How to have a healthy and loving relationship after kids come along. Keeping a romance alive requires date nights, communication, celebrating events and what also works for you.
The reality is that while you love your kids more than anything in the world, you most probably also want (and deserve to have) a loving and meaningful relationship with your partner. However, once little ones come along, it can become far more difficult to get as much quality time with your partner as you need.
Once kids come along, planning romantic date nights and weekends away can become far more complex and difficult to organise. However, just because spending quality time together can be more difficult, that doesn’t mean that it’s impossible to actually have that important time together as a couple.
The key is to get creative with your approach to your relationship and understand what steps you can take to maintain a happy and healthy partnership, alongside being parents. While doing so may feel more difficult and like more work, it’s important that you prioritise your relationship, instead of simply pushing it onto the backburner.
With that in mind, below is a guide to some of the ins and outs of how you can go about maintaining a relationship even when you’ve got little ones to think about.
Reimagine date night
Pre-kids date nights were probably an ad hoc thing that you did as and when you fancied spending some quality time together. You didn’t have any time restraints or monetary concerns, and could pretty much do whatever it was that you fancied. But now that you’ve got kids, things have changed a little. You need to plan every date night out and ensure that you’ve got a babysitter on hand to take care of the kids while you have a much-needed night out.
Don’t be afraid to reimagine date night. If you’re unable to go out, because it’s hard to get a babysitter or you’re worried about leaving your kids, consider planning an at-home date night. Taking some time out for a much-needed moment of indulgence can be a lovely way to spend some important one-on-one time, whether that means planning an at-home movie night or preparing a fancy meal while sharing a nice bottle of wine, it doesn’t matter – what’s important is that you’re actually spending quality time together.
Another nice date night idea is to create a jar of random date nights, and then you can pick one out each time you’ve got some free time together. These could be things from cinema nights and meals out to moonlit walks and mini road trip drives. Get creative and come up with some nice ways to spend time together.
When life gets hectic and your day-to-day life starts to get in the way, it’s easy to feel like celebrating your anniversaries is just too much. But, celebrating those important dates is a key aspect of maintaining a happy and healthy relationship with your partner, so it’s important to try and make an effort to spend some quality time together as a couple and mark these occasions.
How you choose to mark these occasions is up to you, it’s just important that you actually spend some time thinking about how to mark these occasions. It could simply be by planning a nice day out together while the kids are with the childminder, it could be cooking a fancy meal at home, or it could be treating each other to a little gift, such as a nice piece of jewellery from somewhere like Dreamland Jewelry, for instance.
If you’re not sure how to spend an anniversary, speak to your partner and discuss some options with them. Talk about how you would both like to spend the time and plan a day or even a couple of hours that will make both of you feel happy and content. If you’re unable to celebrate on the actual day due to childcare commitments, make sure to celebrate at a later date instead.
Be open and honest
A key aspect of any healthy relationship is communication, so it’s important that you and your partner make a conscious effort to continue talking openly and honestly with each other. It’s important to share how you’re feeling, so that your partner understands where your head’s at and why you’re acting like you are. By creating a culture of openness and honesty, you will be able to build a much healthier and far stronger relationship.
If you’re worried about having open and honest communication with your partner and are struggling to express yourself, then you might want to consider starting couples’ therapy as a means to encourage yourself and your partner to talk more openly and share how you’re feeling. There’s no shame in seeking support from a therapist.
Even if things are going seemingly well, speaking to a therapist can help to ensure that your relationship remains healthy, and can help to prevent potential problems before they occur. Adapting to parenthood can be tough, and managing the ins and outs of a relationship along with all of the changes that come with parenthood can be tricky. So, getting some support can be a smart step to take.
Schedule time together
Once you’ve got kids to think about, it’s far too easy to let your time get filled up and fail to make any time for yourself and your partner. A hack that can really help is to actually schedule time in your calendar for you to spend some much-needed one-on-one time together.
By setting time in both of your schedules each week for the two of you to have to yourselves, can be a great way to ensure that even with kids in tow, that your relationship remains on track and you get to spend some much-needed quality time together.
Whether it’s a couple of hours every other week, an hour each week, or even just a few hours a month, it’s better than nothing. So, it’s vital that you actually take the time to schedule in time for yourself and your partner to spend together, away from the kids.
Once you’ve put time into your schedule to spend together, make sure that you actually use that time for some much-needed couple time. Don’t let that time get hijacked by those day-to-day tasks, make sure that you’re using the time to spend with your partner doing something that you both enjoy.
Do what works for you
The best thing that you can do for your relationship once you’ve had kids is to do what works best for you and your partner as a couple. What works for one couple may not work for another, so it’s important that you take the time to do what works for you and your relationship. Don’t feel pressured to do things a certain way, do whatever works best for you as a couple.
It might be that, at first, you’re not really sure what it is that works for the two of you. If this is the case, take the time to work out what it is that the two of you need in order for your relationship to thrive, despite having little ones to look after as well as each other. Once you know what you need for your relationship to thrive, it becomes far easier to maintain things.
There you have it, a simple guide to some of the steps that you can take to help maintain a healthy relationship, even when you’ve added kids into the mix. Take note of the tips and ideas above and you should be able to ensure that your relationship remains on track.