Here are a few of the most important things to remember when it comes to staying close to your partner after you become parents:
Communication is key.
Keep talking. The easiest way to drift apart in your relationship is to stop sharing your thoughts, feelings, successes, and concerns. Though it may be hard, try to find a few minutes every day to discuss something other than baby.
This is especially true when talking about the negative stuff! Often times, one partner (or both!) will be struggling and, rather than “add to the stress” by expressing more negative emotion, both partners try to cover up additional concerns and only talk about the positive. While this seems like a good idea, and stems for a desire to help you both feel better, it actually makes things worse by increasing the emotional distance between you. Instead, try to make space for you both to express the good and the bad; usually, the simple act of saying how you feel can help alleviate the weight of the emotion.
Intimacy doesn’t need to be physical.
Often you just can’t find the time (or energy) to have sex, and after caring for baby all day and night, even hugging may feel like too much… and that’s okay. There are still ways to maintain emotional intimacy with your partner, from taking time to ask about their day to small gestures of caring.
Usually, the most meaningful gestures are those that show thoughtfulness; I am especially touched when my husband makes my tea on weekend mornings so I don’t have to.
I despise the idea of scheduling sex, but parenting is time-consuming and exhausting. Sometimes, if we don’t make sure to carve out time for intimacy, it doesn’t happen… and it’s still just as meaningful when it does, scheduled or not.
Be willing to ask for what you want.
As women, we often expect our partners to just “know” what we want or need… but telling them what you would appreciate doesn’t mean they care any less by doing it. So, if you wish your partner would make an effort to notice and replace the empty toilet paper roll or empty the diaper pail, then say so!
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This post is for suggested personal use and not meant to replace any advice from a medical professional. Consult your doctor or other qualified professional if you have concerns.