Guest Post by Leslie Campos
Becoming new parents is stressful, and the demands of a baby can be overwhelming at times.
According to a study published in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, after the birth of a child, the negative aspects of the parents’ relationship can cause it to deteriorate very quickly. With all the focus on the little one, parents frequently don’t communicate very well, oftentimes argue more, and don’t have time for romance. Although many parents hesitate to leave their babies or young children behind, traveling together can be a wonderful way to recharge your relationship and reconnect as a couple.
Prepare the Little One
Although throwing yourself full force into parenthood is a necessity with a newborn, after several months, it is time to consider getting away with your partner and focusing on yourselves. Begin by preparing well in advance. You want your baby to be completely comfortable and familiar with your sitter. A grandparent would be a great option, if at all possible. A week or so before departing on your getaway, leave the baby with a sitter for several hours — maybe even a full day — to help them get used to each other. Be sure to do some preparations yourself as well, especially if you’re a breastfeeding mother. You’ll need to pump to have milk on hand for the baby while you’re away. Don’t forget to bring along a pump that’s travel-friendly, a pumping bag filled with the essentials (storage bags, nursing pads, etc.), a spare pump, and a portable cooler to store milk while on the road or in the air.
Need a pump? Check out these supplies to make pumping-on-the-go even easier:
Leave Plenty of Instructions
Put together a notebook with all the information that you want the sitter to know — everything from emergency numbers to your baby's favorite soothing techniques. Odds are, the sitter will never have to even open your folder, but it will help put your mind at ease when you are away.
Stay Close to Home
You don't need to jet across the country to reconnect with your spouse. Staying within your state or even your own city will provide you with some “couple time” and allow you the ability to return home quickly if necessary. A staycation can also give you the opportunity to see your own area as a tourist and discover fun destinations and activities you haven’t experienced before.
Make It Short But Sweet
Communication is key to helping your relationship thrive. Even a couple of nights away will allow you an opportunity to have time to talk to each other and help you rekindle your romance. An overnight trip is a good start. However, you should try to make it a long weekend, or if you want to steer clear of the crowds, plan your vacation for a few days during the week.
Don't Spend a Bundle
The financial stress of a new baby is enough — don't add to it by busting your budget on your trip. Stay at a modest hotel, and do simple date night type activities. Going out just the two of you, like you are on a date, can give you time to talk and listen to each other. As Kindred Bravely explains, simple activities are often the best; walk at the park, go bowling, or take in a local sporting event.
Spending time outdoors together also is very healthy for your relationship. Hiking, biking, and canoeing are inexpensive ideas and fun ways to connect with your partner and with nature. According to Psychology Today, research indicates that couples who participate in joint physical activities feel more satisfied in their relationships.
A quick trip can return you refreshed, invigorated, and ready to tackle everything life throws at you together as a couple. Taking time away, even just for a night or two, can help the two of to nurture your relationship with one another. The happier you are as a couple, the better parents you can be — and the more love your baby will feel.
How do you connect with your spouse?
Share below some of your favorite ways to reconnect with your spouse!
Disclosure: Some of the links in this post are affiliate links, meaning, at no additional cost to you, I will earn a commission if you make a purchase.
Wife & Mama with a passion for peaceful parenting, natural living, homeschooling... and my daily café au lait.