Katie Gonzalez (@momof4_letsaddmore)
After baby, you tend to be exhausted. You’re focused on keeping this little human being happy, fed and alive, and when it comes to getting your attention sometimes your significant other takes a back seat and vice versa. This is all normal, and even I’m guilty of it. Unfortunately, statistically, a lot of relationships end in the early months after baby is born because things just get too hard and time for you and your partner isn’t made a priority. Here are a few tips to help get you back on course:
1. Have patience: Patience with one another is key to being successful. This is new for both of you, whether its your first kid or your fifth. Hormones are imbalanced, exhaustion adds frustration, and you want so badly for your significant other to understand how you feel. Be patient, understanding and helpful to one another. It is not just the baby you need to focus on but the family as a unit. Take it day by day.
2. Plan a date night: Date nights don’t always mean getting a sitter, sometimes that’s not even an option. Plan a nice evening out with the whole family that also caters to you two enjoying yourselves with food, wine or a favorite treat. If a sitter is available, make sure its someone you trust and go out and have alone time with your significant other.
3. Reconnect: Take it back to the basics and be adventurous with one another. Go do something together you’ve never done. Indoor sky diving, staycation with the kids, sight seeing somewhere you’ve always wanted to go.
4. Enjoy those moments together when baby is asleep: You don’t always have to utilize that time to clean, some days folding laundry can wait. Sit out side on the back patio for a few moments alone together (bring the monitor along if available) or put a movie on and snuggle on the couch.
5. Surprises: Sometimes the simplest of thoughts are the absolute sweetest surprise. Set up an at home candle-lit dinner for two, grab your significant other’s favorite sweet treat on your way home, or leave out thoughtful notes for him to find.
6. Communication: Resentment often sets in when there is a complete lack of communication. A woman is going through a lot of postpartum emotions after baby, and having your partner or significant other to talk to or be open with is not only healthy for mom but important for a successful relationship. Sometimes a significant other does not have a clear understanding of what you are feeling or going through without you actually expressing it. Supporting one another and being there for each other is essential for all stages of a relationship.
7. Talk through disagreements: This also aligns with communication, but fighting, screaming and yelling almost never resolves an issue. If there is a disagreement, talk it through, compromise and find a resolution together. A lot of times arguments arise just out of sheer irritation caused by exhaustion. Breath through it. Especially if there is a misunderstanding with something that has to do with the baby. Whether it be day care or nanny, what type of formula to use, sleeping schedule, needing a break or whatever it might be, take a step back and talk it through. If yelling begins, stop the conversation and revisit it at another time.
8. Get intimate: A lot of times, women aren’t fully accepting of their postpartum bodies but there is nothing to be ashamed of! Embrace your body that created that beautiful baby, revive your sexuality, and enjoy some one on one time with your special someone (after your doctor has cleared you for such activities of course).
Remember, this part of life is a learning curve for everyone. Don’t compare your relationship or significant other to anyone else. Find what works best for you to keep your connection strong and relationship thriving. Of course, focusing on baby is important, but so are you and your relationship.