New Year, New Us Part 2: Our Tips for Keeping the Spark Alive After Baby
2 years ago I shared my most vulnerable and popular blog post to date:
Since we are closing in on another new year (thank God – and so-long 2020), plus SO much has changed since then, I felt like it was time to bring on part 2.
Because not only is this another new year, but I’ve realized that yet again, we’ve evolved into a totally new “us” too. Becoming parents has created a whole new relationship dynamic… shocking, right?
It doesn’t require a wiz to figure out how the spark fades, either. You take two already busy individuals with jobs, and side-hustles, and friendships, and families, and a packed schedule.
You then add another tiny human into the mix, who is fully dependent on both of you to keep them alive, and requires a LOT of attention.
You then attempt to maintain all the other areas of your life with said tiny human, and it’s really easy to wake up one day and realize that somehow your relationship isn’t even on the backburner. It’s actually been removed from the burner completely.
In fact, someone threw it in the freezer so that it wouldn’t go bad.
You don’t even realize it until you see it buried in the freezer while rummaging through it for some frozen breast milk and think to yourself… I should really warm this up. A nice, sizzly-hot marriage sounds REAL good right about now.
And in a nutshell that’s exactly what happened. We realized our marriage was taken off the priority list, and it needed to be put back. And after bringing our attention to it, let me tell you, it’s easier said than done.
So how DO you keep the spark in your relationship after a baby? Here’s three tips we’ve learned to reignite our spark:
Designated Daily Time
Just like a baby thrives on and requires more of a routine, everything else starts to fall into a routine with it. That said, making sure that some quality bonding time just the two-of-us is a part of that daily routine is paramount. For us, our designated “us” time is once the baby goes down.
We eat dinner together, catch up on life, watch a show or movie together, snuggle, and do cute-couple-stuff between 8:30 pm till we go to bed every night.
We do everything we can to divide-and-conquer beforehand to make sure we have that time to spend together. If something pops-up that interferes it’s truly the exception, and not the rule.
My mom taught me this math equation: B= f( i + e) … I know, I know… stick with me.
It means: your Behavior is a Function of the Individual in the Environment
Which translates to… how can you expect to be in a super hot relationship if you, as individuals, don’t set the tone for some romantic couple time?
For example, spending time at home is great, but let’s be real here, there’s baby stuff in every single room of the house. EVERY. ROOM. It’s now a “family” environment… so we have to intentionally create a “couples” environment to set the vibe.
But it’s not just the environment that has to be set, it’s also the individual, right? So ladies, how can you expect to be the super-hot-spark-starting-wifey when you’re in your mom uniform (i.e. sweats, hair tie, and probably a spit up stain or drool spot somewhere)?
Put on something sexy, and harness the individual that he fell in love with. When you both intentionally act the part and create the space, the sparks can actually fly, so going out on a hot date REGULARLY is key. No babies allowed.
Keep the Intimacy
I am a part of a few mom-groups on Facebook and someone asked the group, “When did you feel comfortable having sex with your husband again after baby?”
There were hundreds of comments ranging from as SOON as they got the okay to 7 months later and still haven’t done the deed.
I personally believe that sex is an important part of a healthy marriage, but every couple is different. The thing is, regardless of your belief, you don’t have to have sex to have intimacy.
So if sexy-time isn’t in the cards for you, it is important to find other ways to share that closeness. Slow dance in the kitchen. Share a bubble bath with some wine and have some good conversation. Give each other massages. Snuggle up on the couch. Hold hands. Get creative.
Or if you’re like me, and it has nothing to do with a discomfort with sex itself, but more-so just discomfort with your new-mom bod, get yourself a sexy little outfit you feel confident in, have a glass of wine for some extra courage, and communicate to your partner that you’re in need of a little extra reassurance that he thinks your sexy right now.
I promise he will.
Let me know your best tips for staying in love after babies in the comments below!