Here’s How To Actually Have Couple Time After A Baby

If you ask other parents how to keep a relationship healthy after baby’s arrival, you’re likely to get a variety of responses. Some new parents find it easy to connect, while others feel a significant strain on their relationship. It’s definitely a mixed bag.

A baby can be a huge test of a relationship, and it takes a lot of effort to make time for yourselves as a couple. However, that effort is necessary in order to keep your relationship strong. Here’s how to get it right.

Get A Good Babysitter

Leaving a baby with a babysitter for the first time is nerve-wracking, and this stress can interfere with your well-earned couple time. You can gain some peace of mind – and by extension better quality time together – by asking potential sitters to agree to a background screening, or you can search online for already-screened babysitters.  Alternatively, ask close friends and family for their recommendations so you know you’re getting someone reliable.

If you are on a tight budget, hiring a babysitter with any regularity is your first hurdle. There are a few smart ways to save on babysitting, such as starting a babysitting cooperative with a few other parents. You each commit to one night a month with all the kids, and you each get several nights a month to yourselves.

Date Night

The idea of a weekly date night may seem unrealistic, but remember, a date night can be anything. You don’t plan have to plan a fun, exciting, romantic date night every week. Kindred Bravely notes a few low-key ideas that include staying in with a movie, making a nice dinner, or enjoying an outdoor activity together.

You will also have to make a concerted effort to make date night a priority. Schedule it on your calendars, don’t allow anything to take precedence (except emergencies), and decide the plans ahead of time. Some parents also agree to limit how much time they talk about baby, or make the extra effort to dress up a bit, even if just going out for burgers. 

Have Regular Non-Baby Conversations

Speaking of baby-free conversations, you should be having these on a regular basis in order to maintain communication as a couple. Things like date nights are important, but it’s the ongoing day-to-day interactions in a relationship that keep you strong and happy.

The Gottman Institute recommends having a daily stress-busting conversation, in which you are encouraged to talk about your stresses and frustrations. The catch is that you can’t talk about the baby or your relationship. This ensures you are both supporting each other as whole individuals, not just as parents.

Anticipate Conflicts

It’s a sad fact that many couples go through a hard time after their first child, with the stress of having a baby leading to a build-up of resentment and negative emotions. The good news is that, to some extent, you can anticipate this and prepare for it.

For example, according to Today’s Parent, distribution of household tasks is one of the biggest sources of conflict after having a baby. Even in a modern, progressive marriage, one spouse could end up doing most of the work, and the other may not necessarily realize it. In order to split things fairly, set out your priorities, arrange a timetable, establish which chores you each can’t stand, and reevaluate often.

It can also help to read accounts from other couples on how their relationship changed becoming parents. The Bump has an insightful compilation of these stories, which can help you deal with the challenges ahead.

Sharing quality couple time together after your first baby won’t be easy, but it is not a complete fantasy, either. The important thing to remember is that, while the date nights and special occasions matter, there has to be a solid day-to-day foundation for your relationship. Keep working as a team, communicating openly and supporting each other. That way, by the time date night rolls around, you will actually be looking forward to spending time together.  


Guest Post by Emily Graham from Mighty Moms

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