“She is the most beautiful creature I have ever seen,” you thought when you first laid eyes on that gorgeous woman you now call your wife. She is beautiful, smart, and sophisticated. You pursued her like she was royalty: picking her up for dates, holding doors open, bringing flowers, cooking dinners, the ring, the beautiful wedding. Finally, she became yours.

Fast forward to today. She is still the love of your life, but dating her is like running through an obstacle course, and the babies you had together are both delightful and a terror.

You lean in for a kiss, but you get pushed away by the envious one year old in your wife’s arm. You hug her and the toddler clings to your leg because they also want a hug. You try to have a conversation and every thirty seconds you get interrupted with someone wanting milk, apple juice, crackers, cheerios, and of course the inevitable diaper change. You make plans to go out for dinner and one of the kids gets sick. Perhaps, at last, you decide on an at-home date and she falls asleep during the first thirty minutes of the movie.

But despite this, you, the husband, are her rock star and best friend. Your affirmation and support means the world to her, now more than ever as you raise your children together. In their book And Baby Makes Three, Drs. John and Julie Gottman write that “the greatest gift you can give your baby is a happy and strong relationship between the two of you.”

However, with kids around, maintaining that happy and strong relationship isn’t that easy with all the new changes in your lives.

Research shows that your wife’s brain is changing in pregnancy and motherhood. A study published by Dr. Pilyoung Kim in 2010 shows that her brain is actually growing! Specifically, the gray matter in the prefrontal cortex, parietal lobes, and midbrain areas increases, which is associated with a mother’s positive perception of her baby.

A more recent study completed by Dr. Elseline Hoekzema, published in 2016, indicates that the gray matter in areas associated with social cognition (where we store, process, and use information about other people) decreases, creating a “pruning” effect that results in a mother’s focused attunement to her baby.

Furthermore, hormones released when a mother is with her baby, such as dopamine and oxytocin, create an “in love” feeling that keeps her motivated to return and take care of the tiny human who keeps stealing her sleep. While one study suggests that there is diminishing ability in memorizing words (not recognition or working memory), the majority of difficulty concentrating may be attributed to her lack of sleep and increase in responsibilities.

That being said, she may be more forgetful and absent-minded with certain aspects of life, but she is also a mental genius when it comes to your children’s needs, schedules, and even keeping up with the dirty diapers.

But it is up to both of you to continue to devote time to each other and maintain your relationship. Dating is a great way to keep the love alive, and it is essentially spending quality time together, doing something you both enjoy while simply catching up on what’s going on in each other’s lives. Dating will not just keep you both close to each other, but its positive effects will model a strong and healthy relationship for your children, thus creating a happy home.

The amazing thing about parenting is that you are both doing it together. So, naturally, the first ideas for plans are things you can do with your kids. You can go to a petting zoo, have a backyard campout, or build Lego castles together.

However, spending time together, just the two of you, is just as important as playing with the kids, and going on an actual date together (or having an at-home date) is a great way to maintain the fun and closeness of your relationship. Once the kids are in bed:

  • Hire a sitter and go out for a dinner date. Over dinner, you could talk about your love maps and explore each other’s worlds, or ask each other about highs and lows of parenting, marriage, and how you can support each other.
  • Make a pizza together and watch your favorite show on Netflix.
  • Write each other a poem. (No ideas? Try this.)
  • Create a bucket list.
  • Give each other a massage.
  • Watch a TED talk, then discuss it.
  • Get a deck of Salsa Cards and talk about how you can spice up your sex life. Then try it.
  • Make a time capsule that reflects the current moment in your family.
  • Cook a recipe you’ve never made before.

It can be difficult to make time for yourself and for each other when you have children, but it’s also a great time to grow together in a new way. Make sure to continue building your friendship and keep going on dates, which can be fun, romantic, and will keep your relationship strong. It is, after all, the best gift you can give your children, and also each other.


If want to build a deeply meaningful relationship full of trust and intimacy, then subscribe below to receive our blog posts directly to your inbox:


 

More in The Archives
Dating Your Wife with Kids Under Five
Tamara Patterson

Tamara Patterson, LCPC, NCC is a counselor in private practice, college professor and writer. She is passionate about helping others be well, so they can love the ones they care about well. Tamara created her own online courses to increase coping skills and emotional intelligence which can be found on her website www.newtreecenter.com.

  • linda manzo

    What a wonderful and a straight forward spell caster that has brought back joy and happiness into my life!!! Am giving this testimony because am so happy, I want to thank Dr. gbojie for the great thing He has done in my life , He brought happiness back to my life, I never believed in spell casters until my life fell apart when my lover of 6 years decided to call it quit almost when we wanted to get married. I was so emotional breakdown to the extent i could not do anything reasonable again, after 3months in pain before an old friend of mine introduced me to a spell caster on line called Dr gbojie, this was after I have been scammed by various fake spell casters. I was introduced to Dr gbojie a true Spell Caster. In less than 38 hours i saw wonders, my lover came back to me and my life got back just like a completed puzzle, and after 1month later we got married and it was just like a dream to me because i thought i had lost him forever. Thank you Dr. gbojie for helping me but most of all, Your Honesty and Fast Accurate Results. EMAIL HIM FOR HELP: gbojiespiritualtemple@gmail.com or gbojiespiritualtemple@yahoo.com : through his number +2349066410185. You can also read my testimony on his website: http://gbojiespelltemple.wordpress.com .
    ARE THE THINGS DR GBOJIE CAN THESE
    ALSO CURE.. GONORRHEA, HIV/AIDS , LOW SPERM COUNT, MENOPAUSE DISEASE, PREGNANCY PROBLEM, SHORT SIGHTEDNESS PROBLEM, Stroke, Bring back ex lover or wife/husband..