Staying connected once you start having kids doesn’t just happen. Many parents find themselves months down the road realizing that they haven’t had any time alone with their partner since the birth of their baby! Then add more kiddos into the mix and your relationship with your partner can easily fall to the bottom of the priority list.
Staying connected while raising kids AND making intimacy a priority helps to stabilize your relationship and give your kiddos a feeling of safety and security. It helps you to be a better parent because let’s face it, parenting is hard! Doing it as a team makes it physically and emotionally easier for both of you.
Here are some ideas for how to Carve out time ALONE with your Spouse.
Hire A Sitter or family member to Watch Your Baby.
Once your baby gets to be 3-4 months old it’s really necessary that you can plan a short date night or time out with your spouse. Finding a trusted sitter, friend, or family member to watch the baby so you can get out with your partner and find your coupledness again will feel good to both of you. While it might feel scary to leave your baby, even for a short while, you will feel refreshed and rejuvenated from the short time away!
Having a routine for your day and night will make this feel much more manageable as you will be able to give the caregiver your baby’s routine and all she will have to do is follow it. This takes the guesswork out of caring for your baby and gives you the peace of mind you need to be able to leave. It’s also great for your baby to learn to be cared for by another trusted person.
If you truly have no one that you trust to watch your baby then take the baby with you. But in the meantime make it a priority to reach out and find a trusted sitter. Community FB groups, church groups, Care.com, or referrals from friends and family are great places to start. The busyBees babysitting app can also be a great resource. I’m a huge believer that having a few good babysitters in your arsenal is an absolute MUST!
Plan Times When Your Child Is Sleeping To Spend Time Together
While I know it may be tempting to get things done around the house when your child is napping or in bed for the night, use at least a couple of times per week to plan time together doing something that you BOTH enjoy. Whether you watch a show, eat dinner, or sit on the couch and talk about the day. These times of connection to touch base throughout the week will help you much more than getting the laundry done or the dishes washed.
Establishing a routine of 20 min at the end of each day to sit and talk together is a great habit that will pay off in dividends. Emotionally connected couples are better parents and more resilient to the ups and downs that come with raising young kids.
Plan A Long Weekend Away At Least Once Per Year
This is so important! You will relish the time with your partner and come home feeling rejuvenated, connected, and refreshed. If you can’t afford to go away then have someone take your kiddos for the weekend while you stay at home. This can work great for an exhausted Mama who doesn’t want the burden of packing and traveling. Sometimes that feels like just MORE work! We did this when our kids were little and it was WONDERFUL!!
You don’t even realize how much you need this time with your spouse until you do it. I promise you’ll say “ Why don’t we do this more often??” It’s that Good!! Then put it on your calendar for the next year to make sure it happens AGAIN!
Plan Time for Intimacy
So many things change once we have our kids. Especially for women. Our bodies have just been through the MOST amazing, miraculous, (and sometimes traumatic) experience of our lives. Growing, nourishing, and birthing a baby into this world is no small feat. To say we don’t exactly feel like our best selves, after all that, is the understatement of the century! Believe me, I get it, I’ve been there.
But our bodies do go back to “normal”, (albeit a new normal) and while taking care of a young baby day in and day out doesn’t exactly make you feel “in the mood”, staying connected in the bedroom is SUPER important for your relationship. This cannot be overstated! The difference is that now it’s going to take some planning AND a mindset shift out of “mom mode” and into “wife mode”. While this may not come easy at first, the more you do it the easier it becomes. Finding a way to relax and shift your mindset is essential to keeping your marriage healthy.
Here are some tips to help
Schedule Intimacy into your week. Good times for this are nap times or once your kiddos are in bed for the night. If you’re too tired at night then naptimes on the weekends when you are both home works great. If you have an older toddler that doesn’t nap or older kids, having quiet time in place in your home makes this MUCH easier to schedule. Don’t get hung up on your kids being awake! If you never have sex unless all kids are sleeping you are going to be tied to night sex (when you are exhausted). Need I say more?
Plan some time for self-care. Whatever that is for you. A massage, a hot bath with bath salts or essential oils, music, a nap (This is a MUST when we have young kids at home), something that gets you out of mom-mode and into a more relaxed state of being.
Ask for help. To stay connected you MUST ask for what you need. Ask your husband to help with dinner clean-up or do baths with the kids so you can take a hot bath yourself. Maybe he brings home takeout on those nights so you don’t even have to worry about dinner. Whatever you need, ask for it. I’ve never met a man who wasn’t willing to do whatever it takes to get his wife into the bedroom. Most men simply don’t understand what we need, so being straightforward and asking is going to result in you BOTH getting your needs met.
I hope that these tips have helped you to realize that time spent together connecting with your partner is not a luxury but a NECESSITY. You’re investing in the long-term health of your relationship and your family. You don’t want to be one of the many couples who send their kids off to college and within a year are getting a divorce. Trust me this happens ALL the time. They lost connection along the way, poured themselves into their kids and neglected their relationship. Then the kids leave and mom and dad are left with nothing but an empty relationship that feels too far gone to bring back to life.
Reach out if you want some help in bringing order to your home by establishing age-appropriate sleep boundaries. Because kids that are in bed by 7:00 gives YOU the time you need to take care of yourself and CONNECT with your husband.