Adding a new family member to your unit is one of the most wonderful things a person can experience in life. Bringing a new person into the world and teaching them all about the beauty around us can be immensely rewarding and fruitful not just for you, but for everyone around you as your child grows and impacts the lives of the people around them.
However, those first few months can be difficult from a relationship perspective. After the birth of your baby, you may be exhausted — and your relationship may be the last thing on your mind. But connecting with your partner now is just as important as ever — perhaps even more so. Let’s take a look at some ways to reform your relationship and strengthen your commitment to each other now that baby has arrived:
1. Get it on the books
Physical intimacy can be challenging for new parents. Gone are the days when you could throw caution to the wind and enjoy each other’s company without thinking about what else was going on in the world. Your sexual relationship with your partner will change, thanks to changes in your body and changes in your parental status. Everyone is different — some people will want to get back into having sex soon after birth, while some may want to wait a bit longer. It’s all about communication and making sure you’re being safe — and it’s perfectly normal for breastfeeding moms to have fewer sexual feelings while producing milk!
However, it doesn’t have to be as difficult as that sounds, even with your new little one taking up most of your time. With careful planning and a change of mindset, you can enjoy intimacy with your partner. Even if you’re just cuddling on the couch watching internet videos during your baby’s naptime or having a quiet dinner just for the two of you, it’s important to set aside that time to be a couple — focusing on your partnership as much as on the baby. And while it may not be “sexy” to schedule these intimate playdates, getting them on the calendar helps your brain prioritize. You can enhance the mood in other ways, like investing in a flirty gown that doubles as a nursing garment!
2. Prioritize bedtime for your child
Not only is a set bedtime important for your baby, but it’s important for you, as well. Treating every night like it’s date night (after the baby is asleep) can help you both recharge for the next day and reforge that important connection. Getting quality sleep is crucial for your newborn, and it can help establish good cognitive function and improve mood and stress levels. But as your child goes to bed, you can spend the remaining hours of the night with your partner doing the “grown-up” things — even if that just means working on a puzzle together!
3. Exercise together
Working out with your partner is beneficial for numerous reasons. When you and your partner are exercise buddies, you provide accountability for each other — because you know how hard the other person is working! Working out together can also improve your emotional bond because you’re practicing nonverbal communication.
After your baby comes — and when you are cleared for exercise by your doctor — you should get back to doing the activities you love together. You can invest in a running stroller, or simply use a regular stroller and go for a much-needed walk at the park. Doing this as a couple not only allows you to bond with each other, but also with your little one as a family unit.
You’ve got this!
If you feel overwhelmed and uncertain as you enter parenthood, know that there is support waiting for you through Butterfly Beginnings Counseling. If you have a younger child acting out after the birth of your baby, we’re also here to offer help and support to help your older child navigate their feelings with this new change. Reach out to us today to find out more! 563-349-9595
Emily Graham is the creator of Mighty Moms. She believes being a mom is one of the hardest jobs around and wanted to create a support system for moms from all walks of life. On her site, she offers a wide range of info tailored for busy moms — from how to reduce stress to creative ways to spend time together as a family.