How Can I Keep My Relationship Strong After Having A Baby?
There are no two ways about it; having a baby puts a significant strain on a relationship. Those little cracks in your partnership you could ignore before becoming parents turn into gaping chasms when you put a tiny human in the mix. If you’re worried about what baby’s arrival might mean for you and your other half, you might find some comfort in these tried and tested tips for strengthening your relationship. Introducing The Four C’s.
Take it from a mum who’s run the gamut of parenting-related fallouts over the last several years; communication needs to be the #1 priority in your relationship. If your partner does something that really frustrates you, communicate about it. Festering over things only makes them worse and doesn’t give the other person an opportunity to fix it. Whether it’s not helping with the laundry or working too much overtime, these things will never change if they’re not talked about.
Open, honest communication is without a doubt the key to any happy marriage. Your relationship will still hit rocky ground at times, but every argument has the potential to bring you a step closer to peace if you’re able to communicate with each other at the end of it.
Communication is key to keeping your relationship strong after having a baby. The more tired you are the more important it is to attempt to communicate your feelings with your partner.
We all know that relationships require give and take, but when you have your own source of income and no dependents, the biggest compromise you need to make is whose parents to spend Christmas with. Once children are thrown into the equation, it can feel like every day forces you to make new compromises, whether it’s who deserves the weekend lie-in or whose turn it is to deal with a poonami (if you’re not familiar with this word yet, you’re in for a treat).
Compromising requires you to put yourself in your partner’s shoes more than you’ve ever done before, but it only works if you’re both willing participants. If only one person in a relationship is compromising, that’s a recipe for disaster, so if it begins to feel like things are out of balance, revisit your Communication.
Number three in our Four C’s is Consideration, which goes hand-in-hand with Compromise and the act of putting yourself in your partner’s shoes. Take time to think about the person you love and the things you know make them happy. What can you do to facilitate that in a way that works for both of you?
On a personal level, I’m quite an introverted homebody and don’t enjoy meeting up with people at the weekends. However, knowing that my husband is much more social than I am, I encourage him to go out and see friends a few evenings a week. It refills his cup, and I get a night of Netflix to myself. Win/win! On the surface, this seems pretty basic, but parenting can so easily strip you of those things that make you ‘you’. Looking out for each other’s best interests is the ultimate expression of love.
Ok, it’s not a ‘c’, but you can’t win ‘em all. The final tip I’d like to share with you is to make quality time for each other in the way that best suits you. Some couples have regular date nights, which is a fantastic idea if you have the childcare to be able to do it. If not, quality time can be as simple as consciously putting down your phones and talking about your week. Making time for the person you’ve created a family with helps remind you of all the things that made you fall in love with them in the first place.
Making time for your partner can literally feel like an impossible ask when you have a newborn and feel like there is no time and no fuel in the tank for anything else but it can be as simple as putting your phones down for 30min to talk about your day or week.
Want to read more about handling those early years? Check out 'What I didn't know and wish someone had told me about'... Losing Your Sense Of Self.
Originally from New Zealand, Sarah is a mother to two boys and has lived in the UK for the past 10 years. She is a home-educator, freelance writer, Netflix-binger and has a penchant for strong black coffee.