Keeping the Spark Alive After Having a Baby (Part 1: Laugh Together)
We all have those days (weeks, months…) where we feel like there is absolutely no spark in our relationship with our partners anymore. Life with a baby is full on, and while doing our best to simply survive each day and adapt to this new role in our lives, our relationship with each other begins to change.
That change isn’t a bad thing - in fact, it’s a sign that our relationship is growing and developing - but that doesn’t mean we can’t still have that ‘in love’ feeling too. In fact, being close to our partners is one of the ways we can get through this crazy life with smiles on our faces.
Yet when we’re exhausted and we spend our whole days now doing things for a little someone, it can feel like there is no energy left to put into our relationships with our partners. We all know it would be good for our relationship to go on a date, or get intimate, or do something nice for our hubbies, but that doesn’t mean we want to. The last thing we need is another thing on our to-do list, or another person to attend to. Who has time for that! And even when we would love to go on a date, or get close, it can be impossible to actually make it happen, for various practical reasons (lol).
But we love our partners, we dreamed of this life together with our little ones, we all love that feeling of being ‘in love’ and being close to our hubbies (not just our kids). If only it were easier to maintain…
So here’s my trick for staying close to your partner, and keeping that feeling of romance and being ‘in love’ (I promise it won’t take much effort!):
Deliberately laugh together every day.
It’s that simple.
When you don’t have the energy (or mood) to touch each other, or the time to talk, you can still laugh at something. It only takes a couple of seconds. Seconds - seriously, we all have a couple of those to spare.
When you laugh with someone, it creates a bond between you. It’s so simple. Laugh at something, and you’re on the same page, you feel closer because you are both agreeing and understanding each other, and that bit of fun lightens our moods. It helps us remember we like each other. That before anything else, we actually are friends. It reconnects us as adults, as friends on the same level, not just as parents to our kids. Laughter's great for our sense of identity, which can be hard to find at times.
Laughter is refreshing, grounding, energising and uplifting. It helps us to keep perspective and have a positive outlook. It’s good for the soul, and a bit of laughter is like a ray of light breaking through those gloomy storm clouds (fussy, teething baby, anyone?). It carries us through and somehow, magically, it helps us to feel close to our partners.
How to fit this in? Here are a few examples:
- Spend 10 mins playing a card game before going to bed
- Watch 15 mins of stand up comedians on Youtube
- Try entertaining your partner when you’re entertaining your kid (e.g. say or do something silly)
- Throw or bounce a ball to each other while you’re hanging out with your baby (we’ve all got too many balls in the house now, right?)
- Watch a funny show together instead of a drama series
- Share stories and comments from your day that you know will make your partner laugh, instead of just the serious stuff
The best part? You don’t have to organise a baby sitter or take your clothes off, or even have brushed your teeth that day. You can still make time to laugh together. You can add a bit of fun in as a garnish to your current day, not as an extra event you need to schedule in itself.
If these sound dumb, which I totally get because we all have different ideas on what is fun, have a think about what you used to do to have fun together. What always makes you laugh? What would make your partner laugh?
Do more of that, or find a way to make it easy or practical to fit into your new lifestyle. The ‘ideal’ would be to laugh together every day, but if that’s a bit much, try for once a week. That’s just one game together before bed, the other nights you can go straight to sleep. It’s one night a week of watching a short clip of your favourite comedian. It’s doing something silly to make your hubby laugh just one time over dinner. It's choosing to laugh at yourself instead of being serious and dramatic.
It’s so worth it. Having a bit of fun makes the hard times with a baby that much more bearable. It brings us back to being friends, hanging out together, and remembering to enjoy the moment we’re in.
Laugh together, and life will become so much more fun. Laugh more together, and you might just find you really do like your partner…and hey, he’s kind of attractive when he smiles, huh?