Adjusting to life as a couple after having a baby can be a real challenge. So many of the things that seemed simple beforehand suddenly become more complicated and time consuming: leaving the house, taking a shower and even getting dinner on the table take more time, effort and planning. With a new little one in the house, you will probably find yourself thinking that there is no way you can do it all. And so you start looking at where you can compromise. Unfortunately, one of the first things to get pushed to the back burner is your relationship with your partner. It might be a mutual decision or an unspoken agreement, but either way it’s going to take a toll on your relationship. So you might be asking yourself, just like my husband and I have after having our first two kids: how can I stay connected with my spouse/partner after having a new baby?
During my senior year of college, I had to complete a capstone project. My team and I chose to focus on date night and why it was important to continue dating your spouse after marriage. We did an object lesson using a jar, large rocks, small rocks, sand and water, explaining that the big rocks were the most important/essential things in your life, small rocks were the good things and the sand and water were the fillers. Of course, you had to put the big rocks in first, followed by the smaller items because if you try to do it backwards, it just didn’t fit. I like to think about this object lesson when it comes to date night.
So often, we think of date night as something we’ll do if we have time, but maybe isn’t an essential or most important part of keeping our relationships healthy and strong. Being a graduate of marriage and family studies, one of the biggest names in relationship research is The Gottman Institute. They have an amazing website full of resources and articles that I highly recommend looking into. Speaking about date night and parenting, April Eldemire (LMFT) says that:
“Planning regular date nights away from your baby can also help replenish and fortify your relationship. Intentionally carving out this time with your partner helps to remind you that you are a team, which, in turn, makes it easier for you to tackle daily struggles in a united way. In the long run, it also helps you to be better co-parents to your child. Having children is most definitely a game changer, but it doesn’t have to be a romance killer.”
But wait a minute. Babies are time- and energy-consuming little beings. At the end of a long day, sometimes the last thing in the world I want to do is put on real clothes and leave my house. And as much as I might be craving a conversation with an adult, sometimes getting out of the house to do it just isn’t feasible. So what can we do as parents to make sure that we are being intentional about our time together?
This is where Crated With Love comes into play. Crated With Love is a monthly date night subscription box. Everything you need for a date night at home is included in the box. This means all you have to do is make the time to be with your spouse, open the box and relax and enjoy the time together. Obviously, each month you receive a different date night box, but one of the main goals of Crated With Love when they put together each box is to keep the romance alive and create meaningful experiences with your spouse.
So what was included in the box we received? There were four different activities/challenges:
- A.Y.O.M (A Year of Memories)
- I Fell (For You) Tower
- Match and Ask game
- Our Future Memories
My husband and I were able to sit down and spend about an hour reconnecting. I’ll be honest, my husband was kind of skeptical. But the more time we spent together doing the activities, the more we laughed and joked and really enjoyed doing something that was just the two of us. We did a few things that were a little out of our comfort zone. We relived old memories and created some new ones, as well as setting some goals specific to our relationship. By the end, my husband even admitted that it was fun and he was glad we had done it.
As we get ready to welcome baby #3 into our family, I know that life is going to get more hectic. But I’ve noticed a distinct difference in our marriage when we are making an effort to spend one-on-one time together. We are better able to face challenges and work together as a team rather that two people living parallel lives.
Date nights aren’t just a nice part of our relationship, they are an essential part. In another article on The Gottman Institute’s website about keeping romance alive for parents, April Eldemire (LMFT) points out that “one of the greatest gifts you can give your baby is a strong relationship between the two of you. Date nights provide an opportunity to stay connected, increase intimacy, and balance life as a team.”
If you think that a date night subscription box might be just what you need in your relationship, I highly recommend checking out Crated With Love. Their subscription boxes are super affordable and in most cases, cost less than going out! The Story Mode box is $19.99/month and their Diamond Membership subscription is only $26.99/month, with an even bigger discount if you sign up for 6- or 12-month memberships. They’ve also given me an exclusive code for you to receive 50% off the first month of a Diamond subscription! Just use the code: SUNSHINEANDMUNCHKINS at checkout to take advantage of this awesome discount.
What have you found helps you stay connected after having kids?