You are so excited…You marvel at how amazing this little blessing is! You look at your partner with joy….wow, look at us! We’re parents! (then you fall asleep…. at least for a couple of hours….at which point you are rudely awaken by loud shrieks of this new little creature demanding to have his/her way…give me food mommy, change my diaper daddy!
Before long, you realize that it’s been quite some time since you and your partner have really connected….you know, just the 2 of you. Date night? What’s that? There hasn’t been any spare time between changing diapers, feedings at all hours, keeping up the house (yeah, right!), and we haven’t even talked about work. Babysitters…wow, that’s a whole project in and of itself…can you really trust that person with this tiny little child.
Date night will just have to wait!
So what’s a couple to do? The research is clear. If you don’t attend to the relationship, it’s only a matter of time before you’re going to encounter problems. If you don’t prioritize the relationship and your partner’s needs…you’re leaving yourself vulnerable to infidelity, resentment, and loneliness.
Your precious little child was the result of your love and passion for one another wasn’t it?
It’s time to make a plan and start re-focusing on your relationship.
Here are Seven Ways to Connect
• Read a book together….
(not just books on raising babies, and being a great parent…focus some of that attention on growing yourself as a great lover…don’t worry, you’ll be a great parent.) Get in touch with me through my website and I’ll be glad to give you some recommendations)
• Identify your partner’s Primary “Love Language” and make a plan!
Have you heard of Dr. Gary Chapman’s book entitled, “The Five Love Languages?” If not, maybe that can be one of the books you read together. Basically, we all have a “primary way” of telling other’s we love them…and that’s the way we most feel, or experience love as well. Guess what! You and your partner speak different languages.
I’m not going to go into great detail in this particular video, but briefly, the 5 love languages are, Gifts, Words of Encouragement, Acts of Service, Quality Time, and Physical Touch. Your Job: Identify which of those fills up their love tank and make a plan for it. 2nd-Identify which of those fills you up the most, and communicate it to your partner.
• Schedule Date Night In
Yes, you heard me right…schedule an evening where you can put baby down and schedule a special evening in with your partner. Cook a gourmet meal together, eat at the table, play a game, do a puzzle, build legos, anything….just put away your phones, turn off the television and games and work and enjoy each other’s company….I know you’re tired, but focus your time on each other, it’ll be worth it.
• Schedule “Date-Night-Out”
You heard me…yes, you do need to go out with each other. Remember all of those amazing adventures you had with each other…you know the ones, where you stared into each other’s eyes and dreamed of your future together? Well guess what, it’s here! So, find a babysitter (friends or family members, etc), make the call and reserve a table at a romantic restaurant. (obviously, if mom is breast feeding baby, you’ll want to plan accordingly, ie, somewhere close by) (it also, doesn’t have to be all that extravagant.
We have twin 1 year olds and 3 other young children. A recent date night for us, was driving through Starbucks to get a hot drink. Then we took a trip to Home Depot where we sat on a swing and drank latte’s while she fed baby’s. After that we wandered around and dreamed of how we wanted to finish our basement! It didn’t cost much, other than a couple of lattes and a babysitter for the other kids for a couple of hours.)
• Go for a walk
Another wonderful time to connect is in the evening after you both get home from work. Grab dinner…it’s ok to forget about the dishes for a few minutes…throw junior in a stroller and hit the pavement…or trail if you’ve got one. It’s a great time to get some exercise as well as an opportunity to check in with one another.
• Keep in Touch
It’s easy to get distracted with all of the new responsibilities of parenting. It isn’t all bad either…it can be an awful lot of fun taking care of your new family member. It’s a pivotal time for you and your child to form healthy attachments…. just make sure you don’t harm the attachment you have with your lover.
Leave each other love notes…Use a sticky note… My wife and I used the letters/numbers in our shower to leave notes. You can also use your finger to write love notes on a steamed up mirror…it’ll disappear until the next time they steam up the mirror….That of course might lead to more steamy experiences. Text each other “I’m thinking of you kind of notes throughout your day”
• Give Domestic Support-Be Understanding
Now, I know a few of you reading this fell asleep half way through the article…that’s ok! I know, you’re tired….and your partner is as well. Give each other a break, be patient with one another. Help with the dishes… Change a diaper in the middle of the night. For you guys, don’t just pretend to be asleep when you hear little one fussing…pick him up and tell your partner you’ve got it!
You may find that you need extra support, and that’s ok! If you find yourself needing to talk things through with a marriage coach, that’s what we are here for. It’s what we do! You guys will make it…Just make sure you are connecting and focused on growing into great lovers and you’ll find yourselves evolving into amazing parents together.