How to Connect with Your Partner After Kids
It’s time for our June Mom Talk Tuesday, and I’m so excited to share my perspective on how Neil and I have learned to connect with each other after having Lincoln. Everyone has their own experience with this topic – good, bad, easy, hard, whatever! Whether you want to believe it or not, having a child changes literally everything in your life. And that includes your relationship with your partner.
Up until we had Lincoln, it felt like every transition in our life was really smooth. When we moved in together, it felt effortless and natural. When we moved to Charlotte, it was tough for me to be away from my family, but we got closer because of it. When we got married, things only got better. So, when we found out we were expecting Lincoln, I had no doubt in my mind that we would be just fine.
How to Connect with Your Partner After Kids
Well, I’ll start off my saying Neil and I are still together and happily married. However, after we had Lincoln, things were HARD AF. If you read my post about my first two years of motherhood, you know how hard things really were for me. With post-partum depression and anxiety, I was not pleasant to be around. Obviously, I couldn’t help it, but guess who I took all of my anxieties out on? My very sweet, patient, and kind husband. My anxiety definitely expresses itself as anger, so I was quick to lose my temper. Everything that went wrong was Neil’s fault (it totally wasn’t), and I just couldn’t see that in the moment. Needless to say, the first year was really rough until I finally went to the doctor and got the help I needed.
Put in the Work
The first year was difficult because we weren’t ourselves. Honestly, I divide Lincoln’s life that way – the first year and everything after that. Because after the first 12-18 months, I finally started feeling like myself again. Mentally and emotionally, we were worn out! And while most of this was exacerbated by my post-partum everything, Neil was also adjusting to fatherhood. Throughout the whole year (and still now), he was so supportive and helpful during my struggles.
So, it has taken some time and a lot of work for us to reconnect and get back into our happy groove of marriage. When everything revolves around your child, you have to make an effort to connect outside of that world. Get back to why you decided to spend your lives together in the first place! How do you even begin to do this?
Spend Quality Time Together
Duh. Spend time together. Not in front of the TV or holding your phones. Actually look at each other in the eyes and have a conversation that doesn’t revolve around your child(ren). Talk about your day at work or your plans for the weekend. It’s really hard to disconnect in this world, and you really have to make a plan to cut the distractions.
That’s not to say that laying on the couch together and watching Netflix isn’t beneficial either. Because we totally do that, too. Honestly, why even get married if you can’t sit and watch Netflix and eat ice cream together without judgement? My point is – make sure you have a solid 30 minutes every day of connecting one-on-one.
Make it Nice
If you watch RHONY, you know what I’m talking about. If not, please ignore these first few sentences. Anyways, take the time to plan something for your partner. Go all out for their birthday or another occasion. Or just because. For example, Neil surprised me with a trip to Charleston for our 5th wedding anniversary. And I took Neil to an awesome adventure date for his birthday! Or let them know you notice and love them. Tell them they look hot or pretty. Whatever it is, make your person feel special and loved. A simple compliment really does go a long way to making someone feel good.
For me personally, my love language is definitely affirmations and quality time. So, Neil knows that I need to hear how much he loves me! Or as I like to say, how obsessed he is with me (joking!). For Neil, he appreciates acts of service, so I do my best to show him that he is cared for. It can be as simple as unloading the dishwasher or packing his lunch for work. It doesn’t have to be grand, but it needs to show love!
Connect with the Mom Talk Bloggers
Make sure to connect with the other Mom Talk Bloggers this month! There are some amazing ladies here sharing their perspective on how they connect with their partners after kids. Make sure to check them out and follow along!