I think everyone who has a child knows that having a baby is a life changing experience (and that's an understatement). You are now responsible for a whole other being other than yourself and this being requires most, if not all your time and attention. On top of that, you have to deal with limited sleep, dirty diapers and onesies, doctor's appointments, postpartum depression and so much more. The majority of the time, you both are on autopilot, focusing on your daily tasks but eventually, there comes a time when you look up and you can hardly recognize your partner anymore. This little human has changed so many aspects of your relationship, including how you both interact with each other.
Although Leroy and I are big on communication, there were a couple times when I withdrew a bit from him when I was on autopilot and when I realized, I would feel super bothered and guilty about it. I would constantly ask him if I was a good wife to him and of course he would answer in the affirmative (good guy Roy). Despite his answer, I would still feel some sort of disconnection from him and the guilt would eat at me... until I decided that I would do something about it. Here are a few things we have done to maintain our connection as a couple.
Bring on the romance!
I mean... this goes without saying! A little romantic gesture can go a long way in maintaining that connection with your spouse. We’ve had romantic movie nights, candlelit dinner, food dates, romantic drives to nowhere, etc etc etc. Ladies, don’t always leave the romantic gestures to the guys. I’ve romanced my husband countless times! Although they won’t say it, men love to be romanced too… sometimes more than us!
Take a break together!
Something as simple as taking a break together can make a world of difference in your relationship. Leroy and I are naturally busy people, and now that we have added a child into the mix, most of our attention goes to her. As new parents, we know that our daughter for one isn’t going anywhere and our lifestyles are only going to get busier, so we need to give ourselves grace and prioritize spending time together (just us) - so we do just that! Every. Single. Day. Whether we’re watching a tv show or just catching up on our social media together, we spend at least 2 hours together after baby girl falls asleep to reconnect.
Support your partner in their projects
This is a biggie! After baby girl was born, it was a crucial time in Leroy’s music career. One of his songs was released approximately one month after baby girl was born. Additionally, he had so many plans but had to put everything on pause for a while. Despite his decision to put family life first, I would still encourage him to use our home studio to keep his wheels turning while on his “break”. Sometimes I would even stay up with him and listen to him work… and of course, commend him when he does a great job. Sometimes all it takes is a simple push or a pat on the back to maintain that connection you had before you became parents. Be that cheerleader for each other - even when the task seems small or minuscule.
We're not the same people we were before having a baby - we have to accept that and this new normal. Remember that your partner is still the person you fell in love with and that love created a whole new life. Embrace the journey of parenthood as a team, enjoy both the joys and the challenges and remember to be intentional about your relationship - it’s part of the reason you became parents in the first place 😉