Having children changes relationships, in many positive ways but also in many stressful or challenging ways.
I know how easy it is for a relationship to slip into what I call “logistic” mode once you have kids. Logistic mode is when you realise the only things you communicate about are the logistics of your family unit. Who’s turn it is to settle the baby in the night, do child care or school pick up, who needs to buy milk on the way home etc
Relationships need to be nurtured in order to thrive. All relationships. In the spirit of Valentines Day today I have put together:
5 Ways you can nurture your relationship
Say “I love you” daily
How often do you actually tell your partner you love them. It can be easy in a long term relationship to simply assume the other person knows you love them so you stop saying the words.
Recently, I was feeling upset and talking to my husband about how I was feeling. He said, “You know I love you, don’t you?”. I looked at him and he said “Do you realise that every morning when I make you a coffee it is my way of saying I love you?”. I smiled and said to him, “Then what if every morning when you give me my coffee you tried to actually tell me you love me?”
He has been doing that for about a month now and it makes the world of difference to me to actually hear those words spoken every day.
Date nights – out
A night out, without kids, can become as rare as Hen’s Teeth for many couples, including us! If you struggle with this try and find a routine, like first Sunday night of the month go out for dinner. Getting babysitters can be expensive so consider doing a swap with another family. Then you both win!
It doesn’t have to be fancy, just an hour at your local Thai restaurant will do your relationship the world of good.
Date nights – in
These are much simpler to organise but often get consumed by chores and “logistic mode”. Pick a night for a home date night – weekly, fornightly, monthly … just commit to it.
- order home delivery, open some wine, light a candle and have a nice meal together
- play a board game … we sometime play Scrabble with a glass of wine
- Rent a movie, make popcorn, snuggle
- Have a bubble bath together
Talk, really talk
Make space to talk about things that matter to you both as people, not the “logistics” of family life. I go into a lot more detail in this blog post about creating real conversation in my relationship.
In can be easy to take your partner for granted, and to feel they take you for granted. Take time to simply say “thanks” sometimes, for the simple things. For bathing the kids, for cleaning the kitchen, for walking the dog … anything. As if by magic this usually encourages more gratitude in return for all the things you do too.
Which one of these would you like to put into action first?
PS My online program, 5 Minutes 4 Mum has just opened for enrolment (enrolments close 23rd February). One of the modules in the program is called 5 Minutes 4 CONNECTION which explores how Mums can take simple, small actions to improve the quality of important relationships with partners, friends & family.
If you would like to learn more about this program you can check it out HERE.