Until recently, I hadn’t even realized that there was one area, a VERY important one, that I hadn’t discussed much yet on my blog…marriage! So when Marissa from mamasandminimes.com approached me with an idea for a guest post about how to kindle the romance after baby, I thought this would be the perfect way to start the conversation.
With the busy schedules and exhaustion that can come along with being a mom, it can be so easy to let your marriage take a backseat, even unintentionally! Read on for some wonderful tips for how to keep the romance alive, even when you’re caught up in the #momlife.
How to Rekindle the Romance After Baby
I can assume by the fact you were drawn to this post, it’s been a bit since you’ve had your baby.
I mean I know I couldn’t stand being touched with a ten foot pole let alone romanced by my husband right after delivery. First, there’s the stress of adapting to a newborn in the family. Whether it’s the first baby or the fifth, a new addition is a huge change and takes some definite getting used to. Then of course, there’s the physical (and maybe even mental and emotional) healing your body requires after birth no matter the method of your delivery. The truth is you have been through the biggest change in your life. It’s OK if you haven’t exactly felt like getting frisky.
But there comes a time, maybe in a few weeks or months, where the stress of your new life begins to even out and you realize though you’ve been pouring your soul into your new baby, you’ve been neglecting yourself and you haven’t exactly been giving energy to your marriage.
And it’s probably not one-sided. Our partners take a lot of cues from us. After all we’re the ones who carried and delivered the baby and it’s more than likely we provide the majority of care for the newest little one. It makes sense that our spouses hang back a bit and wait for us to let them know when we’re ready to get back in the swing of things.
But how do we cut through the stress of our new roles, embrace our new bodies, and begin to reprioritize ourselves and our partners?
Keep reading for 5 tips to rekindle some romance after having a baby. Plus, you’ll get access to my FREE 15 page Complete Couples’ Communication Coursebook in case you want to brush up on your commo skills before tackling as touchy of a subject as intimacy.
Ditch the Yoga Pants Once in A While
In the year since my daughter’s birth I can count the number of times I’ve gotten dressed in real clothes on one hand. If it hasn’t been for a special outing or holiday I’ve pretty much rotated through the same 10 “workout” outfits. I’ve gotten super good at matching my nursing sports bras to my headbands and throwing my hair into a messy bun. Though easy and comfortable, dressing like this has really just become a form of complacency and has done a number on my self-esteem.
Putting some effort into your appearance once in a while goes a long way toward boosting your confidence. It feels great to get a side glance from a single dude at the grocery store or to receive a compliment on your hair or outfit from a stylish girl at the bank. That’s not to say you should dress for other people. Dress in your favorite pre-baby outfit or hit up the sales racks for something that compliments your awesome post-baby bod for a bit of extra oomph.
This boost in self-esteem will translate to your relationship. Your hubby will notice the pep in your step and feel the positive energy radiating from you. This will signal to him that it’s ok to approach you with something other than the next day’s logistics.
Embrace Your New Self
While we’re on the topic of self-esteem, there is no bigger change you will face than going from maiden to mother. Every fiber of your being becomes something different. Not to mention the physical changes and the fact that things might not have gone back into place (and may never).
Times are changing and it’s old news to feel ashamed of your post-baby body. Instead, roll with the changes and embrace your new self. Go with the fact that you might wear a different size than before baby. What you’ve just done is amazing. You have held and generated a new life. That is unbelievable and what would be a shame is if you looked and felt exactly the same as you did before such a great accomplishment.
This accomplishment does not go unnoticed by the way. When asked about their wives’ childbirth experiences, the majority of men have only positive things to say. Often, they report being in awe. Many go further and claim they never could have done what their wife did or handled that kind of pain. Your husband is proud of you and likely loves you more than ever before. He’s not paying attention to that new jiggle or stretch mark. Instead he’s blown away by your awesomeness.
Create Something New to Look Forward to
You and your hubby have likely fallen into a new routine since bringing home baby. One that probably involves very early mornings and interrupted nights. When so much of your lives revolves around the baby it can be difficult to remain connected by anything other than dirty diapers. Think about rekindling some romance by forging a mini routine together.
Find a time of day where you can carve out at least a half an hour together. This could be in the morning before work and before baby wakes, or in the evening after baby is down for the night. Figure out something the two of you can do together that you can generate some mutual excitement around.
Perhaps you could join a coffee of the month club and spend a sliver of your mornings sampling a new brew together. Or, you can boot up your Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Prime, or DVR to pick out a new show to binge watch together. Whatever you choose to do, having your own piece of time to spend enjoying each other will go a long way for your marriage. It will keep you connected and even help keep you motivated on those difficult parenting days.
If you’d like more ideas on how to reconnect with your spouse sign up for my FREE email course >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>> How to Date Your Hubby Once the Kids are in Bed >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
Talk About Anything Other than the Baby
If you didn’t realize how much of your life revolves around your little one, this post has probably clued you in. It’s so easy to get caught up in your baby’s snuggly cuteness (or overwhelmed by his or her indecipherable needs) that you don’t realize you’ve lost sight of yourself or your other loved ones until relationships begin to feel strained. I know it sounds impossible, but a great way to combat this is to forget about the baby – even just for a little while.
A fun challenge you and your partner can begin is to spend 30 minutes once a week talking about anything other than the baby. Make it more fun by putting a wager on it. The first one to bring up the baby has to do the dishes – or whatever other miserable chore you can think of. That should be enough incentive to keep you on task.
You’ll be surprised how hard this can be for a new family. Especially if your communication patterns have revolved around who’s turn it is to get up that night or wipe out the high chair. To get started, play a good old fashioned game of “20 questions” or “Would You Rather.” You may think you already know everything about your partner, but your not the only one who’s different since becoming a parent.
You can also try reminiscing about your first date or your wedding. Bonus points if you can refrain from using your phones while having your chat.
Go Out of Your Way to Show Appreciation
Husbands often feel like second best to their newborn babies. Consciously they know it isn’t personal. However, the fact that they are no longer as high on your priority list can leave them feeling ignored or distant. He’s not necessarily being distant on purpose, he just might not know where he fits in your life right now.
In order to make him feel a little more secure go ahead and shower him with some appreciation. Brag about how great of a daddy he is. Tell your friends about how he handled the latest diaper blow out like a pro. Speak a little louder than necessary so he might over hear your praises.
If you think he might like a little public affection, take to Facebook and tag him in a pic or status that shows how sexy it is when he rocks the baby to sleep. The goal isn’t to embarrass him or come off as pretentious. Instead you want to make him feel special and let him know you notice all the little things he does. Once he sees you acknowledge his efforts, he’ll have no problem kicking the romance up a notch.
What did you think of these suggestions for rekindling the romance after having a baby? Which was your favorite? Are there any you plan to try?
Marissa is a licensed Mental Health Counselor who specialized in couple’s counseling and child development before starting her own family. She has been published in many academic journals and most recently in Family Therapy Magazine. When she’s not writing, you can find her developing awesome products for her followers, enjoying her one-year-old daughter, or loving her fabulous hubby. Follow her at mamasandminimes.com