Does the thought of a romantic encounter with your partner post kids bring you out in a cold sweat and send you running for the hills? When you have congealed vomit on your left shoulder, a wonky breastpad working it's way southwards, and eye bags the size of your sofa, the last thing you are probably contemplating is romance!
However, with Valentine's on the horizon, here at Burble Baby we thought we would play cupid, sound the bugles, and provide you with a few little romantic pointers to keep the burning flame of luurve alive beyond the 14th. Because after all, parents deserve some lovin' too!
Research by Dr. John Gottman shows that small actions practiced daily are the biggest contributor for keeping romance, intimacy, and connection alive during the transition to parenthood. Going the extra mile means everything with a new baby in the mix.
As life with a little one begins, parents often find themselves sleep deprived, overwhelmed with a chore list of to-do’s and the feeling that there’s never enough time in the day to do it all.
New parents often believe that in order to meet the demanding needs of the baby, they have to sacrifice the needs of the relationship. There is a sense that “I can either be close to my spouse or my baby, but I can’t do both.” This leads to resentment and isolation.
However, the good news is that taking a few minutes each day to devote to one another can benefit a couple's relationship post baby without breaking the bond with your child. Practicing simple gestures to preserve the relationship makes for a more manageable transition to parenthood and will help you and your family thrive.
So how do you maintain emotional closeness with your partner post kids? Here are 5 simple steps you and your partner can adopt:
1. Take 5 minutes to connect with each other every day
It’s easy to lose track of what’s going on in your partner’s world outside of the home, when your child is born. Conversations and attention tend to revolve around your children and not your partner. Take at least five minutes each day to ask them about their day and have them ask about yours. Make a habit of doing this at a time when you can give each other your undivided attention. Really listen without judgment when your partner is talking, and try to put yourself in their shoes. You’ll be surprised at how a little empathy can go along way in keeping you both connected. Making a habit of connecting with your partner on a regular basis can actually lessen the load and make the journey of being a parent much more enjoyable. Not only that, but your children are exposed to parents who are affectionate with each other, happy to be together and very much in love from a young age. This ensures that they have a good foundation and a model to build their own relationships in the future.
2. Give your partner some time off
While everyone loves roses and breakfast in bed, your lifestyle after the baby transforms into a new shape. Surprise each other by giving each other the chance to soak in the tub, sleep in, or doing something they love. A more rested and refreshed partner is more receptive to adult conversation and romance.
3. Show your affection just because...
Remember when you used to call each other just to say, “hi?” That doesn’t need to stop. Nor do the love notes or text messages or showing your love, just because. Experiment with doing something loving for your partner once a week. This could be leaving a love note on the bathroom mirror or hiding a favourite treat in their coat pocket. These acts of love and kindness don’t take a lot of effort or time, but they do show your partner you love and you care.
4. Subtle physical contact
Act like you just started dating again. Hold hands, give each other a hug when you leave or return home from work. The immediate benefit is the connection and simplistic intimacy in subtle physical contact. The secondary benefit is that your baby will grow and develop in an environment where he's comfortable to demonstrate his emotions. If he sees his parents hold hands or give each other a hug hello and goodbye, he'll be comfortable expressing his emotions too.
5. Always keep dating
By setting a date to spend some quality time with your partner, you’re instilling a habit, which will have great benefits for both you, your partner and your child. In the early days, or if you can’t leave your children with a sitter, plan for a special dinner once a week after they go to bed. Set a beautiful table, and take turns cooking for each other or together.
Alternatively, A Year Of Dates is the perfect fun tool to provide all the date night inspo for you and your partner with a tremendous selection of date night ideas to make sure you spend quality time together. The luxury gift box contains 52 envelopes containing date night ideas to be completed each week, plus 5 blank cards for your ideas. Most ideas can be completed at home but some do involve leaving the house!
Eventually, when you’re able to leave your child with a sitter for a couple hours, your date can evolve into an actual night out of perhaps dinner or a movie. If you're stuck for a babysitter don't let that hold you back! Bubble is an amazing new service that helps you book a trusted babysitter in your area. The app is simple to download on either Android or I Phone and easily helps you find reliable, local babysitters ready to help you reclaim your social life! All babysitters are verified, vetted, insured, tracked and reviewed to give you peace of mind whilst you enjoy some quality together time. The great thing about this app is that it also allows you to connect with your friends and see which babysitters they use and recommend. Bubble really does provide a flexible, fabulous service for parents who do not have a family support group on their doorstep!
So, most of us agree that parenthood is tough, especially in the beginning! But, don’t forget how important it is to spend time together, lift each other up, show you care, and nurture the relationship with your partner by practicing the golden rule of doing the small things often. If you’re feeling overwhelmed, remember that the best gift you can give your baby is a strong relationship between the two of you xx
Fancy a lovely Valentine's Treat? Check out our competition on Instagram To Win the Perfect Parenting Date Night Kit! You provide your partner, we'll treat you to a fun and romantic Box of Dates, A £30 Bubblebaby Sitting Voucher and the most glamorous of accessories with this JEM + BEA Mama Leopard Pouch. L.O.V.E is in the air!!
P.S. Use code LOVE for 15% off our lovely Valentine's gift treats