In the beginning it was just you and him. You’d stay up after work to unwind on your comfy couch with a movie on, or sit on your front porch until way past midnight to chat about how your day went. Your Saturdays would be filled with plans to visit your favorite restaurants, to catch the latest movies, or hang out with your friends. You’d bring your tired bodies and full hearts to rest on your warm bed at night and then wake up the next morning after ten hours of uninterrupted sleep.
Before, you were a couple. Now you are parents. And when your household has grown from two to three, your relationship with each other is bound to change.
To start with the obvious, you can say goodbye to uninterrupted sleep for a while. Sleep deprivation may result in easily irritable moms and dads who will have less time for themselves or each other. Moms may still need to adjust to her post-pregnancy bodies while dads may need to brush off jealousy of being a third wheel and share their wives’ attentions with the newest member of the family. There’s a lot of changes to endure, adjustments to be made, but you’ll do it gladly anyway because you know it will be worth it in the end. (And just in case things get dark for you, it’s common to feel like you need to take a break from the baby once in a while.)
But even though your baby has made you a family of three, it is still important to find some time for the two of you, to strengthen the bond as a couple, to rekindle sparks and ignite flames in your relationship. In between changing diapers and feeding schedules, it is important to remind yourself that you are a wife before you became a mother. Because your lives are busier now, the best way maybe is to plan your time together. Schedule a day off that you can both look forward to, arrange for a grandparent to keep your child company for the few hours of adult time you need to reconnect with your husband, or stay up for a few minutes after your baby has fallen asleep to ask your husband about how his day went. Praise him when he walks in the door earlier than expected and appreciate every second he takes the baby off your hands so you can have a peaceful shower. Assure him every day that whatever may come into your lives, he will always remain your number one man. Whatever it is, be creative and find ways that will work for the both of you to keep your relationship alive, because the best gift any parent can give to their children is a strong marriage!
Maya (lucky wife to a Super Papa and proud Mom of two)
Photos courtesy of Ervan & Shinta and Baby Clayton