Having a baby is a big life change. You can no longer go on vacation on a whim, stay out as late you want, or even sleep through the night. You now have something that is completely dependent on you for survival. It’s a stressful time learning to be parents and no one can fully prepare you for it. In fact, the birth of a child leads to marital dissatisfaction, with thirteen percent of new parents filing for divorce within the first five years after the birth of a child. Here are some ways to keep your relationship healthy after the baby arrives.
Commit to Date Nights
Yes, having a regular date night will be a lot more difficult with kids, and especially with a newborn. However, it’s important to spend quality time together having adult fun—with no diapers or cartoons in sight. Hire a sitter or ask a friend or family member to watch your baby for a few hours while you go to a nice dinner, movie, or even just a walk in the park. You may not be able to have a weekly date night, but even once a month will help keep you bonded.
Take Time Alone
Just as it’s important to have time together, it’s equally important for new parents to have time to themselves. This is particularly important for new moms, who tend to have less alone time. Make sure you each get some time every week to be alone and recharge. Get some exercise, read a book, or go to a movie alone. If you can, try pursuing hobbies you enjoyed before baby to help you both maintain your sense of self.
Reach out to friends and family for support during this time. If your life becomes too consumed with the baby and each other, it can feel stifling. Seek support from friends and family, talk to a counselor or therapist, or join a new parents group.