Maintaining a strong relationship when kids come along

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Kids can be one of the things that can put an enormous amount of pressure on any relationship, especially in the first five years. From when they are born they need a lot of care and attention, and this can mean that romance disappears and is replaced with being more like a brother and sister. There are steps you can take to avoid this happening, as long as you are both prepared to make the effort.

Give Your Partner A Break

Sometimes parents need a break. It does not have to be for days or anything like that. It can be long enough to have a bath in peace and quiet or long enough for them to put their feet up and have a read without worrying about what the little ones are up to.

Young children can be a real handful. They are often more adventurous than they should be because they just see the fun and not any danger. This results in them constantly having to be watched until they learn to be a bit more cautious. Not having any space of your own from when they get up until they go to bed can be extremely tiring, and this can be the cause of sleep becoming more important than romance.

It does not matter that you love your children more than life, sometimes a break is needed. Doing this for your partner will make them appreciate you more and they will be more rested. Then perhaps they will not be quite so tired when it gets to bedtime.

Watch Out For Withdrawal

There is a difference between being distracted and becoming withdrawn. If you want your relationship to survive these most demanding years, you need to watch out for the signs of withdrawal.  It is vitally important to make sure that you talk together often, and it should include all sorts of things that affect you both, such as feelings and emotions.

If your partner becomes more interested in things outside of family life or becomes more consumed by their job than you think they should be, talk to them about the issue. Do not just ignore it because it will not go away and could be the start of the end of your relationship.

If you are really concerned, suggest seeing a marriage counsellor who will be able to help you through this difficult time. It is quite normal for a couple to be more distant in their children’s early years, but you should not let it progress to a appoint that is beyond repair.

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Look Out For Each Other

It is important to remember that you are not in this on your own, and both of you should be looking out for the other.  It is no surprise that when children come along the needs of the parents become secondary, but if you are taking care of each other, this should not always be the case.

You are a team and should share some of the responsibilities. Bath time with young kids can be great fun, and one of you could be doing that while the other prepares an evening meal. You both need to acknowledge that the other has other work to do as well. Whether that is in employment or running your own business, the workload of the children needs to be shared accordingly.

Once that is all sorted, you need to make time for you as a couple, not as parents. This could simply be watching TV together after the kids have gone to bed, or maybe playing a game at a similar time.  Date nights can be great as well, but even they do not mean you have to spend a fortune. Have someone watch the kids while you take a stroll in the park, or maybe get Nan and granddad to have them overnight to give you a longer break.

Remember that before the kids appeared you were not so snappy with each other, and it was not unusual to buy your partner a gift? The same should still apply. Every time you feel yourself about to snap, just hold fire for a few seconds and the urge will either disappear or what you say will have more effect because it is said calmly. As for treating each other sometimes, you could take a look at gifts for him from Cuckooland and maybe get him something nice and he could look at one of your favourite shops and fo the same for you. It’s nice to have a little token from your partner now and again.

Say Thank You

In any relationship, it is very easy to take each other for granted, and that is always a bad sign. It just needs a show of appreciation, like a simple thank you, to show your partner that you are aware of the effort they are making and that you do appreciate all the hard work they do.

Thank you means more to some people than anything else, as it shows the fact that you notice them and they are not just a fixture of your home.

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Five Years Will Fly By

Things really do get easier when the children are past 5 years of age. They start at school and make new friends. Suddenly parents are not the most important people on their minds, and the older they get the less important you will become.  Those first five years, until that happens, will fly by. It may not feel like it when you are deprived of sleep because of night feeds, or because they cannot sleep because of the pain of teething. However, what seems like an eternity at the time, in reality, is just a few weeks that are gone before you know it.

Just think of any five year period in your life to make you realise how quickly the time goes. Before you realise what id happening your children will be going to senior school, then to college or university. It will not be long after that they leave home, and then if you have managed to keep the romance alive, you will be very proudly able to say ‘we made it’.

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