The day we found out we were pregnant with our first child my husband and I couldn’t stop smiling. Every second of the day he would ask if I was feeling okay and we would be so excited to see each other the minute we got home from work. It was like we were on this high that no one could take away from us but when the kid actually came out we hit reality and reality hit our relationship.
As moms we try to have the perfect life with the perfect husband and the perfect children but it just doesn’t happen that way. I thought things would be so easy once my son came out but I soon realized not only would I have to focus on taking care of this new addition to our family but also really work at taking care of myself and my relationship. In most cases if not all, baby comes first, you try to take care of yourself and so your relationship gets puts on the back burner. If I have learned anything so far, new parents don’t let this happen. You both need to stay strong together to get through this awesome journey of parenthood.
Words cannot explain how much stronger my relationship is now with my husband. After losing ourselves for a few years I finally feel like a team again and we see such a positive impact on our kids now.
Here are some tips I have learned and am still learning after child number two.
- Communicate: Okay let’s be real, how often do we have time to sit and have an hour conversation about things with just the two adults? Maybe after the kids are passed out but I know at that time I shut my brain off too 🙂 Use communication tools like, texting, emailing or even sending snapchats. Honestly using a family google calendar has been a huge help for us. We are so fortunate to have so many ways to show our love for each other that doesn’t take much time out of our day. Check out some more in depth communication tips to keeping your marriage strong.
- Don’t be shy: You are with this person because they are your soulmate so why hide things? Even if it is the smallest thing on your mind, bring it up because they may turn it into something funny and put a smile on your face. You both have to be open with each other or things start falling apart.
- Be intimate: With an average of 1 kid entering your room a night and no alone time until bed time, intimacy is definitely not as easy to keep going. You are exhausted and he is exhausted but a simple hug after work can feel so comforting after a long day with the kids or work. Check out some tips here: 7 ways to keep intimacy alive as parents
- Set goals together: This is something that has really brought us so much closer together. Don’t set goals just for the family, communicate your professional and personal goals and know what his are too. This year we are really focusing on our individual goals and knowing that I have his support and he has mine makes us motivate each other so much more.
- Bust out the Vino: I’m not saying get wasted all the time but open up a bottle of wine and enjoy a glass even if the kids are playing. I know for us it’s our “breather moment” where everything just feels OK.
- Reduce the venting sessions with your friends: Sometimes we get so frustrated that we want to call up our BF and just go off but what I have learned is that doesn’t get me anywhere except puts me in a negative state. It’s impossible not to do it, its just human nature. It may help get it off your chest for that 5 minutes but then back to reality and guess what you are probably still frustrated. I can’t express the importance of communication with each other.
- Let yourself change: My husband and I are opposites: I am the girl who likes the designer purses and shoes and won’t go camp unless I have a full facility to use. He is so outdoorsy and loves exploring. I am a very open person and need my friends and family to talk to and he is very private and doesn’t open up too much to others. We both made and are still making such big lifestyles changes from eating habits, hobbies and even our outlook on life that I feel like we have a strong foundation to live life to the fullest now. HOWEVER don’t lose yourself in this process of change.
- Face your problems head on: We have had many ups and downs since we got married and one thing we learned is to face any challenge head on. The more you avoid it and don’t try to find solutions or how to cope, internally you will get stressed and frustrated which will affect your relationship. You can’t control what happens to you in life but you can control how you handle it. Face the problems together and find solutions.
- Understand each other: As all the changes are occurring in your life, you don’t realize how much you are changing as a person. Really try to understand each other in terms of what makes them happy, how they feel about important topics and other things that impact them. There are some things I disagree on with him but knowing how important they are I let it go and he does the same. You can’t have everything your way or his way.
If you follow these tips, it not only makes your relationship strong but also your entire family dynamic. When the kids see how happy and well the parents are doing together it gives them a sense of comfort and love.