You love your children and you love your spouse, but things change once you have kids. Your relationship with your spouse tends to be pushed to the side because your kids are a huge responsibility and take up most of your time. But that is what can harm many relationships.
Even though you spent all this time before having kids with your spouse and building the relationship that you have with them you still need to work at it. A relationship doesn’t just stand still as soon as everything happens. It needs attention or it will start to crack and fall apart.
How to Keep Your Relationship Alive After Having Kids
Just because your children take up a lot of your time doesn’t mean that you don’t have time for your spouse. There are many ways to continue to work at your relationship and some don’t take much time at all.
Sometimes it is just the little things that matter most.
Spend time together
Sounds super simple right? Well, I know that it can be super hard for some people to get much time to spend together. Especially if they work opposing shifts or work a ton or even work far away.
But it is important to spend time with each other. It can be simple like having breakfast together. Or watching a movie at home. It can even be more elaborate by going out on a date night.
Remember that your relationship started with spending time together and you enjoyed it. There is no reason to feel like you can’t spend time together without your children. Let alone feel guilty about it.
Have a date night
Date nights can be wonderful. You can have someone watch the kids and go out to a movie or dinner or whatever you feel like. Spend that quality time together by doing something you used to or something that you just love or want to try.
Enjoy your time together and don’t focus on the kids during that time.
I know that it is strange after having kids to not think about them or talk about them basically every conversation, but you need to turn that switch off for just a moment. You will always be able to discuss your kids, but you don’t always get the chance to have a night meant just for you two.
You can even have a date night in! It helps a lot with not needing to get a baby sitter. You can just get the kids to bed and have a date night in. Cook a romantic meal, set up candles, enjoy dinner. Or relax on the couch and turn on a new movie you have been wanting to see (there is Netflix, Hulu, Redbox, On Demand, and many more ways to watch movies for a reason).
There are many ways you can enjoy a date night. Just make it about both of you and enjoy your time.
Yes, being intimate can keep your relationship alive. Many times after having kids couples tend to feel more distant to each other. One of the reasons is because of stress. The other reason is they haven’t been intimate in a while.
When it comes to being stressed out a lot due to the kids one of the best solutions can actually be being intimate with your spouse because it is known to lower stress levels.
Now after giving birth, it takes time for a woman’s body to heal and during that time couples can’t really be intimate. There are many ways to be intimate, but sex is off the table until her body heals and she feels ready.
If you are reading this while you are pregnant or just gave birth I highly suggest checking out our post about Sex After Childbirth! It can help you prepare for what you may experience when trying to become intimate again with your partner.
Complimenting someone can have a huge impact on their attitude and when they feel good it makes you feel good as well. It is something so small that people forget that it can make a big difference in a relationship.
I bet when you first started out dating each other you complimented one another. “Awe you look cute today (insert tons of emojis for people these days)!” or “I love that outfit on you” or even “I love your hairstyle (or hair color if they love to dye their hair like me)”.
All of these can even be seen as flirting. And there is nothing wrong with flirting with your spouse. It should actually be done more once you have children. A single compliment can go a long way to fighting all of those worries that you get for being a parent. All of those responsibilities take its tole and hear “You are doing a wonderful job being a mom (or dad)” can make you feel like you got this.
Flirting and compliments that happen more often instead of once or twice a year make a bigger impact on your relationship. If you are just doing it because it is Valentine’s Day then there is a problem and your relationship needs more work to stay strong.
Let them know you appreciate them
Mothers and fathers do a lot of work, but it might be in different ways. Usually, men would be the ones working more and bringing home the money and women would be taking care of the children and can work as well. The thing is that no matter what the other person is doing more of (cooking, cleaning, getting the kids to school, working, etc.) you should let them know that you appreciate them.
If your spouse it the one that works more let them know that you appreciate them for going to work and supporting or helping to support your family. Because they really are doing just that. They are taking their time to support you and your children.
Now if your spouse cooks the meals or cleans the house or just gets your kids to bed each night then let them know you appreciate what they do. It doesn’t have to be the biggest things that they do either.
Appreciate what others do for you even if it is something little because it feels wonderful to feel appreciated.
Talking to each other is pretty key to having a relationship. How would you have ever figured out that you wanted to be together if you never even talked?
Having conversations even if it is a little text to let them know you care and were thinking about them can actually make a difference.
Just talk to each other. It can be about something new you learned or something you found interesting. Yes, you can talk about your kids and important things like finances, but don’t only talk about those. If you only talk to each other about stressful topics or responsibilities then you will feel less of a connection and much more stressed.
Try to focus on the good and less about the stresses in life
Focusing on family is wonderful, but don’t focus on the stressful parts of it. You will have stress and bumps in the road, but don’t let that ruin the good moments that you have.
One thing to bring less stress is that if you work to leave all of your work problems at work. Don’t talk about it when you get home. You can mention how your day was and everything, but set a limit to an amount of time or certain things that happened. That way you don’t spend all day talking about problems or stressful things.
If you have a large task in front of you-you break it down and start with small tasks you can accomplish. It is the same with trying to focus on the good and less about worries and stresses. The end goal is to focus on the good aspects of everything, so you break it down and try something small and build it up. Start by not taking work home with you, and focus on what is going on at home. Then take it a step farther each time you gain the habit.
Give them thoughtful small gifts
One thing that I have noticed that helps keep people together is that they think about each other and try to show that by giving each other small gifts/presents. It can be just bringing them food in bed or buying their favorite food at the store or something you made (if you are crafty at things). The options are endless.
They don’t have to be expensive. They don’t have to be big. Letting each other know that you were thinking about them with something small can be very fulfilling and loving.
Here are eight ways to help your relationship:
- Spend time together
- Have a date night
- Be intimate
- Compliment each other
- Let them know you appreciate them
- Have conversations
- Focus on the good and less on stress and worries
- Give them small gifts from time to time
Keeping your relationship alive after having kids can be a bit more work on you, but it is worth it in the end. You don’t have to do everything at once and you can find what works for you and your spouse instead of adding more stress to yourself by trying to tackle everything.