It’s no surprise that couples struggle to connect after becoming parents. Between feeling “touched out” by the end of the day, having little people sleeping between you in bed, being sleep deprived and low levels of patience… The nights of romantic dates and make out sessions oftentimes become a quite distant memory.
And even if you were a couple who put your relationship at the top of your list, add in the gathering/dining restrictions of 2020 and 2021 and it’s like all possibilities of the #dateyourspouse movement have been rip right out from under us.
If you are feeling this way, know you aren’t alone and more importantly know that it doesn’t have to be this way forever! In fact, these 5 tips are going to help you to reconnect with your partner during this month of love!
Tip 1: Put your kiddo(s) to bed early to reconnect with your partner
If your little ones are staying up late, it is likely cutting into the time you used to have alone with your partner. Not every night will have a picture perfect bedtime, but it is possible to adjust the daytime nap schedules to allow for an earlier bedtime routine.
If you have a 6 month old and a 2.5 year old at home, consider capping the baby’s nap by 4:30 to get them down by 7:00 and get your 2.5 year old up by 2:30 for a 7:30 bedtime! This means kids are down by 7:45 which gives you and your partner time to hang out.
You might want to tackle a few chores to get the house picked up, or maybe you just leave the pile of dishes in the sink and plop onto the couch to share the best part of your days. No matter your preference, have this “adult only” time is crucial and (re)igniting your connection to each other.
“Before using Sleeper Teachers, my husband and I were co sleeping with our 16 month old since birth. Once the evening hit about 8:30 pm we were whispering to communicate and one of use had to lay with him to ensure that he’d stay asleep as long as possible.
Now by 8:00, at the latest, both of our kids are asleep and happy in their own rooms while my husband and I get to reconnect by watching movies or shows together or even playing board games like we used to do! It’s been so great for our marriage to have our evenings to ourselves again!” – Erica, Mom of 1.5 year old and 3 year old
Tip 2: Get your little people out of your bed so you can have space together
I’m sure we’re all guilty of the “Sorry honey, I’m just too tired for sex” line. Your libido basically goes to die when you’re overtired. Sleep deprivation only has to effect one person for the relationship to suffer because well, it takes two to tango. And when you’re so desperate for sleep or your partner is forced out of the bedroom altogether, sexy time just doesn’t happen.
Not to mention, with the kids in bed with you, it’s near impossible to find a private intimate moment. So, throw on some JT, because it’s about time to bring sexy back (to your bed).
Once you transition your littles to their own beds, create your bedroom sanctuary. Turn your bed be a place of cozy relaxation and luxury that you look forward to jumping into.
Then put your relationship front and center. With no kids in bed with you, you’ll not only have more space, you’ll get more time. Kid-free time. Time with your spouse to talk about life’s next adventures and challenges. Time to catch up on each other. Time to snuggle, time for lovin’ and time to reconnect with your partner!
Some parents feel guilty transitioning away from co-sleeping, and even selfish for wanting to take their bed back. Well I’m here to tell you to let that go. For you, for your partner, and for your relationship, few things are better than good sex and a good night’s sleep.
“Before we worked with sleeper teachers date nights and intimacy in the bedroom didn’t exist, now that our THREE kids are sleeping in their own beds and have a scheduled bed TIME it’s like we are a whole new couple again!” — Ashley, Mom of 15 month old, 4 year old and 5 year old
Did you know that if you started making sleep changes RIGHT NOW, you could easily have your bed back for Valentine’s Day? Bow chicka wow wow. And after all, if there’s one gift your kids will always appreciate, it’s seeing their parents happy, united, and in love.
Tip 3: Schedule a weekly date once a week for an entire month
- Maybe you want to binge watch a new series (we’ve been LOVING Big Sky) or cook a fancy meal together with a nice bottle of wine.
- Maybe you want to pamper each other with a back massage or foot rub on the couch.
- Maybe you want to hire a babysitter for 2 hours mid-day to come over while you drive around listening to your favorite songs or bundle up and head out for a hike.
Whatever it is you desire to do together, YOU HAVE TO MAKE TIME FOR IT. The timing is never going to perfect, but you have to show up. Just like you do for your job, your kids, your siblings, your friends… You owe it to each other to make the time.
Is it worth the $30 for a babysitter or the $6.99 movie rental on demand? ABSO-FREAKING-LUTELY.
It might sound odd to schedule in this time, but if you make a commitment to each other and your calendars, you are much more likely to stick to it. And it becomes WAY harder to cancel on each other when there is a babysitter/grandparent or plan in place.
Challenge yourself to create the time for 4 dates in the next month. Take turns planning them. Switch it up. Commit to this.
Tip 4: Create a weekend morning routine before kids get up
This probably makes me sound CRAZY, but stick with me for a second. If evening time or naptime are not the perfect chance to spend quality (kid-free) time together, you might prefer the weekend mornings for connection.
What if you brew a fresh pot of coffee and sit on the couch together for 30 minutes? Or maybe you would rather get up 45 minutes before the kids to stream a yoga or cardio class and get in nice sweat sesh together.
A date doesn’t have to be long and fancy to bring connection! Promise. Turn on some Jack Johnson, make those banana pancakes and ENJOY your calm and quiet weekend mornings before the wild and chaos starts back up again.
Tip 5: Go screen-free to reconnect with your partner
We are all (okay maybe not ALL, but almost all) addicted to our devices. And how the heck can you expect to have a great connection if you are on your phone, scrolling endlessly, with your spouse is next to you, doing the same?
Put the phone down. In fact, get it out of sight. Give yourself an hour before bedtime without the devices. Charge them in a space other than your bedroom.
Imagine how much more connection (through conversation or sex or cuddles) you could have if you weren’t just scrolling. I almost guarantee that this one tip can change everything.
Don’t believe me? Try it for the next 3 nights. Keep your phone out of your bedroom. The “just one more minute” scrolling trap will be impossible to fall into if your phone isn’t right there! I can almost promise that you will be be able to reconnect with your partner and get better sleep which is a win win for everyone!
And you can thank me later 🙂