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, burping, laundry, and other chores 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.
Ways To Keep Relationship Alive After A Baby
How to keep a relationship alive after a baby? Start with the little things, cook your spouse’s favorite meal, dress nice, 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.
If the cliched things don’t work out for you, don’t fret, instead, find your own ways to respark the relationship 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 a sudden delightful realization.
Four years later, all of that is clear 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, just the two of us, trying to find romantic things to say to each other.
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.
Parenthood hit us hard
Let me establish 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.
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, and 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.
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 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.”
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.
We didn’t realize we were doing all the things that kill 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.
We decided to work as a team
Thankfully, it hadn’t started to strain our relationship irreparably, yet. But it surely would have, eventually. The thought got us 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 is a little older. Each of us worried although we didn’t say it much; would our marriage suffer on account of us being parents now? We aggressively began looking for ways to respark a relationship 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.
In the evening, 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.
I found myself watching sports with my husband, something I never did 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.
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 couplehood became the strongest bond between us – our child and raising him together as one unit.
We learned how to keep the relationship alive after 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, instead of being just parents. In the confusion, romance and intimacy are often lost.
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.
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.