We all know we are in for some major changes when we have children, feeding them in the middle of the night, diapers and toys everywhere, potty training.
What’s harder to imagine, I think, is how your relationship with your husband will change once those little ones arrive. How could it not change? Along with sleep deprivation, and a whole new person, or people, to care for, you’re both becoming different people. You’re growing and becoming a mama, while some of your other roles in life may fall the side for a while. Your husband is learning how to be a dad.
The two of you are adding to the foundation you started building when you fell in love, but so many new factors come into the picture when you have kids, and it can be difficult to maintain the strong bond that grew when it was just the two of you.
Every healthy thing needs nurturing and care to flourish. And while we are nurturing our kids, it’s important to nurture our relationships with our husbands and stay connected to each other despite all the new challenges thrown our way.
Don’t lose that love and connection and support for each other. You’re emerging on a new path together. Keep building each other up. It’s about making each other feel loved and special.
Here are 5 simple ways to help you stay connected to your husband after you have kids.
1 – Create Daily Rituals
I think this one is so important, personally because it’s a time for you to stay connected every day. For my husband and I, this is often just a delicious cup of coffee or tea in the morning. But really there is no just about it because it’s quiet and special. Sometimes I make it for him, sometimes he makes it for me. Before we are both off into our busy days, before all our brain power and energy are all used up and it’s bedtime, we enjoy a few moments in the morning together, just the two of us.
2 – Send Each Other Messages of Love
Remember when you were dating and you emailed or texted cute messages back and forth when you made a point to say, “Hey I’m thinking of you. Can’t wait to see you tonight. Love you!” Oh, how important those messages still are, maybe even more so when you are both struggling through the day because the baby was up all night with an ear infection, or all the chores are piling up around you, or you’re questioning whether you’ll ever feel like a good parent.
Both spouses need this encouragement, because growing into the best parent you can be is difficult and amazing and exhausting all at the same time, and we all need to feel like we are still special to that person we fell in love with. Honestly, it can be the tiniest thing to get you through the day.
3 – Ask Each Other for Help
My husband and I are both very independent people, but sheesh, as a mama, I need his help all the time, and even though he is the world’s best dad, he needs my help too. There are times when I’ve said, I just can’t make dinner one more night this week, please help me or bring takeout home, and he does.
He loves to help me, it makes him feel needed, it makes him feel good. In our house my husband does bedtime, yet there are nights when he’ll say to me, “I just can’t. I don’t have any patience left, can you put the kids to bed?” And I am happy to help, I can see he needs a break. It’s the two of us taking care of each other.
4 – Be Frivolous If You Can
Yes, we are lucky; we have wonderful supportive relatives who take care of our children, and we’ve found some stellar babysitters, but even during the years when we didn’t have a babysitter or our budget was tight, we made a priority to put the kids to bed early and have date night in. I shower and put on something cute, which makes me feel good. My husband picks out fun music and makes cocktails, which makes him feel good. We cook a special meal together, sometimes throw a movie into the mix, and we spend time with each other like we used to before kiddos.
5 – Shazzam Your Communication Skills
I think it’s safe to say, good, kind, patient communication skills help any relationship stay strong, yet through the exhaustion and worry of parenting these skills can easily get lost. When my husband and I make a point to be kind, to listen, to ask for what we need from each other directly, and exercise patience with each other, our connection is so much stronger.
Ask your husband about their day. Tell them they’re doing a great job. Say one kind word of encouragement or thanks every day, even if it’s about something as mundane as, “Thank you so much for doing the dishes.”
There are many times I question my parenting and my husband will say to me, “You are doing a great job.” Or he’ll text me on the way home from work, “Bringing dinner home! Love you!” Such simple words and acts of kindness, but they mean so much.
My husband is my love and best friend all rolled into one and staying connected to him while raising our kids keeps our relationship healthy, and it makes me feel like a stronger, better mama.