Two-thirds of couples become dissatisfied with their relationships within the first three years after having a child.
The leap into parenthood can be testing for most relationships. And by most, we mean about two-thirds of couples become dissatisfied with their relationships within the first three years after having a child. Sleepless nights, hormones and less time to connect emotionally or physically can all contribute to drifting a wedge between you and your other half.
Here are some tips on how to stay connected after becoming parents:
- Schedule some 'me' time and some 'we' time. Both of you require some “me” time to re-energise as individuals but also some “we” time to stay close as a couple. Both as important as the other. Communicate with your partner about when you need a break. Give yourself a couple of hours alone to do whatever makes you feel human again! Book in some date nights into your calendar. If finding somebody to mind the little ones is difficult, try organising with friends to take turns babysitting each other’s little one for date nights!
- Share Responsibility. A lot of parents find themselves in a power struggle. Men sometimes feeling left out and women feeling like their men are less informed and less experienced when it comes to looking after a baby. Mothers become critical and want to do it themselves in a routine they believe works. Particularly on a first baby. One of an expectant father’s biggest mistakes is not learning about baby until baby arrives. Encourage your partner to attend baby classes (where possible), to read the baby books and both of you learn together. Share every aspect of the experience together this way neither will feel inferior.
- Communicate. From personal experience, my biggest tip is communication. No matter how tired you are at the end of the night check in with your partner. Find out about each other’s day. How they have been feeling. A quick chat and a hug can do wonders for a tired and weary parent!
- Stay Spontaneous. Plan out of the ordinary dates. Plan a gig, a comedy show, a hike or a cycle. Don’t just have a mundane dinner date once a week. Better yet, being spontaneous means you also don’t have to commit to a specific and repetitive day. Keep your relationship fun and spontaneous like when you were dating. Remember you were a couple before you were parents. Delegate some of your time to that too.