Having a child is a wonderful journey you go on together as parents, but having a child can also leave no quality time to yourselves as a couple. Raising a new baby and having all your attention on your new child can easily cause an imbalance in your relationship, or leave you feeling distanced or needing to reconnect.
As new parents, it’s essential that you also ensure time together so that you can find your confidence again as a couple. This is important if you feel that your intimate relationship has been put on the back burner due to your new parent status.
Relationships will always change after you have had a baby, and it’s something you can never plan for, as you will not know how these changes will take effect before the birth of your child. Changes or signs of struggle do not mean anything negative, though; it may simply mean extra time and focus on reconnecting and having more confidence with this new stage of your relationship as parents.
Signs of Struggle or Relationship Standstill After Having a Child
- You have no money to treat yourselves as a couple, as all your money has gone on to your new child and everything your child needs. This may mean you haven’t been able to indulge in anything as a couple.
- You have had no private time for intimate moments or sex
- Even if you’ve had time, you’ve had no energy for this due to the demands of a new baby
- You’re running into more conflict regarding household chores and baby responsibilities, due to there now being more pressure at home
- You have no couple time whatsoever
- You’ve had so little time even for yourself
- Your parenting techniques may differ, resulting in conflict
None of these signs mean doom and gloom, as much as it might feel like a struggle. If you’re looking to rebuild the confidence and balance in your relationship as a couple post-baby, then here are eight ways to do so.
1. Ask for Help With Childcare
Build a support network for helping take care of your child. This may have already happened naturally, such as grandparents, family members, or friends. You can then plan out an evening or two in which you can ask for babysitting duties so that you can spend quality time together as a couple, or even as a night off to yourself so that you can spend time reconnecting with yourself in order to better reconnect as a couple.
2. Don’t Put Too Much Pressure On It
You might begin to feel guilty if you’ve had limited relationship time, or maybe you feel like you’re not in the right physical condition for anything intimate, such as feeling as though you look dishevelled or messy. Don’t put pressure on yourselves as a couple and take the small moments as they come. You don’t have to get dressed up to be intimate, and if the mood strikes, go with the flow.
3. Build Your Own Self-Esteem as Individuals
Feeling confident and attractive can easily go out of the window for either parent when you’re dealing with a new baby. You may feel constantly dirty, worn-out, unwashed, exhausted, and not wanting to wear anything which isn’t tracksuit bottoms or something comfortable.
In order to rebuild your confidence as a couple, you need to first focus on yourselves. Think of ways to improve your own confidence and self-esteem, and there’s nothing wrong with being a little selfish on this count when everything has been about your new child lately.
You could indulge in a lavish beauty or spa treatment (either alone or as a couple), or you could book some time at the salon for both of you. If your lack of confidence surrounding your appearance is more physical, such as hair loss, then you could seek to rectify any issues by seeing how much a hair transplant costs. If it helps to make you feel happier, confident, and attractive, then this will be money well spent.
4. Plan Out Activities Which Don’t Cost Money
Being new parents may have put a significant dent in your bank account, but spending quality time together doesn’t have to cost money. Spend time thinking of ways you can have quality time together without spending a penny. This could be an at-home date night, for example, or making use of what you already have at home, like sharing drinks in the garden, watching a movie together, or taking a bubble bath.
Communication can easily be lost when you’re both tending to a new child. You expected chores to be done but didn’t actually ask, or your partner presumed you would do them. Communication is key to avoiding conflict and for better household maintenance. Sit down together to form a chore plan and speak openly and honestly about needs and wants. If one of you is spending all day looking after the baby, the other can fulfil household chores. Work as a team.
6. Get Advice
If your parenting techniques are differing or you’re arguing more about the raising of your child, there’s nothing wrong with seeking out helpful advice. Speak to those who have already done it — such as your parents or friends with children — or look online for resources and advice.
You can even speak to professionals in childcare for tips on raising a child and how you should be parenting as a couple, especially if this is your first child, and you are unsure.
7. Socialise With Other Parents
Taking your child to baby groups or other social groups with other new parents can help you to gain advice or view the relationship of others to put a new perspective on your own situation. Other parents may also have tips regarding how to reconnect as a couple after a new baby.
8. Plan Something Big
Even if it’s a long time from now, having something to look forward to can help you to have a more positive mentality. You could plan out a vacation (even if it’s two or three years down the line), which can be an intimate retreat for you both.