There's no way around it: having a baby changes things. Life as just the two of you use to mean double dates to the grocery store, late night strolls, lazy morning sleep-ins, and perhaps the occasional impromptu vacation. The two of you decided the what, where, and when, and nobody got in the middle of your plans or your relationship.
It's really the smallest things that cause you to really notice how life has changed. You're dates have a third wheel, and so does your mattress. You might not even be sleeping in the same room, and if you are, romance is likely amiss. You're biggest argument is who get's to sleep in tomorrow, and your late night strolls are a best effort at getting your newborn to go to bed so you can. Life is different.
We've complied 5 ways we know your relationship can grow and strengthen to withstand the rocky seas of newparenthood:
1. Share the Load
Maternity leave is not a holiday in the Bahamas, and juggling work and a new baby is also no walk in the park. Recognizing each others sacrifices and strengths, and finding ways to delegate the household chores and responsibilities fairly, will keep both of you from feeling burnt out and bitter.
2. Set Realistic Expectations
Bringing home baby is not easy. While there are wonderful blissful moments getting to know your baby and witnessing this miracle you've created together, it comes with a lot of challenges along the way. Prepare for the best, but expect the worst, because there are bound to be some storms along the way. If you are ready for some trying times, you'll be more prepared to stand together through it.
3. Ask For Help
Looking outside of each other for all of the answers is one of the best things you can do for one another. Ask a close friend to organize a meal train. Enlist your mother-in-law to take on your laundry once a week. Hire a house cleaner or find other ways to shift responsibility from either of you to someone else for a while. You're going to need a break from life, and sometimes that means reaching out.
4. Take a minute together
It truly might be just a few minutes a day, but find that time, or even schedule it in if you have to. Check in on one anothers mental and physical wellness, snuggle up and watch your favourite show, or cook up an after bedtime dinner-date and sit at the table (and not the TV). Your time together becomes more about quality than quantity, and ensuring you get a few small pockets of connection will help keep things alive and well.
5. Practice Personal Self Care
Taking care of your relationship means taking care of you first. A healthy, rested you can give much more to your partner than the tired and depleted version. Find a way at least once a week to do something that fills your soul - read a book in a coffee shop, go for a massage, take an extra long bath in the middle of the day. Let someone else care for baby while you care for yourself.