Ellie Z. from New York, NY. asks:
“How do you make sure your children/being parents doesn't negatively affect your relationship with your spouse? How do you keep the romance alive in between breast feeding, sleepless nights, changing diapers and running errands?”
This requires effort in planning. First think of things you like to do with your spouse (this is already exciting) like going to a movie, a concert, a show, getting a couple's massage or a favorite restaurant and then communicate your idea of planning a date day/night with him and then asking for his availability. Then get the tickets/ make the reservation, book the child caretaker and make it happen. It is that easy! Now, during times when you are at home, accept the fact that there will be days that you guys will be in the same apartment or house or room and will live like roommates. That is, he will be doing what he likes to do and you will be doing what you like to do. This is actually healthy as you can coexist and still be individuals. But involve him with baby chores. I have heard some friends like to say diaper duty is for the father and I take care of the feeding. Or because most moms are at home during the days, then it's Daddy and baby time in the evenings so he can put baby to bed. BUT I also suggest doing all this together sometimes too. I remember taking turns in reading a page to Jean-Pierre at bedtime or getting in the tub all three of us. Of course, if you have more kids, this will not be possible but try to do things as parents together and balance it with individual time with the baby. All this will help keep your relationship alive because you are exploring the romance still by doing date nights AND you are exploring your relationship by being great parents. Getting on a schedule and putting children to sleep on time is also great so you get your adult time or TV time together in the evenings and can talk about each other's day. If you have a husband who works a lot, then sending pics from home of the children to him every so often is also a good idea. Make sure you communicate your thoughts if you are feeling sad or happy. Always keep the communication alive. Speak with love and respect Sometimes people take it for granted because the spouse is always there that they can have attitude but flip it and think that this is the most important person you want to treat with love and respect. That is the true secret to a good relationship.