Advice on How to Make Room For Your Marriage
I spent much of my third trimester doing yoga and making lists of products that we may or may not have needed for Bodie. I read, pinned and talked about sleep and caring for the baby. I didn't spend a minute researching about marriage. Of all the stressors, none caught me quite as off guard as redefining the rhythm between my husband and me.
In speaking to other women, I got relief in knowing this didn't make us failures as partners but it is a very real and very seldom talked about phase. I've compiled some of the ideas that friends and family offered us and projects that Dan and I have created as part of our commitment to stay connected. However, tips aside, the best advice I've read (here) is to be lenient on each other - it's a crazy, new time.
1. Schedule date nights - even, date lunches - and stick to it.
2. Check in during the day. Texts go a long way to show that the other is still a priority.
3. Watch or read the news together in the morning. The current political climate is great fodder for chat.
4. Commit to a system for taking turns waking up with the baby. We've found this diffuses any resentment.
5. Pick the one or two things each of you need to feel whole - i.e. working out, a nap, a regular outing with friends - and support each other to fit that in.
6. Go on a double date - you'll both be "on" in a different way.
7. Listen to music when you do household chores together. Strangely, it does suddenly make dishes and laundry romantic.
8. Hold hands and kiss when you're just watching the baby play. Likely, there won't be a ton of moments you're just sitting around together but there is a power of touch.
9. Fake it until you make it. If you're not interested in how your partner's meeting went or what mini milestone your partner witnessed your child conquering, don't scoff. We're working on even trying to ask at least one follow up question.
10. Go to bed together when possible. Even if Dan stays up to get work done in bed, the act of brushing our teeth side by side and getting under the covers after another day feels intimate.