Do you remember the days before children? When Valentine’s Day meant your partner spoiled you with roses and fine jewelry? Maybe they showered you with attention and took you out to the fanciest restaurant in town. Date nights involved wine, romance, and stays at beautiful hotels. Spontaneity was half of the fun. Saturday nights and conversation flowed easily because you had a quiet place to chat.
(loud, needy, insomniac) lovable bundles of joy entered the world, and date nights became a thing of the past.
It’s difficult to find the time to focus on anything except (lack of) sleeping and keeping your baby alive, especially during a baby’s first year of life. In my own experience with kids, nearly 100% of my attention was on keeping my three daughters fed, happy and rested. I neglected things like laundry that wasn’t a child’s and having food in the fridge aside from just chicken nuggets and strawberries.
While taking care of my kids is obviously a priority, one thing I’m resolving to do in 2018 is to not neglect my favorite relationship of all: the one with my husband!
The dynamics of our family have changed significantly since 2014 when we welcomed our first baby. It’s our goal as parents and as partners to model a healthy, loving, beautiful relationship for our children. We hope they grow up to be adults who nurture respectful and healthy relationships for themselves!
That being said, the following are a few relationship commitments my husband and I have made to each other for 2018, adapted to fit life with three babies.
- Date Each Other Weekly – For us, this means putting the kids to bed 30 minutes early one night each week. We use that extra time to have a mini date at home! We rent a movie,, cook something we’ve never tried before, or listen to an audiobook together so we can discuss it afterward.
- Put Down the Phones – This is harder than it sounds! So much of our conversation is interrupted by our children so, when we have the time to focus on each other, we try to eliminate all distractions.
- Value Physical Touch – We get so caught up in schedules and routines that sometimes we feel like two ships passing in the night. We are trying to make a point to physically touch each other throughout the day to keep the spark!
- Communicate, communicate, communicate.
Children change everything, but it’s important to remember that your relationship with your partner came before your children were in the picture. Relationships take work, but the best kind of work!