When having a child, suddenly priorities change, there is a new little person who depends on you. In those early weeks you and your spouse may be struggling to find time to just be together as a couple, but finding the time, even just fifteen minutes a day could save your marriage.
I wrote a while back about how small moments can make or break your connection. You and your spouse constantly impact each other in every conversation, in every action, in every day. Now, there is controversy over whether children come first or marriage comes first. Personally, I believe kids come first in those young years, but that does not mean put your marriage on hold or don’t pay attention to the issues at hand.
Even when your child is only days or months old, finding time to connect with your spouse in a romantic way can really set the mood moving forward. Often times, husbands feel neglected after childbirth. I’ve read and heard accounts of men feeling forgotten or even replaced. All feelings are valid, and I think both spouses need to take a moment and think.
Baby comes first. We, as parents, don’t have a choice. Baby cries, we jump to figure out what baby needs. But in those down and calm moments, connecting on an emotional level with your partner is very important to keep the love alive.
Spending fifteen minutes, maybe even while cooking dinner, talking about each other’s days, the stresses, maybe some financial issues that are going to come your way soon can really make your partner feel heard and cared about. Talk about how you feel with a newborn, especially if this is your first child. Often times we want to put on a tough front and seem like we are adjusting fine when in reality we aren’t adjusting as well as we make it out to be.
When Xander came into our lives, I remember asking Jak how he was adjusting to this change, and in the beginning both of us kept saying, “Stressed” or “not used to this yet” or “overwhelmed” and we did our best to support each other during that transition by making time to just sit back and watch a 30 minute tv show, or playing a game together.
I think it’s important to remember not to lose ourselves in the role of parents and to remember to be spouses because when your kid turns 18 and moves out for college, it will be just you and your spouse.
There have been cases where spouses feel estranged from each other once the kids are out because they put their marriage on the back burner and didn’t remember or try to put in an effort to keep the romance and emotional connection alive. I know that I don’t want to feel awkward with my husband once Xander is out and at college.
Making date night happen twice a month can really give you and your spouse “couple” time that can be truly needed when a child enters the picture. Cooking dinner and having a date night in is also a great option. Put on music, lower the lights, candles and you’ve got a dinner and dance at home. There are plenty of creative ways to keep the love alive when kids enter the picture, you both just have to put in the effort and communicate your needs, then find compromises on issues you have different needs on.