How to Reconnect After Baby : 10 Things to TryHow 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 hard. Even 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.
- 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
- 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.
- 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.