Marriage After Baby: How To Keep The Spark
Marriage after baby comes with a whole new realm of challenges. Everyone is tired, you have new responsibilities and expectations. Gone are the days of spontaneity; last minute road trips, vacations, date nights... all of the above take a lot of planning when there are kids involved, especially babies and toddlers.
However adding a baby to our little family has been the best thing for us, I have learned to love and appreciate my husband on a whole new level. He is not only my husband but he is the father of my child, and together it is our responsibility to shape this little one into the woman she will one day be. Our love has grown deeper and our partnership stronger through our mutual love for Scarlett, whom together we brought into this world. Part his, part mine, and oh so perfect is she.
I am by no means an expert because God knows Adam and I have had our challenges since becoming parents. Those postpartum hormones (the poor guy), little to no physical contact at night while we were co-sleeping, sleepless nights with a sleep regressed baby, the list goes on. The important thing is we worked through it all and came out stronger for it, but as time went on I think we both learned how important our relationship is not only to our individual happiness but to the happiness of little Scarlett, too.
Here are some of the things that I feel keep our 'spark' alive;
- Dates: I will be the first to admit, Adam and I suck at this. Having no family around makes it very difficult to go on a lot of dates. At first it was because we didn't trust anyone, then it was that Scarlett was scared of everyone, regardless of what the reason was, we made excuses to stay home with our little baby. I don't have any regrets, but I know things will be different next time. Every time we go on a good date (which has only been a few times in the past two years) I can feel that our relationship is rejuvenated, we reconnect and remember who we were before Scarlett. Another idea, if you don't have family or a trusted babysitter is to do a date night in. Here is an idea of one I put together for us on Valentine's day.
- Having Common Interests: Adam and I like to get into TV shows together, it gives us something to do together in the evenings after Scarlett is in bed. Our favorites are Netflix ones where we can binge watch them over a glass (or two) of wine. Another thing we are both really interested in is Photography, I have to give Adam half of the credit for my photography skills, without his love of researching every nit picky little thing I wouldn't be where I am today! I don't know that he's actually into it as much as I am, but I love him for being so supportive about it all.
- Supporting One Another: We may have some common interests but we couldn't be more different. Since I started racing, Adam has been at the finish line any time he can. I know he doesn't really get my love for the sport but he supports me regardless and nothing makes me happier than seeing him and Scarlett waiting for me to cross the finish line. Adam started going to the gym during his lunch hour, he previously came home to visit with Scarlett and I. I obviously miss this time with him, but I know how important the gym is to his well being and I am happy to miss out on the time together for him to better himself, even if it makes for some long days!
- Reminiscing: I know it sounds silly, but reminiscing on the old days before baby is helpful for us. We recently recreated our first date (kind of ) for our third wedding anniversary. I would absolutely love to go back to Vegas together also and reminisce our wedding week. Although we have yet to do it, I think watching our wedding video would bring back a lot of emotions and memories... I think I'm going to put that one on the to do list for a date night. I hate watching myself on video though, so it may be a bit awkward...
As I said before, I am no expert on the subject of marriage. We have had our ups and downs and a lot of uncharted territory since welcoming a new member to our family, but with good communication and willingness to work through our differences we are figuring it all out. I definitely think that things are better now that we are getting sleep at night and with the prospect of more date nights in our future we are re-connecting as the couple we were before baby. We are still a work in progress though, like any couple :)
How do you keep the marriage 'spark' alive after baby? Do you and your significant other do regular date nights? Any ideas for some date nights in?