Relationships change after kids comes along. There is no denying it. Finishing a sentence uninterrupted can be mission impossible and if your conversations are about anything but your kids, it is a good day!
The above pic if of my husband James and I before we had our baby (and James lost his locks). We had endless hours to smooch over the dinner table before our tot came along. Time alone now has to be scheduled in to a diary – literally. It can be challenging when we are both exhausted from work and a baby who likes attention in the middle of the night.
Sometimes relationships become stronger than ever after babies arrive, but sometimes the lack of sleep, a change in lifestyle and getting used to your role as a parent can add a lot of extra stress on a partnership. We often put so much emphasis on how our lives will change once our little babe comes along, but not nearly as much thought into how our relationship might be affected. I used to hear people talking about ‘date nights’ and think that idea seemed a little too contrived for my liking, now I live for our date nights but also pray my eyes will stay open during them.
In the next part of our Baby Series, we asked real mums who we are friends with at Show + Tell to share with us if their relationship changed after kidlets. A few of our friends wanted to stay anonymous due to respect for their partner. Every couple goes through different things at different times but it’s all normal, and sometimes, it’s nice to hear other people ‘fessing up so you feel like you’re not alone. Here are some of their real and very honest answers to the question; “How did your relationship change after babies?”
‘Less sex more love and proud moments!’ – Sarah
‘Yes, different but better. Not as focused on romance and “your relationship” but more about “our family” and the role we play within it and what/who we need to be as a couple to sustain this. I also get really angry about his “fake sleeping” during the night when Harry wakes and he pretends not to hear him! – Fran
‘I love my husband even more now watching him with our children. It’s a whole new side and I feel lucky to be the woman he chose to have kids with.’ – Hayley
‘You need to prioritise time to be together as a couple.’ – Steff
‘It completely fell apart. He wasn’t prepared for the responsibility of parenting. I thought he would be a great Dad and he wanted to be one but more for the unconditional love rather than being able to cope with the hard stuff. He actually had a break down while I was in labour with my first child and we spent four years getting him help for the second one but it fell apart even faster. Within 10 months of my second child I was a single mum with 24 7 care, and we have now worked up to him having them one night a week.’ – anonymous
‘For sure. We are a team like never before and I love my husband more than I ever have. Watching him as a dad is the most incredible thing. But on the flip side, it can be bloody hard work. You have to schedule time in for each other and make sure it happens, you have to be aware of not losing each other in the sleepless nights and dirty nappies of the baby bubble.’ – Me
‘I think I knew my husband would be a good father and he is. He genuinely understands how much is sacrificed in being a stay at home mum and it’s made me appreciate him more…it’s also made me want to punch him a few times but mostly I just love how he gets it.’ – Stace
‘Conversations are few and far between and rarely finished. You have to put real (out of the house) time aside to still keep the love alive and do stuff you did pre-kids. Remember to laugh.’ – Chelsea
‘We always try to make sure we are on the same page with the kids, however that is not always the case. This can cause conflict in the relationship that wasn’t there before. I think our relationship is less physical and more respectful.’ – Jennifer
‘With our first son, the moment he was born I looked at Sam and felt like we were such a team. It was him and I getting to know this new little creature. Life is busy and tiring and sometimes you realise you haven’t finished a conversation in days and that can get frustrating. It has changed but in a lot of ways for the better, sometimes it’s bloody hard being a partner and a mum though.’ – Monty
‘You don’t have as much time for one another which can be hard. But you develop a new found respect and love for your partner when you see them as a daddy! – Elodie
‘A relationship deepens with the birth of a child. There’s a shared experience that nothing can replace. We’ve had to make time for “us” as a couple to stay connected, which we prioritise, but generally we’ve become a family instead of a couple and it is great’ – Gen
How has your relationship changed after having a baby?