Relationships After Kids
Strong relationships after kids, ones that are full of flirting, fun, and intimacy, really can exist; but, they may take a little more effort.
When it was just you and your partner, you had more time for quality conversation, you had more extra money for date night outs, and you had more energy for flirting, sex, and adventure. Once your children arrived, your relationship naturally changed. While kids are amazing and wonderful miracles that expand your heart more than you ever dreamed possible, they are also exhausting, needy, and all-encompassing.
Let’s face it… it is hard to feel sexy when you were up all night with a sick child, have not showered, and have mystery gunk stuck in your hair.
All that understood and said… it is important to remember that the needs of your relationship are as important as the needs of your children. A family can only thrive if the foundation is strong; and, do not forget, you and your partner are the foundation.
Below are five simple yet important steps that solidify and strengthen relationships after kids.
Throughout the day, it is easy to get caught up in your direct world and the needs of your child; a whirlwind of getting everything done. Make sure to take 5 minutes every day to talk to each other. Look each other in the eyes and listen to your partner’s day with undivided attention. Just a few minutes of really listening can make all the difference to maintaining a connection.
Make a Date
Yes, your lives with children are unbelievably busy but time for the two of you, as a couple, is equally important. Make taking the time for a date a habit and a priority from the beginning. Even if it is only for a cup of coffee… it time away from house, from the list of things to do, and from interruptions. It is time for just the two of you to remember that you are attractive, interesting, adults who genuinely enjoy each other. Making a date a regular occurrence helps to solidify it as a habit that becomes a priority for years to come.
Spoil Each Other
It is a great example for you children to see that you put your partner first. Marriage takes work but it is overwhelmingly worth it. Your children should see that you actively put effort into keeping your marriage loving and strong. Your partner should come first. Every once in a while do something to spoil your partner instead of your kids. Your children will see that you value your partner and they will benefit from the security of a happy home.
No one wins the game of “who is working harder.” Ever! Being a mom is hard. Being a dad is hard. Working at home is hard. Working in an office is hard. Every position comes with its own frustrations and challenges. The important aspect to remember is that you are both on the same team; each one contributing their unique strengths, insights, and humor to make a stronger family. If you stop competing and focus on acknowledging and complimenting each other, then your jobs will feel easier and your relationship stronger. Remember to smile, hug, laugh, and cheer each other on… you really are better together!
Snuggle, Kiss, Cuddle
Yes, snuggling, kissing, and cuddling should all be a part of relationships after kids. You are a couple and affection helps you remind each other how important and special you are. Hold hands when you are walking, give a kiss as you pass in the hallway, and dance with each other in the kitchen while dinner is cooking. It is healthy and reassuring for kids to know that their parents love each other and it is a wonderful role model for what they should look for in their own partner in years to come.
Relationships take work and relationships after kids take even more. Do not forget who you are as a couple and take the time to compliment and encourage each other. Your children will not suffer from time that you dedicate to your partner. In fact, they will benefit from the example that you set as a strong, loving, and encouraging couple.
If you feel like your relationship after kids is suffering and you are not sure how to get back to being a strong couple, know that you are not alone. We can help!
Carolyn Riviere-Placzek, LMFT, RPT, and her amazing team at Collaborate Counseling, are here to help you and your parent find a balance between your relationship as a happy couple and your dedication to your family. To learn more or schedule an appointment online or give us a call at 720-386-5131.