When you find yourself falling down that rabbit-hole of parental and domestic responsibility, it’s easy to forget that the other parent by your side is also your significant other as well.
It’s so easy to shelf the role of “couple” and focus all attention on the role of “parent”.
If you find this happening between you and your partner, that disconnect that occurs after children come along, then you need to slow down and reignite that spark.
Here are some simple ways you can reconnect with your partner during parenthood:
#1: Rearrange the Family Schedule
It may be that you feel disconnected from your partner because you don’t see much of each other due to a busy family schedule. Your child’s, or children’s, extracurricular activities may be making your overall schedule too hectic.
It’s difficult to reconnect with your partner if you can’t even connect as parents. Calm down the family schedule and pare down the number of activities your children are involved in. Try to attend activities as a couple instead of one taking a kid here and the other taking a kid there.
#2: Check-In with your Partner Daily
There may not seem to be enough minutes in a day to discuss anything but what’s happening right now, but it’s important to check in with your partner on a daily basis – even if it’s for 5 minutes. Discuss any issues you may be having, whether they’re personal or family-related.
If nothing else, find time throughout the day to shoot off a quick text or e-mail. It’s doesn’t have to be a deep thought or romantic message – a simple “How are you?” or funny meme can mean a lot to your partner.
Overall, it’s important to maintain open and honest communication with your partner in order to stay connected.
#3: Find Some Me-Time
You need to take care of yourself so that you and your partner can take care of each other. If you constantly feel burdened and overwhelmed by everyday life, then trying to find a connection with your partner may seem like just another task that has to be completed.
If you can keep your plate clear, then connection with your partner will happen naturally. Take the time to relax and reduce stress in your life – have a glass of wine, retreat to your room for some Facebook time or write your thoughts and feelings into a journal.
Encourage your partner to do the same (if they don’t already).
#4: Have a Regular Date Night
Date nights may seem so cliché, but having time alone to enjoy together is important in keeping that connection alive. A date night doesn’t have to be a fancy event – it simply means that you and your partner do something together sans kids.
This could mean going out bowling or shipping the kids off to your parents to enjoy a night of Dora-free Netflix. Whatever gives you and your partner time together without children or distractions.
#5: Find Everyday Romance
The point of reconnecting with your partner is to keep those feelings of love and passion alive. This is an effort that has to be made every day. Much like those daily check-ins to keep communication open, you need to find romance everyday as a reminder of how much you love each other.
And like date night, these gestures do not have to be extravagant. Indulge in a little PDA when you’re out and about (like holding hands and quick kisses) and pay each other compliments throughout the day.
Most importantly, say “I love you”. You may feel that the words lose meaning over time but, as long as you mean them, they don’t.
#6: Bed Time is Intimate Time
The sooner your little ones begin to sleep in their own beds, the sooner you and your partner can resume being intimate in yours. Until that time, however, you may have to get creative.
While I’m not going to make any suggestions as to how that can be achieved, my point is that once you have your bed back to yourselves, you should focus on being intimate every single night.
Hold your horses! Before I get finger-wagged here, I’m not suggesting getting it on every night. Intimacy doesn’t necessarily mean intercourse. Kissing, hugging, cuddling, massages – these are all forms of intimacy and don’t always have to lead to sex.