From New Baby to “Oh Baby!” – It Can’t Be All Diapers and Dishes
And just like that, poof! Your unit of two became a “plus one.” Baby’s home, and suddenly, you’ve got a family. Congratulations! It’s one of the best and most important milestones you’ll ever reach in your life. But now you may be wondering what the future is going to look like, and what, if anything, will change.
In my 12 years of experience counselling new families, one of the biggest changes my clients site is their lack of romance once baby arrives. Many couples experience this shift in their love life as they transition to becoming a family, especially in the beginning. There are many reasons that account for a slowdown in the romance department, ranging from Mom’s painful delivery, to baby-fatigue, a more hectic schedule, or a reduction in interest due to hormonal imbalances and adjustments. Then as you settle into a new reality, it’s easy to get lost in the hustle and bustle of life with kids, and lose your connection with your spouse.
What is certain, is that it’s time to recalibrate, get your bearings, and create a new ebb and flow so you can begin living as a family and reconnecting as a couple. It’s so important to work on your relationship continuously, and know how to keep the fire kindled and the romance roaring.
I love this! It’s sweet, simple, and something anyone can do, anywhere. Thanks to our cell phones we’re almost always a few inches away from the ability to send a message to our loved ones. A few quick texts throughout the day can send thoughts of love, anyone’s way. You can also slip a Sticky Note into a lunch bag, briefcase, or book. You can even post one on the fridge. My husband sometimes leaves them for me in my car — the very last place I’d ever think of receiving a love note. And because it’s the last place I’d expect to find one, they always put the biggest smile on my face.
Small Favours … Go a Long Way
Isn’t it the best when you don’t have to ask someone to do something for you? Somehow, it just miraculously gets done! This is especially wonderful if your spouse is always busy working and seems never to have the time to do the things you’ve asked. Here’s a little-known tip: it can be a real turn-on when some (or all) of your to-do list gets done for you … without the ask. Having a chore (or chores) done for you is like a reward. This signals your brain’s pleasure centre, making you feel good and happy, and in the mood to reciprocate the give. Bonus!
The Date …
Date time is important, but it doesn’t always mean you have to go out or spend money. Who says you can’t have a date at home? There are no rules for what constitutes a great date, so you can make up your own. Set aside some agreed upon time with your spouse, and just be. Your time together doesn’t have to be fancy, and it doesn’t have to be long. Quality is king and queen in the date domain.
The Emotional and Physical Re-Connect!
It may take longer for some to reconnect than others, so before you start, adopt the helpful mindset of taking baby steps. Keep your expectations in check, and just enjoy each other. Hold hands, rest together, enjoy a good book together, and let the mood take you where it may. Shhhhh …
LAUREN MILLMAN is an international best-selling author, in private practice since 2004 as a Toronto family counsellor offering support in the areas of marriage, mental & emotional health, and parenting. www.laurenmillman.com.