Since Valentine’s Day was yesterday and love is still top of mind, I thought I’d share my thoughts on keeping romance alive after having a baby. While bringing a little one into the world is one of the best experiences in life hands down, it can take a toll on other relationships, particularly the one you have with your significant other. On top of all the fun physical changes you’re going through postpartum (hello crazy hormones, leaky boobs, night sweats and massive hair loss!), you’re also dealing with the inevitable changes that come along with caring for a new baby. You know, exhaustion, spit up, blow outs, wearing the same yoga pants for five months straight. Not exactly a recipe for romance!
Personally, my relationship with my husband definitely took a backseat for the first several months post baby, as I think it should have. At some point though, it’s important to make time to connect one-on-one again for the sake of your relationship long term. While this is still very much a work in progress for us, here are some easy things that have helped me and my hubs get back that loving feeling.
Redefine date night: You don’t need to go out to a fancy dinner or a movie in order to spend quality time with your significant other. If leaving the house isn’t in the cards for you very often, plan to have date night at home. You can even schedule it on the calendar! Agree on something fun to do–watch the new documentary on Netflix, cook dinner or bake together, play a board game, whatever you find fun!–and once the baby is asleep, commit to doing it, no distractions.
Communicate what you want: When you’re stressed and exhausted from caring for a baby it’s more important than ever to communicate openly with your partner, especially about things that are bugging you. Nothing kills romance more than brewing resentment. Need a hand with the laundry? Want your guy to watch the baby so that you can take a nap (or a bath)? Speak up.
Dial up the thoughtfulness: Thoughtfulness goes a long, long way in fueling the flame of romance. If there are little things you can do for each other around the house, put in the extra effort. I’d gotten really bad about making the bed in the morning and it’s one of David’s pet peeves, so I now make a point of doing it each day and it makes the whole room look neater. And David knows that I hate dealing with dishes after dinner since I want to spend time with the baby, so he takes care of that and I love him for it.
Talk about more than just the baby: As a new mom, it’s only natural to want to talk about your baby 24/7–every little thing they do is truly amazing! I’m so guilty of that for the first few months. Of course you should talk about your little one with each other, but don’t make it the ONLY thing you talk about for days or months on end. You were a couple before you had a baby and had other shared interests, so don’t lose complete sight of that. Ask your guy about that book he’s reading or how a project is going at work.
Sweat Together: If you’re able to get away together for an hour, do something active. Although it’s probably the last thing on your mind when you’re sleep deprived, getting the blood flowing helps to perk you up and get the endorphins going. And I find it just generally makes me feel better about myself, which is always a good thing when it comes to intimacy. You don’t have to hit the gym to break a sweat if that’s not your thing. Even going for a walk counts. Just get moving!
Do you have any tips on reviving the romance post baby? I’d love to hear them!