You have just bought your beautiful baby home from the hospital and you are so in love, exhausted and overwhelmed all at the same time. Suddenly your relationship to your partner has taken a back seat and not only has it taken a back seat, it has changed.
You have both been through the most life changing event of your lives, you have undergone and they have witnessed you undergo the birthing of a human. That is huge. I know for me (and I am a relationship coach) it was as if every skill we had ever learnt, everything that we knew about each other and how we worked as a couple was gone (at least it appeared that way).
We began to bicker more, we were passive aggressive with each other, took pot shots at each other and started to be in competition with who had had the least amount of sleep between us (me obviously).
As time went on and I started to gain some sanity (some days more than others) It hit me like a tonne of bricks that the relationship with my husband was moving farther and farther away from where we wanted it to be and I knew we had to reconnect before it was too late.
So, if you are time poor like most parents and don’t know where to start to reignite the spark here is where I would suggest:
- Know that it takes time and that is ok. There will be times in your relationship where other things take priority and they have to. Having a newborn is one of these times. Take the pressure off yourself and your relationship and know that this is ok, things will find their rhythm again, particularly if you follow steps 2-10.
- Self-love needs to be your priority for now, because until you can fill up your cup, you can’t have others drink from it. Have a think about what self-love and self-care looks like for you. Think of it like a refillable self-love tank that you have and know that it needs to be filled up constantly just like you fill up your car with petrol. When we forget to fill up the tank you will start to find that your self-love cup goes into a deficit and you become extra sensitive to when you feel you are not getting 100% love from your partner and the fighting and bickering will increase
- Take time to have conversations about things other than your baby. When was the last time you spoke about anything other topics surrounding babies and your baby. Take some time out to chat about your future goals, politics, tv shows, sport etc.
- Accept and love your body – your body is a miracle, it has grown and carried around a human for 9 months and then you birthed that human. What you and your body have been through is nothing short of amazing, so honour and appreciate her, don’t shame her.
- Schedule in time weekly to communicate about where you are both at. I suggest putting aside 1 hour a week minimum. Spend at least 20 mins each having uninterrupted time to voice how you are feeling. Then spend the final 20 minutes working together to come up with some ways you can support each other with what’s been bothering you. When one partner is speaking, the other partners job is only to listen and validate. Leave blame, defensiveness and judgement out of the conversation.
- Practice gratitude and appreciation. This small act goes a long way. Write down and say out loud why you are grateful for each other daily. Thank the other person for not only things they do but who they are.
- Understand that you are equal but not the same – every relationship needs a balance of masculine and feminine energies. Rather than getting frustrated at the differences between the two of you, be curious about them and see what it is like to view life through their lens. What could your partner teach you that you don’t already know.
- Include small touches into your daily routine. This includes things such as hugging, kissing, touching etc. Increasing touching between couples, strengthens intimacy.
- Pull towards your partner rather than away. When your partner makes attempts at connection, don’t push them away. Even when you are busy, stressed or tired, every connection point is a chance for you to become closer or further apart and you can choose which one it is.
- Have a date night/day/hour – just have time out without your bubba. Pull on your supports and spend some time alone together, even if it is just for an hour and have fun with each other. Remember what it is like to laugh.
Birthing a baby and becoming a parent is not without its challenges and that is why the first year of your child’s life can be one of the hardest years for you as a couple. But, it doesn’t have to spell disaster. Be kind to one another, look after each other and love fiercely.
Beck Thompson is a Relationship Coach and the owner and founder of The Relationship Circle – a no BS relationship coaching that digs deep, gets to the truth and supports you in creating new behaviours and patterns that reenergise and revitalise your relationship as well as create resilience – reconnecting strong bonds that make you feel whole again. Beck is also the Co-Author of The Conscious You – Breaking Down the Barriers To Consciously Create Your Best Life.
To reach Beck please go to www.therelationshipcircle.com
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