Whether you’re expecting, or your bundle of joy has already arrived, there’s no question that life changes in a big way when you become parents. It can be tempting to drop everything and focus 100 percent of your energy and attention on your little one. But it’s incredibly important that you don’t do this at the expense of your spouse. In fact, a 2015 study found that couples’ awareness of each other and the relationship was one of the decisive factors in marital happiness and post-baby connection.  

The changes that happen to you–

Having a baby is a shock to a relationship. It’s a wonderful shock, yes, and it’s all worth it. But it is a shock all the same. Consider the changes that come about:

  • Sleep. You’re getting less of it. Which will make you irritable. That will inevitably affect your relationship.
  • Those spur-of-the-moment trips? Your weekly bar night with friends? Your sports league? You may still be able to do those things sometimes, but life is going to get in the way a lot more often now. Your time is no longer your own.

The changes you can make–

It’s crucial that, as you adjust to the rhythms of parenthood, you also establish new rhythms of couplehood. Here are a few ideas:

  1. Practice self-care and give your partner time to do the same. Taking care of yourselves in whatever manner you choose will help you give more to your baby and to your relationship.
  2. Check in with your partner regularly. Assess your personal states of mind as well as the state of the relationship. If someone needs a break, make sure they get it. Proactively managing your stress levels will help ensure no one gets overwhelmed.
  3. Get out of the house. If you’ve got a trusted sitter, go out to dinner, or just grab a cup of takeaway coffee and go for a walk. If you don’t have help, make a note to find some, and take the babe with you for the time being. 

The new days of parenthood are sweet and fleeting. Enjoy them. But tend to your relationship too, and it will survive even the toughest obstacles and maintain your post-baby connection with your spouse.

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