After having kids, every couple goes through a phase where they feel disconnected from their partner. It is perfectly normal to have those feelings. The real question is how to keep a healthy relationship while raising kids? I will say this a child or children are going to put any relationship to the test. When kids come into the picture, things are bound to change. Suddenly, you go from a healthy relationship to wanting to rip each other’s heads off. The lack of sleep alone can drive both of you mad.
There are a ton of things that happen to a couple once they have kids. The biggest pitfall I have encountered is it is no longer about the relationship now. It is all about this tiny human you brought into this world. Being a parent is no easy task, and it does change you. However, you have a choice on if it changes you for the better. Don’t fall into the social media trap where all these mamas who post these picture-perfect lives and worry that you are doing something wrong. You are doing great! Besides, most of it is a load of bull Marriage Expectations VS Reality is a real thing.
It is vital to nurture your relationship because, after all, you are a team. Even the strongest of relationships can crumble under stress. You will suddenly find you are fighting over the tiniest things I blame on the lack of sleep parents get, but that is just me. The to-do list is never-ending, and life can be stressful, but you are setting the example to your kids of what a healthy relationship looks like, so take care of your relationship.
How to Keep a Healthy Relationship While Raising Kids
Reconnect with your partner ASAP
One of the most challenging things a couple goes through after having a baby is reconnecting with each other. It is easy to get caught up in everyday life as a parent, but reconnecting is vital to having a healthy relationship. I am not talking about going out on a date. I am talking about communication and intimacy. I want to stress to couples that you don’t have to have sex to be intimate. A woman’s body goes through many changes when she has a baby, and it will take a while for them to bounce back.
Intimacy can take many forms. It can be emotional where both of you can communicate openly about your thoughts and feelings. It can be as simple as a look or a hug that creates intimacy. No matter how you view it, patience and understanding is needed to connect. When the time is right for both of you, intimacy in the bedroom will start again. In saying that, that doesn’t mean after the doctor gives you the all-clear physically. You both have to be ready for it emotionally as well.
Embrace the little things
As every parent knows, having a few moments of peace is rare, especially when they are little. So take time for yourself and your partner at the end of the day. You can talk or watch your favorite tv show together. It will give you time to connect. Be appreciative of what your partner does around the house, even if it is just taking out the garbage or hanging with the kids so you can take a shower. To have a healthy relationship, you need to appreciate the small moments shared by just the two of you.
Make a plan
Make a plan, so you are both on the same page. Things can get hectic quickly between work, school, after-school activities, maintaining the house, and about a million other things to do. That is why you need to come up with a plan to work in some time that is just for you and your partner. You can do this weekly or monthly that is up to you. All that matters is you make time for each other every day.
Remember why you fell in love with them
Take a moment in the chaos to remember why you fell in love with your partner. There have been many times where I would like to rip my husband’s head off over the stupidest things, but that is how it can be at times. You are not always going to agree, and tempers will flare, and arguments are going to happen. That is just part of being in a relationship, but too much of anything is never good. We are looking to have a healthy relationship, and even though arguing is not necessarily a bad thing, it can’t be where you are constantly fighting. You can read about Why Arguing Is Healthy In A Relationship?.
The way I remember why I love my husband after 20 years of being together is quite simple. I say, “thank you.” I take the time to notice when he cleans the house or cooks dinner, and I thank him. It makes him feel appreciated and loved. Every once in a while, I also like to write down all the things I love and appreciate about him, so when he does them, it makes me smile and remember what we have together.
Make the everyday tasks special
We all have those daily tasks that need to get done. So when you are doing tasks together like cooking or cleaning you can make those moments memorable. Put on some music you both like and dance around while getting stuff done. I promise you it is a lot more fun singing along and dancing around when you got shit to do. Besides, it provides entertainment for the kids because most of the time they join you. That way, you are creating everyday tasks into special moments for the whole family.
A friend once gave me advice that I carry with me and remember when times get hard. He told me always to remember that without the two of you and your love, there would be no him so love each other. He was so right. He is a wise man that has a beautiful, successful marriage that he cherishes. So it is now my turn to pass along that advice to you because if you don’t lose sight of your love for each other, then everyone will suffer in the end.
Don’t lose sight of each other take the time and the steps to have a healthy relationship while raising your kids. You two are the first example of what a relationship looks like to your kids, so make sure to nurture it. If you are looking for ideas, you can check out this great article I found on parents.com