Recently my best friend who is a mother of a two-year-old daughter shared a personal pain point. She felt distanced from her husband ever since she had her child because both of them had barely been able to spend time together, between work and family commitments.
She felt stuck in a loop – on one side, she desperately wanted to take some time off to spend with her husband and reconnect with him. On the other side, she felt guilty and afraid about leaving her daughter alone with her in-laws or parents. Especially because her daughter has a habit of crying for her, every time she wakes up.
During my counselling years and as a parent to a three-year-old son, I have felt my friend’s ambivalence. It’s very common for couples to feel distant from each other because of rearing their kids or getting caught up in work.
And while it’s important for parents to be devoted to their kids. When kids are less than five years old, it’s also important for them to spend time together and bond. When parents are happy, loving, and supportive towards each other, their energy rubs off on the kids. The kids feel safer and calmer when they see their parents loving each other and getting along.
A lot of fights, incidents of cheating, and unhappiness arise out of feelings of neglect and distance. It also leads to resentment that one partner develops when his/her emotional needs are not met. This can easily be avoided if spouses make a serious effort to continuously bond and spend time with each other.
Here are five easy ways you can connect with your spouse this Valentine’s Day:
Plan a date:
Plan a lunch or dinner date with your partner while your kids are with your parents or at a day-care centre. Choose a venue that’s physically close to your house or the centre. This way if you are needed, you are just a phone call away from your child. This will make you feel less guilty and also allow you to spend quality time with your spouse.
Watch a Movie Together:
Watch a movie together once your child is asleep. Set some candles, dim the lights, and watch a nice romantic while you snuggle up to each other.
Small gestures are a great way to reassure your spouse about how much you love them. Some of these gestures can be small and intimate. Such as cooking breakfast or a small meal for each other, giving each other a massage, buying small gifts or organizing a surprise gesture.
Do a Fun Activity Together:
The best way to reconnect with your spouse is to do an activity that both of you enjoy doing. If you live in Delhi there are plenty of activities to choose from. Attend a Salsa class together, go for clay modelling, or shopping, or play a sport – anything that you guys have fun doing.
Respect Need for Space:
If both of you have been busy baby handling, it’s good to be less selfish and let your spouse some time off. Book a spa date, or a girl’s night out. For a husband – A stag sports day so that he can take a break and feel rejuvenated.