*Guest post by Emily Graham from Might Moms
You’ve brought your baby home, settled into life as new parents, and now you’re ready to start thinking about acting like a couple again. But wait — you’re breastfeeding around the clock, you feel jiggly all over, and you can’t remember what it was like to put on clothing that wasn’t stretchy and covered in spit up. That’s motherhood (and it is glorious), but having a third human around all the time can make it tough to connect with the one who helped you make your family.
But you have to keep your relationship a priority. One mistake that many moms make is letting that aspect of their life take a backseat to their responsibility as a caregiver. If you’re wondering how to do it while still rocking the nursing bra, put the baby down for a nap and keep reading.
Start by dividing the chores! This can’t be underscored enough. If you are at home with the baby, it is easy to feel like the house is your domain. But it is not just yours, and you are also taking care of another human. You can’t expect to have time with your partner if you are constantly doing housework in the few rare moments when your baby does not need your undivided attention. Divide the household chores and let your partner do the dishes now and then. This will give you time for a shower (and maybe even to shave your legs!) so you can devote your evening to cuddling on the couch.
Other ideas to help you enjoy some one-on-one are to cook dinner together, which Foodal stresses can improve all aspects of your relationship, play board games when your baby sleeps, clean together, sit down and plan a family vacation, or simply turn the TV off at night and talk instead of the customary Netflix-and-chill session.
At some point, you and your partner will be ready to resume the more romantic aspects of your relationship. This can pose a challenge for many of the reasons we’ve already mentioned. Intimacy after childbirth is not the same as it was; keep this in mind and you can find a new approach to sex that works for you both. Kindred Bravely covers the topic of sex after childbirth thoroughly in a recent blog post and smartly suggests maintaining an open line of communication about your sexual desires and preferences. After all, your body has been through a lot, you may have engorged breasts or are still healing after a C-section. There is no need to rush, and it is perfectly fine to let your husband know that you are or are not ready.
Oh, the Anger!
Something to keep in mind as you learn to reconnect with your partner is that your feelings for them may have changed. It is not unusual to experience feelings of resentment, especially when you’ve been home nursing a baby all day and your partner has been out in the real world, with adults, after having had a shower and a full night’s sleep. But remember, they may also be jealous that you are forging closer bonds with your child than they can at this point. Rest assured that these feelings are temporary, but they are important to acknowledge and talk about so that you aren’t compounding the problem by not getting it off your chest.
There is no way to predict how having a baby will change your relationship. The only thing that is certain is that it will. The first few months are chaotic, and you will get into a routine that is vastly different than what you are used to. Make sure to include your partner by dividing responsibilities and making a conscious effort to be a wife instead of just a mom.
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