For many couples who commit their lives to each other, having children is often the next natural step in the relationship. And while some couples assume that having kids will automatically smooth over any rockiness in the relationship, the opposite is usually true. Raising a family can be just as stressful as it is wonderful, and often that stress can lead to even more problems. But having kids doesn’t have to mean the end of a couple, and it is possible for couples to strengthen their bond while still being parents, it just takes a little extra effort.
Have Alone Time Together
Finding time to spend alone together as a couple can be challenging when you have kids, especially for new and first-time parents. When a couple first gets together, the dating process is all about getting to know each other. After a couple has kids, this process begins anew, because people and relationships change when children come along.
Time alone with your spouse, therefore, is important for many reasons, including that it lets you relax together, allows you to enjoy each others company without the stresses of home getting in the way, and it keeps you connected as you grow as individuals and a couple on the new path of parenthood. On top of scheduling regular date nights, have a list of trusted babysitters on-hand in case you want to arrange an impromptu night together or if one sitter falls through on plans. Feel free to use grandparents if you are lucky enough to have them nearby.
Make Time for Intimacy
After having a child, intimacy can take a backseat for a while as you recover from the birth and adjust to the routine with a new baby in your life. But when it’s comfortable again, it’s very important for couples with children to make time for intimacy. A good rule is when on a date, don’t talk about the kids. Looking forward to time spent together keeps your connection strong and makes parenting easier. Many couples learn how to your marriage healthy and strong during a busy lifestyle with techniques addressed at Highland Ranch couples therapy by Dr. Lazarus
Schedule a parent business meeting
Since you are planning dates where the rule is to not talk about the kids, you need to have a set time when you can talk about the kids. Leave the home if possible and meet for coffee or lunch. Plan on spending about 30 minutes a week going over schedules, appointments, kid activities, and any issues or concerns you are having with a child. Develop a plan together as partners for addressing these concerns and then regroup next week to discuss how things went.
Schedule a Daily Check-in
Life with kids can often be so busy that it seems you never have a moment to yourself. But when it comes to you and your partner, you need to make time. Even if you just have a quick chat each night before bed, a talk in the morning before the kids are up, or a lunchtime phone call to check in, it’s important that you talk to each other about your days, your goals, your feelings, and anything that might be bothering you. This will keep the lines of communication open and provide you both with a safe space to talk, open up, and ensure nothing is getting bottled up or ignored.
Stay Active Together
Raising kids often takes most of your time and energy as a parent, but that doesn’t mean you should neglect your own physical health. Staying active together is a great way for you and your partner to stay connected, and it can give you family time or alone time doing something fun and new together. You don’t always have to follow the same routine, either: you can go for a family walk one week, out dancing alone together the next, then for a family bike ride, followed by a couple’s hike the week later.
Dr. Lazarus’s Highlands Ranch couples therapy sessions focus on the need for parents to make an effort to spend more time together as a husband and wife and to separate out the parenting piece of the relationship. It can be difficult for parents to find time for these things, but connectedness, communication, and time spent together are crucial for couples who want to strengthen their bond, especially when children are involved.
To find out more about how you can make the most of your time together and learn to communicate more effectively,