Having a baby’s hard and often more likely to make couples drift apart than come together. But it IS normal and it does get better. In the meantime, Amy Ransom brings you a few things to help you through the darker days.
Lower your expectations and let stuff go.
Everything is magnified by the pressures of parenthood. Lack of sleep, lack of time and lack of communication all take their toll on your relationship. Now is not the time to expect great things of your relationship. Getting through the day is good enough. It’s certainly not the time to compare yourselves to other couples (who may be telling fibs anyway). It’s hard, but if you can let stuff go, you’re more likely to weather the storm together and stay connected.
Turn off the TV. Put your phones away.
You’re not alone if at the end of the day ALL you want to do is pass out in front of the TV. But every now and again, switch it off. Put your phones away. And ask each other, ‘How are you?’ Lack of communication is one of the things that most couples struggle with, once they become parents.
Plan a ‘date night.’
If you cringe when you hear the words, ‘Date Night,’ don’t worry. So do I. What do you mean, ‘Date Night?’ We have several million children between us. And we scream things at each other like, ‘WHY HAVEN’T YOU REPLACED THE TOILET ROLL?’ or, if we’re feeling particularly romantic, ‘I DON’T CARE WHAT THEY HAVE FOR LUNCH. JUST MAKE SOMETHING. I’M TRYING TO HAVE A POO.’ But actually? Getting a babysitter and leaving the house together is liberating and you’ll probably surprise yourself with how much fun (and booze) you have.
It’s really easy when you’re knackered to sling snarky comments at one another. But, every now and again, try and remember something you like about each other. And say it out loud.