, were trying to make the most of whatever little ‘child-free’ time we got with each other. So if you want to know how to keep a relationship strong after having a baby, take my advice and start working toward expressing your love for spouse while gently urging him to do the same.
We took it slow
Remember that having the realization doesn’t mean that you have to rush and make things even more complicated. We started getting closer to each other in the bedroom as well, but it was something slow and unhurried. Not because we deliberately wanted it that way, but because we treasured our time together more than the act. So be wary of your partner’s state of mind, and don’t try to take things at a faster rate than the situation demands of you.
Some couples end up having a baby too soon in a relationship which can really dampen the mutual intimacy. It’s crucial, therefore, to work on it, but through little gestures initially so as to keep things simple. You don’t want to get into too many marital problems after having a baby. The best way is to try and understand what your partner needs from you and create an atmosphere of mutual love and respect.
Mutual honesty is crucial
This can come off as cliched advice, but keeping things open and honest between you both is the most important part of having a strong relationship. My relationship with husband after having a baby improved substantially after I started expressing myself fully at all times. Feeding the baby meant that I would often not like being touched by anyone else and I told him so. He was very understanding and accommodating of my needs, and this further helped build a positive rapport between us.
Having a baby too soon in a relationship can create further issues in terms of communication and compatibility, which makes it even more crucial to be honest to each other. Only by expressing yourself can you make the other person understand your perspective and appreciate it better. If you want to understand how to keep a relationship strong after having a baby, talk to each other.
Soon we sensed that re-discovering the husband-wife relationship we’d lost for a little while, helped us become better parents. What could have threatened our coupledom became the strongest bond between us – our child, and raising him together as one unit. We learned how to keep a relationship strong after having a baby while juggling work, chores and the very act of parenting itself. Isn’t that what a marriage is all about?
Couples forget that they are partners too, and not just parents. In the confusion, romance and intimacy are often lost. It’s all about understanding how to keep a relationship strong after having a baby through little gestures and acts of love to show your partner that you cherish them.
There are definitely more disagreements that can lead to arguments, but it all depends on how well you can let things go and just do your job. At the end of the day, it depends on the couple and their mutual chemistry in everyday life.
Don’t compromise on date nights and other romantic things after having a baby. Make sure to make time for each other despite busy schedules. Keep a clear communication channel open and urge him to reciprocate as well. Only when you two have mutual trust and respect for each other that has been built over time can you two understand each other well.