Tip #1: Acknowledge that the first 6 months to a year after baby involves major adjustments of time and energy for everyone. Both of you are probably trying really hard to adjust to your new roles as parents. Women’s necessary bonding and connecting with baby takes up a lot of time and resources, and may leave mom feeling tapped out. Men often report feeling left out, but too guilty to say so. Both parents are often exhausted due to sleep deprivation and taking care of baby/children 24/7.
Tip #2 Resources for me time and couple time are important for building couple time with your family in mind. Self- compassion is an important prerequisite for having compassion and energy for your partner and your children.
Taking me time on a weekly, consistent basis can be a reminder that your partner has your back, and they get to bond with baby/children. When you and your partner are happy, your children feel it also.
What are your resources for taking me time?
Tip #3 Carve out couple time: How creating a “Date State™” versus just a “Date Night” can help you feel closer than ever, even in your own backyard. A date state is carving out time with your partner, and sharing and listening with an open heart and mind. It’s a time to check in with each other as partners and not parents. Date nights and overnights are great also!
How do you carve out couple time on a weekly, consistent basis?
Tip #4 Good communication and knowing when not to communicate: Communicating through all the changes is important to get through those challenging years with young children.
- Two parts to communication:
- Speaker: Know what you want and say it. You’re important here too!
- Listener: Listen and understand differences with an open heart and mind.
Men and Women are different, and knowing each other’s love language is an important first step to healthy communication.
Tip #5 How to have fun and laugh together: Acknowledge the adjustment you and your partner are going through, be gentle with yourself and your partner, make sure to have each other’s back, build in individual time, couple time and family time for fun, laughter and good communication.
Experiment and Develop:
- Remember to take care of you by taking time to recharge and restore yourself. Trust me, your partner and your children will thank you later.
- Write out how you aspire to be during precious couple time. Remember the “ Date State™ ” versus the “Date Night
Lori J. Collins is a Licensed Marriage and Family therapist in Redwood City, California and a Certified Relationship Coach who has worked with couples for nearly 30 years. Lori is the founder of BuildingCoupleTime.com, and offers online, marriage/relationship education, tips and strategies for women with children under 5, and couples with young children.