Marraige After Baby: 5 Ways To Connect With Your Partner
Perry and I have never been big on celebrating Valentine's Day. No candy, no flowers and definitely no gifts. We both struggle with the concept of commercializing our love so for the last five years we have been together, we've opted out. It's been no lie that Perry and I have struggled with our relationship since becoming parents. There was a definite shift in our marriage when all of a sudden we went from being each others' world to having a small baby orbit in between us.
We've been working really hard to connect again so this year feels a bit different. We decided that we will in fact celebrate Valentine's Day in our own special way with handmade cards, tacos because hey, it's Taco Tuesday, and spending some quality time together after the little one is in bed.
Below are 5 things that we have been doing to strengthen our relationship. I hope you and your significant other enjoy them as much as we have!
1). Marriage Vision Board: Yup, that's right. Pull out the old magazines, morph back in to your teenage self and make a marriage collage together. It's amazing how cool it is to see your partner cut out words and pictures that they think represent what your love & marriage is all about. It's inspiring really. I should take a picture and show you what ours looks like. :)
2). One Night Of No Screen-Time: By the time Winter is in bed, we are both utterly exhausted from work, dinner time, bed-time routine and other household duties. Before Winter, we didn't watch a lot of T.V. as we were always riding bikes, socializing or playing music together. We haven't been too hard on ourselves for this shift in lifestyle, but we've noticed how often we zone out on our phones or in front of a screen and that it's prevented us from truly connecting. So we decided that once a week, we would turn off all screens and simply be together. We play board games, sit on the couch with a warm cup of tea (or sometimes a nice cocktail) and talk. It's like we are both opening our souls up again and it's been really fun getting to know each other though this new lens. It's a night I look forward to every week!
3). Family Values: I know this one sounds silly (well, maybe not as silly as the vision board), but we both think that this is a MUST for our relationship. We are developing a code of conduct to live by if you will. We are still revising our list but so far we have: Integrity, Empathy, Adventure, Warmth, and Gratitude. We hope that if our words and actions are guided by these values, that our exchanges will be given and received only in love.
4). Book Club: We have decided to read a book together every other month. We plan to read about parenting, relationships, adventure and some comedy too. Our first two books are: Raising Your Spirited Child & Breakfast For Champions.
5). Mindful Walks: Perry and I always feel so much more refreshed after a walk. We try to go at least 3 to 4 times a week after I get home from work (when the weather permits). I learned this practice called sight, sound and touch in my mindfulness class. Basically, you go for a walk and as your senses take over, you begin to label (in your mind) what you are experiencing. For example, if you feel the breeze, you say to yourself, touch. If something catches your eye like the light bouncing off the leaves you say, sight. If you hear something, like the coos of your child coming from the stroller you think, sound. Do this for ten minutes and you'll be amazed at the things you notice. You'll feel so peaceful that when you finally do talk, it won't be about bills or schedules. I know it sounds super hippy dippy. I was skeptical too. Here is an article that probably explains it better than I can. Let me know if you try it!