“Making the decision to have a child is momentous. It is to decide forever to have your heart go walking around outside your body.” – Elizabeth Stone.
Nothing beats the joy of having a newborn. It’s one of the most joyful moments in your life and your partner’s. The feeling of bringing back home that precious bundle and settling into your new life together is unrivaled.
Despite the many beautiful changes during this time, you’ll also face challenges in developing a new routine, including finding meaningful ways to maintain an emotional connection with your partner.
After childbirth, your body starts healing, but you don’t have time to rest since you now have a baby to care for around the clock. In addition, you’ll become responsible for feeding, pumping, or nursing the baby constantly. What’s more? During the early stages of childbirth, parents find it hard to sleep.
With pregnancy, childbirth, and doctor’s orders to wait for about two months (approx. 6 weeks) after giving birth, sex (physical intimacy) might become a distant memory. When that happens, most partners feel left out or unconnected to their partners.
The good news is you can raise your children without feeling unconnected to your partner when raising children. In this article, you’ll learn ways that’ll help you stay or feel connected to your partner after having children. To learn more, continue reading.
How Has Having Children Affected Your Relationship?
Is it normal to off your partner after having a kid? This is one question many newlywed couples ask. In this article section, you will learn how children can affect your loving and committed relationship.
Adding a new family member (the baby) can be very tasking for the parents, especially the mother. Mothers have to deal with great changes during pregnancy and childbirth. They also have to expect higher expectations and harsher scrutiny when it concerns caring for their baby.
Fathers are not left out as they also experience changes such as spending less time with their spouse and sleepless nights. Even fathers with a loving and strong father figure growing up may find adjusting to the new and unfamiliar role complex.
During the baby’s first months, both parents are usually tired from the sleepless nights and anxious about whether they are doing things correctly, all of which can affect their mental health. This will, in turn, cause a lot of friction between the couple as they’ll stay on edge and easily become irritable. As a result, they might become resentful to each other and fight over little things.
Since all of their focus will be placed on the baby and the parenting demands are intense, couples generally dedicate little time and energy to their relationships during this period. As a result, the romance and passion will likely dive, and the relationship could suffer.
Do Relationships Change After Having Kids?
The short and simple answer is YES! But, unfortunately, parenthood (parenting) does put a strain on romantic relationships, regardless of what the connection used to be like before.
How does having a child affect your relationship? You might wonder. With the baby’s arrival, the couple spends less time with each other. In the beginning, it usually doesn’t seem like a problem, but in the long run, it becomes tiring. This is because it’s now a lot harder to go out together and enjoy the things you used to do.
In the end, it can cause your partner to feel left out, and you, on the other hand, may start resenting what you see as a lack of support.
Why Do Relationships Fall Apart After Having A Baby?
After having a baby, the pressures of parenting can magnify problems or issues the couples had before becoming parents. Hence, if their relationship had already been strained, the new circumstances could end up damaging it irreparably.
Let’s look at a typical example: in a heterosexual relationship, it’s common for women to take on the bulk of the house. Before the baby’s arrival, the work may not seem tedious and is manageable, but after the baby arrives, her duties double.
Hence, if her man is unwilling to welcome the change and share the responsibilities more evenly, the woman could end up feeling disappointed and underappreciated, leading to constant bickering and, ultimately, the end of the marriage.
The arrival of a child is a huge change that usually reveals or brings out the negative aspects. As such, you and your partner need to be on the same page if both of you are planning on overcoming seven common marriage issues, including intimacy. To overcome these difficulties, your bond needs to be strong. It’s also important to keep working on your relationship after the baby arrives and avoid conflict as much as possible.
Ways To Stay Connected With Your Partner After Having Children
Are you facing difficult times in your marriage? Are you looking for ways to strengthen marriage after young kids? If Yes! Then this article will provide you with 5 ways to reconnect with your spouse.
1. Listen To And Be Patient With Your Partner
You and your partner are busier now than ever. Hence, to still feel loved, it’s important to take time and regularly talk about how you are feeling. You can ask questions like: what areas do you feel good about? What are you struggling with? How are you handling the parenthood transition?
By letting your partner know how you are feeling, you’ll be able to understand your partner and know what’s going on beneath the surface. It’s also a good approach to help each other. For example, if you are tired of nursing the baby every night, your partner may help ensure that you sleep during the day.
Marriage isn’t a fairy tale where you’ll live happily ever after. In real life, you will have issues, and you must realize that you will have those ugly moments. During those nasty moments, take deep breaths and take back some perspective; also, apologize when you need to. Give each other grace and have each other’s back.
2. Choose A Sleep Training Method
Is it a problem to sleep at night because your baby keeps you up all night? Then you should try a sleep training method. There are different types of sleep training methods, and some of the most common ones include fading method, pick-up/put-down method, chair method, cry-it-out method, and Ferber method.
Hence, if you favour a sleep-training method, stick to it. The long-term benefit is your baby will learn to sleep on their own. But, of course, you can change the sleep-training method if it’s not a good match for you.
3. Let Others Help You
As your child develops, one of the best ways to create more couple time and care for yourself is by accepting help. Do you have people who would like to stop by your home and carry your child? If you do, let them. Do not feel bad when you take up people’s offers for help.
While they are snuggling your baby, you can use that opportunity to shower, take a nap, grab a quick snack, or even throw in a load of laundry. Of course, you can also use that opportunity to spend quality time with your partner.
You can rest a bit while they are around and if you are in a position where you can hire someone to help you out, do it! For example, you can hire someone to watch the baby and clean the house while you and your partner go out on a date.
4. Have A Date Night
Having date nights is one of the best ways of strengthening your marriage after having kids. If possible, you can try establishing a regular date night. And if it’s impossible, try scheduling something every now and then—make sure that the time you spend together doesn’t become a thing of the past.
Due date nights, maintain eye contact with your partner and constantly remind them that you care about them. This will make them feel loved, and they’ll also reciprocate the love they have received.
In addition to date nights, you can also have movie nights. A movie night is an excellent opportunity to stay close and bond with your partner. While watching the movies, you try holding hands or resting on your partner’s body—steps like that make the whole experience more enjoyable.
5. Practice Acceptance
Many times, couples worry about how their partners have changed since they had babies, and they often try everything to get it back to the way it was before. A good way to deal with this kind of problem is to realize that with your baby’s arrival, the relationship may likely not be the same, and that’s okay. Once you have accepted that, you can now discuss with your partner how the relationship will work with the baby.
Parenting is easy, especially for first-time parents, because you are never truly prepared for the stress and work of caring for newborns. In addition to the pressure, your partner may not agree with your parenting style, possibly because they can’t deal with the tears. As a result, you can end up fighting sometimes, and you may start feeling unconnected to your partner.
Read more on our blog – How to manage expectations in a relationship.
So what do you do when you feel unconnected to your partner? You can try our five ways to stay connected with your spouse or partner. But if you have tried all that and nothing seems to work (it doesn’t seem like you are getting closer to your partner), then you can try parenting therapy or couple therapy as a medium to remedy the situation. One of the best out there is marriage counselling. By meeting a marriage counsellor, you and your partner can discuss your problems and find solutions to those problems.