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With a new baby in the house, life gets turned upside down. It’s difficult to imagine beforehand how much impact adding a new life to the household really has. Almost by default, new parents get taken by surprise. And many things that you could take for granted beforehand, or that at least were done on auto-pilot, disappear into the background when baby arrives.
In the newness of being a new mom with a young baby, maintaining your relationship with your partner can quickly disappear off the list of priorities. Indeed, it can quickly disappear out of your mind completely (mom fog, anyone?). However, taking care of your relationship is vital! Not just to get through the turbulent period of the first few months, but also for the long run!
These 15 tips to improve your marriage now help create space because…
This helps create more space and balance for you, because if you improve your marriage, keeping the quality of your relationship high, it means you’ll feel more supported and less isolated when being a mom gets tough. Inevitably, there will be tough periods where you’ll feel frazzled and shaken. Being close with your partner gives you vital emotional support, even when he’s not there physically.
When things are not tough, being closer together means you’ll gain more happiness from your relationship and you’ll have more fun together 😃 Isn’t this why we got into the deal in the first place?
The 15 tips to improve your marriage now
I was going to do this in no particular order, but as I was writing I realized that there are two things you can do to improve your marriage, that stand out more than the others. The first two items on the list are things we can all do very easily, take almost no time, but are so incredibly important. So, even if you forget everything else, please remember the first two points!
1. Ask what your partner needs or appreciates most
Too often we reason from our own minds. Of course we do, our own minds are the only ones we know. And because we see our partners so often and think we know them so well, we jump to the conclusion that their needs are the same. But they aren’t. And the only and best way to find out what they do need, is simply to ask.
Being heard is incredibly important for people, which is how you can instantly make your partner happier just by listening. A quick, but also very profound way to improve your marriage immediately!
2. Ask yourself what gift you can give today
This follows number one. Once you know what is important to your partner, what the biggest need and appreciation is, act on it. Every day, ask yourself which gift you can give your partner today.
Now, this does NOT mean you have to be at their disposal all day. But say that your partner appreciates de-stressing the most. He comes home in the evening and the kids are all over the place. You can give a much appreciated gift by reeling in the kids and letting them help you in the kitchen.
3. Get chocolate. Seriously.
As everybody knows, chocolate cures all ails. And apparently it has some good influence on the brain as well, especially for women. It’s okay to spoil yourself once in a while, so do so!
4. Send the kids off to the grandparents
Or who else will have them for the weekend. This way, you can get some alone time with your partner, without worrying about whether you’re back on time to let the baby sitter go home. And when you do get home, late, you can go to bed knowing you can sleep as long a you want the next day.
5. Have a regular girl’s night (or boy’s night for the hubbies)
Being with your girl friends will give you new energy and will enlarge your world beyond that of the household and baby. You’ll come home a new person with plenty of energy to put into the people you love.
6. Let the mess be a mess
Don’t always clean up just because you can. For once, just sit down together and watch a movie. Toys still on the floor? Leave them there every now and then. If your body and mind are telling you to relax, then do so. The kids will play some more with those same toys tomorrow.
7. Have regular date nights
Or date afternoons for that matter. Having fun together is one of the best ways to do maintenance on your marriage. It’s also something that tends to have a long term effect as you are creating memories together.
8. Laugh. Together
This is another way of bonding between each other that will have long term benefits. Laughing together means you will associate your partner with fun times, instead of the guy whose pants you need to wash (or who refuses to learn to put the toilet seat down). So joke around, watch some stand up comedy, or prank the kids together.
9. Outsource household tasks
Is there some household task that you both hate doing? Look into outsourcing it. Then use the time you have extra to spend on each other instead on doing things you hate doing anyway.
10. Pick up a hobby together
This way you’ll almost automatically spend more quality, fun time together. Each time you put time into your hobby, you are also working on your relationship and building great memories together.
11. Plan the romantic
For some reason people seem to think that romance should be spontaneous. But you know what, with kids this is really very difficult. To the point that romance might disappear completely if you’re not careful. Ask yourself, does planning change anything about how you feel about your spouse? Of course not!
12. Have your own spending money
Many, many marriages end in divorce over arguments over money. Having your own spending money means there’s a portion of money you don’t have to justify your spending over. Want some luxury item you know your partner will think is silly to have? Well, I bet he has a few things on his wish list that you think are silly. Agree on a set amount each month that both of you can spend without having to give any kind of justification and you can have your cake and eat it to. End the discussion without denying yourself things you’d really like to have.
13. Accept that the post-natal phase isn’t going to be your most attractive
And that’s okay. You’ve just put new life on the planet! That’s quite a feat you can be proud of. Be kind to yourself, your body needs time to recuperate after the enormous effort it just made. Just give it time and be proud of the fact that your body gave life, instead of criticizing your body for not looking like it should be in a magazine.
14. Come to terms with your new body
Yes, a woman’s body heals after giving birth. Is it the same as before you became a mommy? Odds are it won’t. That doesn’t change the fact that you put the most precious thing on the planet on the face of the earth in the first place. Stay proud of being a mom and honor your body for it.
Secondly, partners are usually extremely proud of the mothers of their children. And though we women might see every little thing ourselves, our partners don’t. They notice our curves and how we move, they don’t notice a few dimples here and there. The people who love us don’t look at us with criticism in their eyes, they look at us with love in their eyes. Personally, I think that’s the better way to be looked at. So accept your partner’s loving gaze over your own criticizing one.
15. Have a daily de-stress moment
After so much seriousness in the previous two points, I feel it’s time to relax! Have a few minutes every day, preferably at the same time each day, where you de-stress. It can be 5 or 10 minutes talking to your partner about how the day went for each of you. It can also be 5 minutes where your partner looks after the kids and you retreat into the bedroom and enjoy the silence. Whatever works and whatever you need the most. Just look after yourself and each other and make sure you are not taking the day’s stress into the evening together.
Well, that’s it! My list of tips 😃 I hope these were helpful to you. Of course, you are the one who now needs to do the work!
To improve your marriage now, ask your partner what the biggest need is and then give that as a gift to your partner on a daily basis!