5 Ways to Make Sure Having Kids Won’t Ruin Your Relationship
Every time you and your partner talk about expanding your clan, you get excited—until a teeny tiny pang of fear sets in: What will life be like when there’s a third person (aka a baby-going-on-threenager) competing for a piece of your already limited couple time? Don’t worry. (Or, rather, do: that threenager stuff is real.) There are ways to make sure your relationship stays rock solid.
Discuss Plans for Self-Care Post-Baby
Will you quietly resent your partner if he decides to hit up the gym after you’ve been up all night with a screaming child? And what if you need to squeeze in a mani or run yourself? Who’s on diaper duty? It’s helpful to have a conversation ahead of the baby’s arrival—and then keep an open discussion about how you’ll manage (and fit in) solo time.
Decide Where Baby Will Sleep
The sooner you have this conversation, the better. That way, it won’t feel like it’s coming out of nowhere when your hubby suddenly announces he’s not OK with co-sleeping. Map out a plan before the baby arrives. (For example, your kid will sleep in a crib in his own bedroom, but you’ll buy a portable one to wheel into your room on particularly sleep-deprived nights.)
Build Out a Babysitter Budget
Tale as old as time: Couple has baby, couple realizes how expensive sitters are, couple never sees outside world again. To help keep date nights on the calendar, create a new budget line exclusively for sitters. (Just setting aside $100 a month will give you a good start.) Sure, a night in watching Netflix totally counts as quality time, but this way, you just might be able to eat a meal together without having pureed peas flung at your head.
Make a “Need,” “Let Go” and “Outsource” Checklist
This way, you can go through your life together and figure out exactly what you need to keep doing (laundry), what you can let go of (obsessively wiping down the oven every night) and what you can outsource (house cleaning twice a month is a godsend). Recurring arguments about all that stuff post-baby = averted.
Talk About Sex
It’s true what they say: Intimacy can be one of the first things to go out the door after baby. We’re not saying you need to schedule it on your Google calendar (not that we’d judge you), but have a convo about expectations so you’re both on the same page. And remember: It’s never too early to book your mother-in-law for her very first overnight babysitting gig.