Everything is different with a baby, and you’ve got a lot on your mind. Let me add one more thing: connect with your partner. I believe it can be done, that it’s important, and it doesn’t have to be complicated.
Here’s a simple plan to keep the spark alive, just in time for Valentine’s Day:
First off, get some help. This might be someone to take care of things around the house. Or it may be caring hands to hold the baby for a bit so that you can take time for yourselves. As a postpartum doula, I know how easy it is to forget about your needs.
Having a village is essential to the survival of your relationship, and your family’s ability to thrive. So accept the offers of help you’ve been turning down. Ask for support if you haven’t. Call me. What matters is that you get assistance, so you don’t end up missing your partner and forgetting that you’re in the middle of your happily ever after.
Once you’re no longer an island of two… Take a breath.
Look your partner in the eyes, and think something good about them. Remember why you’re raising a baby with them. Then t
ell them! Whether it’s sweet, a little dirty, or funny, as long as it’s kind, it’s fair game.
I read once that for every one negative interaction in a relationship, we should aim for five positive interactions. I’m not suggesting that you keep tally, but it can’t hurt to try a little kindness in the midst of the stress and change that a newborn brings.
It’s easy to only have surface conversations. But one of my favorite authors, Brene Brown, talks about how being vulnerable is really a key to strength. We grow closer to one another when we unzip a bit, and talk about what’s going on with us.
Given that you may be finding your parenting routine, sleeping less, and learning a million and one new things, a check in with your spouse might not have been a priority. So find out what’s going on.
No matter what, it’s worth sharing. So take time to talk, and really listen.
And finally, do something together. Make a memory. This could be as simple as a glass of wine or cup of tea, and a hug. It could be watching a TV show together.
**Pro-tip: As a postpartum doula, I can make dinner, and feed the baby while you sit down to eat. Or, if you’re feeling bold, use the time to go out on a real live date around other adults. Good for y’all! I won’t judge you if you’re back home in bed by 9:30.
I knew you could do it. And if you try, you may even be able to make a ritual out of paying attention to one another, which I hear is a good thing.
Experienced parents, we want to know your ideas! How did you keep the spark alive with tiny humans around?
I’m rooting for you. Let me know if you need help.