Staying Connected as Partners and Parents

When I was pregnant with Sophia, me and my husband took a parenting class.  We learned all the essential skills that we needed in order to not break the baby; proper swaddling, proper sterilization, techniques to help baby sleep, eat, and play.

The very last day of the class focused on our relationship as a couple. We talked about what we loved about the other person, and about the qualities in our mate that would make them a good parent. We learned techniques to support each other through the changes that were coming our way, and at the end of the class we signed a contract to each other that even as we changed from a blissful couple to a family of three, we would remember that before we were parents, we were partners, we were lovers, and we were friends.  The contract made us promise that we would make alone time for each other as a couple, even amidst the chaos of parenthood.
At the time I thought how silly that was, of course I would remember all that.  We, as a couple,  had never been more happy and in love, we had been married less than two years, and soon we would be welcoming our first child, a living breathing symbol of the love we shared.  How could I possibly forget?

And then I had the baby.

And it turned out that she was less a living breathing symbol of love, and more a screaming colicky poop filled miracle.  In the months after she was born, we were in a daze, it was alternately wonderful, and beautiful, and exhausting and terrifying.  Me and my husband became true partners, and our bond grew and strengthened as we worked together to meet the challenges new parenthood can bring.  As I watched my amazing husband become an amazing father, I came to love him in new ways.   He was my rock.
As the days after her birth turned into weeks, we were so busy.   Between the baby, a big unexpected renovation on our home, and the demands of his work, we hardly knew if we were coming or going.  
Before we knew it 6 months had flown by, and in that time we hadn't spent a single evening alone.
Our first "date night" we went out for dinner.  I was so worried about leaving my baby that I spent half the night staring at my phone, certain that it was going to ring any second, alerting me to some catastrophe.  As the night wore on, and I relaxed, I started having fun.  I hadn't even realized how much I had missed just being with my husband.
That was the first of many more "dates".
Today, we have three kids and live an hour away from our babysitters, so it can be tricky to find time just for us, but we do our best.  We know how important it is to stay connected as a couple, and we make our time a priority.  We get creative and we steal time where we can, we may not always be able to go out for a gourmet meal or great concert, but we make the most of what we can do.

Tips for Staying Connected 

"Steal" moments from every day - Whether its holding hands and talking as the kids run ahead on a walk, or sitting and enjoying a coffee at the park, seize a few quiet moments with your spouse whenever you can.

Turn off the TV and do something fun once the kids are in bed, play a game, start a project together, or even just sit and talk, make a point of actively connecting 

Go on a date - call grandma or hire a sitter, make reservations and circle the day on your calendar.  Even if you can only manage to get away once a month, make sure you do it.

Don`t let your budget stop you.  You don`t need to spend a small fortune, a walk, a picnic packed from home, or even a night in watching movies (sans kids) can be just as romantic as a fancy dinner out

Don`t feel guilty for leaving the kids. This is always the hardest for me. Keep in mind that you and your partner are the foundation for your family, and the best thing you can do for your family is keep that foundation strong.


What are your tips for staying connected with your partner?


1 comment:

  1. We have 3 kids, too, so we know what you mean! We do a lot of the things you listed above. I guess would be to remember that doing the "little things" for each other speaks volumes about how you feel about each other. For example, if you go to the store to get things you need for the house, and surprising them with their favourite treat, or sending a cute text message to let them know that you still care.

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