Bonding with Your Partner
Now that baby is here, you and your partner probably spend more time “bonding” over stinky diapers and spit up than over candlelit dinners or movie night. By the time one of you works all day outside the home, and the other cares for a newborn all day, neither of you has any energy left to make dinner, or do laundry or even take off their shoes, much less maintain a meaningful relationship with each other. Yes, this tiny person is and should be the center of your world, but it’s important to stay connected with your partner. So, how can you make it happen?
It’s the Little Things
If you try to schedule some elaborate evening out, there are a million and one things that can go wrong and derail even the best plans. Right now, it should be all about quality over quantity. A text here and there, even on a busy day, can keep the two of you connected. When you’re both home, a quick hug or a smile or just making eye contact can bring you together for a moment. A “thank you” can go a long way, too; you both have so much to do, and the act of showing your appreciation or knowing your partner appreciates your efforts is a huge relationship booster.
However, if you can manage to schedule a date, your baby is ready to be left with a trusted friend or family member after two weeks. By this time, your breast milk volume is steady and you can begin pumping.
Have real conversations when you get the chance. If your only communication revolves around whose turn it is to change a diaper or put the baby to bed, by the time your child goes to school, you may find that you don’t know each other as well as you once did. Ask about each other’s days, talk about current events or just catch up on what each of you has in mind for the future.
What About Intimacy?
Intercourse is likely still off the table, but there’s so much more to intimacy than simply “doing the deed.” Take the time to remind yourselves why you made this baby in the first place. You love each other! Kiss your partner and say those three little words before leaving for work, even if you’re leaking milk and holding an inconsolable baby.
While your spousal or significant other relationship is important, don’t forget about the other relationships in the house. Make sure you incorporate family bonding with your pets and siblings in the house.
In the evenings, if you manage to grab a little time to watch TV or a movie before bed, snuggle together, instead of sitting on your designated chair or sofa cushion. Invade each other’s space, have physical contact when you can, and remember that this phase in life is only for a little while.