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It’s no lie that having a baby is a BIG change. Even if you’ve gone through it multiple times before, there’s still this big shift that every family goes through as they adjust to becoming a family of three or four or even five or more. I think every couple goes into parenthood with the plan to stay focused on their marriage regardless of having a baby but it’s so much easier to say you’re going to have date night once a week than it is to actually execute that plan. For us, we’re 3,000 miles away from all friends and family and honestly, I just don’t trust anyone with our child. Not to mention I really love spending time together as a family. So that makes it very challenging to find alone time just the two of us. And I know a lot of parents experience this constantly in their own lives. Alone time just. Doesn’t. Happen. And while that’s totally normal, it also totally sucks sometimes.
Like many couples, this year Zack and I are going to be trying extra hard to put more of a focus on our marriage again. Coming from a divorced household, it’s so important to me to always be putting our marriage first and giving it the love and attention it needs to stay strong. I’m a firm believer that families need a strong foundation in order to thrive and that foundation ultimately comes from myself and Zack. So we look for even the smallest opportunities in our everyday life to connect with one another. Sometimes it’s an extra kiss before he leaves for work in the morning. A long embrace after a day apart. A simple thank you for doing xyz. A movie night after the little one goes to bed. There are so many ways no matter how big or small to connect with your spouse on a daily basis and it’s so important to take a step back and look for those moments in your everyday life. With Valentine’s Day right around the corner, here are 9 easy ways to reconnect with your spouse!
Have An At-Home Game/Movie Night
There’s no shame in putting the little ones to bed a little earlier to have some extra one-on-one time with your spouse. We just recently started putting Allie to bed a whole hour earlier than we used to so this gives us an extra hour just the two of us before we go to bed for the night. With Valentine’s Day being on a Wednesday this year, an at-home game or movie night may be a much more desirable option than getting out of the house.
Schedule Alone Time
Sometimes you flat out have to put alone time on the calendar. Between Zack’s work schedule, my blog, my photography, school, parenting, cooking, cleaning, friends, family, etc. etc. etc. there can sometimes be next to no time left for just the two of us. While yes, we are currently alone as Allie sleeps and we transition to bed, we’re also both completely exhausted at this point in the day. So it’s really not quality alone time. For me, alone time should be occurring at a time where neither one of you are insanely busy and neither one of you are on the verge of falling asleep. Schedule a lunch date or a day off together or an hour after the kids go to bed to watch a movie. Whatever works for you and your schedules. But be sure to have that time on your calendar. If it’s on the calendar, you’re more likely to make the time for it.
Take The Day Off Together
Speaking of scheduling time alone, why not take Valentine’s Day off together this year? Send the little ones to daycare or their grandparents house or wherever it may be and spend the day focusing on just your marriage. No kids, no family, no friends. Just the two of you. This can be a day trip to a nearby town or city, an afternoon at the beach, antique shopping in town, or even grabbing some lunch. It can be anything that interests you! But be sure to spend that time being present and in the moment. Not glued to your phone or calling your MIL to check on your kids. Go back to when Valentine’s Day was a romantic holiday just the two of you and re-live those days.
Set The Mood
This is such a challenging area to keep up with after having a baby and like I’ve mentioned many times in this post, it’s totally normal! Life changes so much when you have a baby. For the first 6 months, Allie slept in her pack n play next to our bed so sex wasn’t exactly on our radar at that point. Once we moved her to her nursery at 6 months, we made our bedroom as baby-free as possible. Why? Well because that doesn’t normally get someone in the mood. So things like extra diapers and wipes are stored away out of sight and then everything else is kept in her nursery. Our bedroom is our space and I think this is really important in a relationship.
Don’t Forget To Communicate
Communication is so important in a relationship, but when you add a baby to your life, it makes it even more important. Babies can cause a lot of stress in a relationship no matter how strong it was prior to having your little bundle of joy. That’s completely normal and every couple goes through it. But be sure to take the time to really communicate with your spouse. If you’re needing a break from motherhood for an afternoon to focus on yourself, communicate that! If you need a hand with the dishes or late night feedings or whatever it may be, it’s important to communicate that to your significant other. And if you suck at telling your spouse how you feel, I’m sure a Hallmark Valentine’s Day card can do the trick! Communicating with one another can help so much with this huge transition because it keeps everyone on the same page. Remember, your spouse if your teammate!
Set Boundaries With Friends & Family
Friends and family can be super helpful when you add a new baby to your family. BUT they can also be a source of stress sometimes as well. Everyone has an opinion when you have a new baby and sometimes you really have to take those opinions and advice with a grain of salt. And if you live close to friends and family then you may experience a few unwanted visits here and there. It’s all normal, but be sure to establish those boundaries with everyone. Create a visiting schedule if you need to and let people know that they must ask first before dropping by. Sometimes these random visits and bits of advice can be an extra strain on a couple so it’s important to focus on your little family and set those boundaries with everyone early on. In our home, our marriage comes first, our daughter comes second and then everyone else comes third.
Always Kiss Each Other Hello & Goodbye
This is perfect for those who have Physical Touch as a Love Language. We always make it a priority to take the time out of our day to kiss each other whenever we part and again when we see each other. It’s a super small gesture but when you’re constantly coming and going, you find yourselves a bit preoccupied throughout the day. So this is a good way to guarantee you’ll always have that moment with your partner.
Build A Community
Sometimes spending time with other parents can really help your marriage as you adjust to your new roles as parents. As a new mom, the people I relate to the most right now are other moms (understandable). Unfortunately we currently have next to no friends with children so it makes for some very lonely days. But last month we went to Sea World with a guy Zack works with along with his wife and kids and it felt AMAZING to be with other parents. Seriously. I felt like I actually had people I could talk to who understood what we were going through. We could seek advice from them on parenting and marriage and just life in general. That outing was so beneficial for us not only as parents but as a couple. So surrounding yourself with good, positive people and building that community can be so beneficial for your relationship.
No matter what your love language, giving a heartfelt card can speak to just about anyone. Cards have always played a big role in my life. I give cards for birthdays, holidays, special occasions and any other time I need to show love and appreciation to someone. Although I write for a living, I’m not always the best with words so I rely on Hallmark to say it all for me!
At Walmart, you can find the the newest collection of Hallmark Signature Cards for Valentine’s Day. Hallmark offers a wide range of cards from every day and birthday to special occasion and seasonal. Be sure to look for a coupon in the card aisle at Walmart for $2 off any 3 Hallmark Valentine’s Day Cards. You can also earn $1 back on any Hallmark Valentine’s Cards at Walmart priced $2.97 and above through the Ibotta offer and the app on your mobile device. This offer is only available through 2/14 or while supplies last so be sure to use it while you can!
Make sure to check out the Hallmark Valentine’s Day hub for more inspiration and to find a store near you!
How do you reconnect with your spouse when life gets in the way?