Being a parent is the world’s toughest job. Whether your child is finally crawling, or already asking to go to the cool kids’ birthday party, they require constant monitoring. The strains of this commitment can put pressure on the parents’ relationship.
Valentine’s Day is just around the corner, and is a reminder to treasure and share romance and love with those closest to you. Given the amount of stress you go through as parents, is there still hope for a bit of couples-time to recharge those relationship emotional bonds?
Godfrey Madanhire, experienced life coach and owner of The Dream Lodge motivational retreat, believes that some basic approaches can go a long way to helping parents find their way back to each other in their relationship:
As parents we’re often so preoccupied with helping our children and discussing their needs, that we forget to talk about our own relationship. Make time to share how you feel. You may need to express feelings of neglect, happiness, sadness, or frustration. Whatever the emotions you’re experiencing, make sure that you’re being honest without attacking or blaming the other person. Once you know where you both stand, you’re ready to start making progress.
Prepare for some uneasiness
Sharing deep feelings with your spouse will sometimes bring up difficult emotions and conversations. It’s important that you react calmly and respectfully. Remember, you’re trying to rebuild bridges, not burn them down completely. Take a second to breathe, be engaged, understanding, and look for a way forward… you’re here to find solutions.
Secure your finances
This might seem like very unromantic advice, but it is an important area to address when it comes to stress in your relationship. Agreeing on how to handle the expenses in your household and planning on saving, will allow you and your spouse to relax about at least this aspect of your life and work on your relationship.
Be aware of change
We often reflect on the past and want to recreate those times. But this isn’t possible, and looking back can too often be damaging to your relationship. Instead, welcome change, and look upon it as progress – after all, you’re getting older and wiser. Create new adventures to embark on, go somewhere different and remember everything changes. You and your partner are more than capable of adapting with the times.
Cultivate some intimacy
It’s basically unavoidable that some of the romance escapes from the relationship over time. Rekindle that spark and passion by encouraging kissing, holding of hands, and other lovey stuff. Do some kind and thoughtful things for each other and plan activities for just the two of you. Once you’ve been able to find that intimacy you had at the beginning you’ll see the lighter, fun and romantic side of yourselves – and each other – again.
Adjusting to being parents fundamentally changes your relationship on many levels, but it can also be an opportunity to learn and grow together.