Having a baby becomes a challenge for many couples. There’s always the dilemma they can’t figure out: a child’s well-being or the harmony in a relationship. The transition from a two-member family to a three-member family is one of the deepest problems couples are facing. It takes time to find a place in this new world – and it’s measured in years, not weeks.
Creating a family involves the redistribution of resources (time, energy, and money), and for a while, the relationship fades into the background. But are kids to blame for the fact that the spark of love is fading, or is it that adults fail to protect it? Here are five ideas to make room for yourself and your relationship after the birth of your first baby.
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- Go out in the evening
Plan your time so that for every 6-8 weeks, there’s one free evening. Hire a nanny or ask friends or loved ones to take the child for the evening (let it be someone who won’t call every two hours asking to take the baby back as soon as possible). Go out all night to have fun, and don’t worry about getting home faster. It will give you a feeling of relaxedness and remind you of what your life was like before. Children change your schedule, but this doesn’t mean that your whole life should be subordinate to it. Regularly go out to feel open to the world and get in touch with the experience of freedom and the opportunities it gives.
- Ask for help
If you don’t live near your parents (or they can’t or don’t want to help you out), you should join with other families. It can be neighbors, friends, or colleagues who can look after your baby, and you’ll help them in return. Avoid isolation most young parents risk ending up in, share your concerns with others, and create a system of mutual support. It will free you from the feeling that all responsibility for the baby rests entirely on your shoulders. The support system will also give you the opportunity to spend time with each other.
- Make the cooking enjoyable
No need to sacrifice the culinary joys you had before you became parents. Don’t turn cooking into a routine. Cook quickly and with pleasure. Eat at home or together, but cook as simple, fast, and healthy as possible.
- Find some time only for yourself
Make sure that each of the members of your couple has time for themselves and for privacy in one form or another. Allow yourself not to feel guilty for doing something only for yourself. Each person needs time alone to feel their integrity. And this is an important condition for keeping the relationship going.
- Break the boredom of everyday life, plan time for your couple
Making a plan is what’s most important here. A clear plan creates freedom. This is especially important when the first baby is born. You need to get used to this idea because it most likely differs noticeably from what you’re used to thinking. Make sure you two have time for yourself, which you spend without a child. Break your usual parenting schedule and plan time for two.
- Schedule in advance. Look forward to what you have to do, fantasize about it. Anticipation is important because it connects us with our imagination.
- When you finally leave home for this rare evening date, don’t waste time talking about the baby.
- Plan together. The distribution of roles helps many couples: one is responsible for the adult part of the plan (comes up with evening activities, plans a vacation, books tickets, and so on), and the other deals with the baby’s needs (finds a nanny, packs bags to send the baby to grandparents, etc.). One partner takes care of the family as a whole, and the other focuses on the interests of the couple. Remember how much you need each other, and practice gratitude for the opportunity to complement each other. Be careful not to blame your partner for not doing the same important things as you.