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How to Reconnect After Baby

How to Reconnect After Baby : 10 Things to Try

How to Reconnect After Baby | If you are a parent, you understand the heavy impact that it has on your alone time. Not to mention, your body (mommas), your sleep and unfortunately, at times, your relationship. The beauty that comes with being a parent is gratifying, but it also comes with a slew of sacrifices that you may not have prepared yourselves for. If after you have a baby and your relationship isn't an Instagram story board, YOU ARE NORMAL, it is ok! Being a modern parent is challenging with endless pressures and to-do's. The responsibilities are relentless and it takes a toll on everything, including your once tight connection. No matter how much you miss your partner, you may find yourselves so exhausted that you don't have the space or energy to connect. Especially during COVID, when work from home, loss of outlets and limited childcare makes you feel robotic 90% of the day. The mothers I speak to in my practice say they feel like they are just floating by, bombarded by the endless responsibilities. They're constantly stressed out. (PSSsst... I can attest to this, as I have had moments that seem unbearable as a working from home momma, too). Many moms that I support, crave intimacy with their partners, but don't know how to balance it all. Unfortunately, self care and intimacy are last on the totem pole and years may fly by leaving you pondering, "What happened to us?"  I remember the toll pregnancy and childbirth took on my body. How much it changed everything I ever knew and felt. I remember being so exhausted that I could barely think straight. For the first 22 months, my only purpose was to produce enough milk for my 4 lb premie to survive. (No pressure, right?) I would barely have enough energy to bathe sometimes, let alone connect with my husband, or check in with myself!  People say having a baby is hard, but... my experience, felt really hardEven after I went back to work and my body started to heal, I still remember being so disconnected from everything I once knew. I was trying so hard to morph back into my old life and I was failing at everything I attempted to do. Mom guilt consumed me most days and I remember constantly feeling alone, even with my partner by my side. Although I was lucky enough to have his support in the day-to-day juggling act, we couldn't help but admit to each other that this new beautiful addition to our family was indeed coming between us. Even after our baby turned two-years-old, we still find ourselves struggling with having five minutes of uninterrupted time to just talk. All of our attention is generally reserved for our toddler and despite loving her with all of our hearts, it's tough on our relationship sometimes! It's important to remember that the connection in all of our relationships have seasons that move in and out of challenges and disconnect. This isn't anyone's fault per say, but it is our responsibilities as partners to find the energy to prioritize our relationship and revive it again. So, if you're struggling with keeping it all together and not having the tools to revive your relationship, take a look at some of these tips  to reconnect after baby. We got you! Here are 10 things you can try to reconnect after baby:
  • Ask for Help

    • Practice trusting each other as a team and relying on one another for support. Especially when you feel like you are falling apart. This is will help the two of you feel reconnected as you settle into your new roles of partnership. Momma, if you feel isolate or depressed, seek support with a therapist and/or doctor.
  • Prioritize Self Care

    • It's something we hear regularly, yet forget to actively do. If you allow for 30 minutes to an hour every day to do something you want to do verses something you have to do, it'll make a huge difference with replenishing your tank. When you have more energy in your tank, you have more energy to connect with each other intentionally. Self care is doing anything that makes you feel refreshed and de-stressed.
  • Say "Thank you" and "I'm sorry" as often as appropriate

    • Now more than ever, you may not be "acting yourselves" and stress and exhaustion may subconsciously take over. Maybe you find yourself bickering more often and in the day-to-day moments, it's important to reset by validating each other's feelings. A simple "I'm sorry I bite your head off earlier," can clean the slate to avoid a build up of resentment. A simple, "thank you for breastfeeding our daughter," or "thank you for cleaning the bathroom," can really go a long way in feeling seen. 
  • Get back into regular date nights

    • If this seems impossible, ask yourselves what things need to happen to make this possible? Even if it is once per month. Do you need to hire help? Do you need to reserve energy for after baby goes to bed? Do you need to take advantage of a nice lunch break when the baby is taking a nap? Whatever it is, it doesn't have to look like it used to. It just has to be intentional.
  • Set Boundaries

    • Create house rules such as, "no TV on Tuesday nights," or "no phones in bed." These can help the two of you commit to little adjustments that help inspire connection in the times you both usually default to robotic mode. It's also important to communicate about co-sleeping and what you both feel is appropriate for your family and relationship. What are the pros and cons of co-sleeping with a baby/toddler? What are the benefits of having your room sacred to the two of you?
  • Don't try to do it all

    • Resentment will grow if one of you perceives you have to do it all. You now have a little baby to keep alive, so give yourselves some grace! Every day, set a list of to-do's, as well as a list of to-wants and let some to-do's fall through the cracks. Give yourselves permission to not be perfect, to not have everything in order. Fun fact: Your life will never be in order ever again! :P
  • Give Compliments

    • Don't forget to verbally express how attractive you find each other; how grateful you are of their abilities; how valuable they are to your family functioning. Compliments are so helpful with reviving the connection and helping the two of you feel appreciated. Our "You Make Everything Better Box" is filled with inspiration to help guide you both in the loving direction.
  • Communicate

    • Don't stop talking to each other! This is often a common couples mistake. Even if moments feel restricting, plan times throughout the day that you and your partner are available to discuss needs, to-do's, feelings. Making this time intentionally set in the calendar can help promote connectivity throughout the day as you feel as though you have an outlet for you and your partner to be on the same page.
  • Accept the Changes

    • Accept the losses of your pre-baby life. It is ok. It doesn't make you a bad parent. Grief is part of parenthood. You sacrifice a lot and your life changes and the only way to fully accept and embrace your new normal is to accept it. By accepting the changes of your new life, your new body, your new dynamic and role, you better adapt to accepting each other in the tough moments to come.
  • Ease into Intimacy Again

    • Physically intimacy can take some couples a long time to get back into. This is ok! When the moment feels appropriate, be sure to communicate about what you are willing to explore and what you're not willing to explore. Take it slow and focus on other areas of intimacy, rather than focusing on the act of sex itself. For new mommas, its advised to explore pelvic floor experts during your journey of healing, as being reacquainted with your vagina and pelvic floor muscles may take some time. If any form of sex takes a while to ease into, be sure to focus on affection and other types of intimacy to reconnect.
  How to Reconnect After Baby |  Are you a parent?  What did you do to help you and your parent reconnect?

5 Tips to Sustaining Romance as Parents

5 Tips to Sustaining Romance as Parents : What you can do to stay connected with your partner.

Why is sustaining romance as parents so important? Well, I can imagine it's because your relationship has now been lovingly invaded by little people who rely on you for their well-being, which makes romance and intimacy sometimes nearly impossible. Aron and I do not have children. We do not personally understand what it is like to have to commit ourselves to raising children together, as well as balancing our relationship with each other. Because of this, I asked my dearest friend Holly, to share her experiences with balancing the two most important relationships and roles in her life. From my perspective, Holly and her husband seem to have a healthy balance of quality time together, as well as family time and even after 10 plus years together, they still mange a successful friendship! (I actually introduced her and her husband our senior year of high school and they have been together ever since! Go me!) To help us better understand how to balance and sustain romance as parents, we asked Holly to share her expertise. Holly is a 30-year-old middle school teacher and parent of a 3-year-old girl. She is an extremely talented writer and often gets featured in articles and blogs. According to Holly, here are 5 tips to sustaining romance as a parent: It’s a pretty universal idea that parents are too exhausted for romance, and often for sex. It is almost ironic how a shared experience as special as raising a baby can actually pull couples apart, but it is possible.  It is necessary to connect romantically with your partner after the initial insanity of the first few weeks (or months, however long you need) postpartum. The first time I had sex with my husband after having our daughter was such a relief. I had been so caught up in breastfeeding, diaper changing, family visiting, plus hang ups about my post baby body: hormone induced acne, fluctuating breast size, stretch marks and on and on. So when he gave me the eye, long past the recommended six weeks, it was a return to at least one normal part of my life from before becoming a mom. Something I knew how to do right. Something comforting that made me feel like myself. It also gave me some reassurance that I was still more than a milk cow! Don’t be fooled, I am not saying the sex was or is the same. Neither is the time we spend together as a couple. Sometimes our relationship is completely different than it used to be, but we find our way back.

Here are some of our tips to sustaining romance as parents:

1. Find Acceptance & Appreciation You have to accept that your relationship has changed, but that doesn't always mean for the bad, it's just different. By accepting the limited time you will have your partner all to yourself is one of the biggest challenges of having kids. Conversations are constantly interrupted and therefore often limited to the essential “how do we keep them sheltered and fed this week?” At least until after 8PM. Kids don’t sleep when they need to, or when we need them to. They also wake up unexpectedly. By accepting this, you won't have to fight change as much and you can start appreciating the times you do get together without taking them for granted. 2. Be Creative Because [children's schedules] are unpredictable, you have to be creative! This might mean quickies during nap time or in the morning before they wake up! sustaining romance as parents It may even mean utilizing The Modern Love Box for some inspiration!  3. Use Humor I’ve found that humor works well to limit the frustration and help keep things in perspective, after all, we did choose this, right? Try to laugh often and if sex isn't an outcome, try to just enjoy being playful instead.  4. Reframe "Quality Time" with Your Partner The kids always, rightly, come first. They take up literally every second of time when they are awake. Plus, there is work, housekeeping, exercise, bills and the rest of the endless list adulting requires. So, how do you find time to spend with your partner? Easy shared time, like a show you watch together, going on a run as a couple, playing a videogame together, these are not fancy, lavish dates that require immense planning, a babysitter, or money. They are simple and relaxing ways to spend a little bit of time sans kids. 5. Prioritize Date Nights Often.. Without the Kids Dates are pretty important. We like to revisit a lot of the things we used to do when we were dating without our daughter. We went back to an old, funky movie theater we’d gone to on our first date; we go to small concerts; we paddle board at Horsetooth Reservoir where we’d go in the summer during college. These nostalgic dates serve as a great reminder that we like each other before we were parents, and we can still have interesting and fulfilling lives! It isn’t ever going to feel like you’re newly dating, well rested, and the world is your oyster again. At least not until the kids are in college and you retire! But you can stay connected with laughter, patience, reminiscing, and creativity!   Parents may benefit from The Modern Love Box more than couples without children, simply due to your limited time and schedules. Curious about engaging experiences delivered straight to your door? Start your subscription today and start prioritizing connection in a fun, unique way! The Modern Love Box may offer additional tips to sustain the romance as parents.
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