One of the most surprising things for me about having a new baby was how much my relationship changed, actually struggled. However, since my first son was born, I have learned a few things that have helped tremendously to bring romance back into my marriage. It is so important to be a united front and to model a healthy relationship for our kids because it will impact their relationships in the future. Romance plays a huge part in that. Intimacy helps us feel connected with our partners, which is the ultimate goal in parenting as a team.
Since it is Valentine’s Day, we moms hope our husbands have prepared elaborate plans to surprise us with a night to be remembered and an extraordinary gift (preferably diamonds!). But in most cases this does not happen, and Valentine’s Day comes and goes with maybe a card and hopefully some flowers. Moms can be left to feel under appreciated and undesired.
These are feelings I hope to help you avoid with the following tips for Valentine’s Day and beyond!
- Say farewell to your expectations. This is easier said than done, but if you expect something grand to happen and it doesn’t, it can leave you feeling really blue – which is never a good thing as a mom. We have to be at our best as much of the time as possible! Our lives are already stressful enough – who needs more to pile on??
- Help him help you. Write a list of things you would love to receive from your partner as a surprise on any given day (not just V-day). Men can’t read minds. Period. Our partners rarely know what we’re thinking – let alone what kinds of surprises we would enjoy. By having a list to choose from, your man will feel much more well-equipped and motivated to surprise you with something because they know you’ll love it! It may take some of the excitement out of it, but wouldn’t you much rather receive something you love?!
- Appreciate the little things. We should always remember to praise our partners for the big things, but recognizing the little ways they help us really goes a long way. Even if it’s just microwaving something for dinner! We often forget to let dad know how helpful all of those little things are, and that can lead to him feeling unappreciated. Plus – there’s an extra perk to praising the small things…it boosts dad’s confidence; this in turn leads to him being more helpful!
- Don’t compare who had the harder day. You are in this together. You are a team. Your days were both hard, and you can commiserate together on how hard it is being individuals, making a living, AND being parents!
- Give him time to unwind. Don’t hand the baby off the instant dad walks through the door. Welcome him home with a huge smile and a “we missed you today!” A group-hug and a kiss is an added bonus! Give him a few minutes to decompress, change his clothes, and settle into being present with you and the baby for the evening.
- Take a trip down memory lane. Ask dad what he misses most about your relationship before baby, and try your best to bring some of that back. At the very least, reminisce together – look at old pictures, watch your wedding video, or watch a movie from one of your first dates.
- Bring back the sparks. Intimacy is a huge part of any relationship. Let’s face it – it isn’t at the top of our priority list after baby arrives. I hated to hear it as much as you are going to hate to read it, but it is so important. Once I made more of an effort in that department, things really turned a corner. Perhaps that could be YOUR Valentine’s Day gift to your partner this year?!