In honor of the Bringing Baby Home workshop that I facilitated this past weekend here in South Florida (don’t fret if you missed it and are planning to have a baby, expecting or just recently became new parents…there will be another one coming soon so check www.couples-thrive.com for more details), I wanted to share some important points that we discussed that most parents tend fall pitfall to when kids arrive.
I think many of us desire to have a strong and healthy relationship with our spouse while also developing a healthy parenting relationship with our children. Unfortunately, many parents believe that this is an either/or situation. I am close to my partner OR my child. Research shows that this is not true. When parents have a good, satisfying relationship, their children have the foundation for positive emotional and social development. This means that both the couple’s relationship and the parent-child relationships thrive.
So how can you keep your relationship in tact after baby? Here’s a few tips to follow:
1. Daily check-ins
Don’t forget about your spouse at the end of the day. I know you’re tired and drained, but it’s important to stay involved and invested in your partner’s world. Make time for each other every night to debrief about the day and what’s up ahead.
2. Have a monthly date night.
Just as it’s important to spend quality time with your kids, it’s equally as important to spend quality time with your spouse. Otherwise, you have a tendency to drift apart. I know it’s hard to get out when kids arrive, but investing in a night off once a month is doable and CRUCIAL for a satisfying relationship.
3. Put the kids to bed at the same time every night.
There’s a great suggestion by baby whisperer Tracy Hogg. She says EASY street is the way to go when a new baby arrives. Eat, Activity, Sleep, YOU. Your “YOU” time is at night, once the kids go down. Adopt this strategy in your relationship because parents need their own space too.
4. Teach your children that mommy and daddy alone time is important and necessary.
You’re not neglecting your children; you’re modeling the importance of satisfactory and happy relationships, so leave that parenting guilt for the birds!