Suddenly instead of two of you there is three. The addition of your darling baby. Those days of lustful nights and long sleep ins become a thing of the past. You spend your days feeding baby, cleaning baby, trying to get baby to sleep, walking with baby in pram, going to the clinic and talking about baby at mother's group and with your partner.
Your sex life has become almost non-existent as you and your partner are utterly exhausted. Once upon a time you had more interesting subjects to discuss, you felt witty, funny and smart at dinner parties now you sit their with a vagueness wondering what to say to contribute to the conversation. You usually end up worrying if the baby is okay or telling the guest next to you all about your child's bowel movements not noticing their pained look as they politely try to look interested.
Your days are spent watching kids programs or Oprah type chat shows. Then at night when your partner comes home you hand over your little cherub to get dinner ready. After you put the little one to bed but instead of sitting together as a couple you find yourself texting a comment in the newsfeed of a mother's group on Facebook, meanwhile the other half has fallen asleep watching TV.
The tiredness is something you both never could of imagined or been prepared for. This is a tender time and its a good idea to take a step back and try to regain that closeness you once had. Otherwise cracks may start to form as you neglect each other.
We know about Post natal depression for mothers but we often forget that the fathers can also go through some depression and a sense of hopelessness. They can sometimes feel quite useless as the child can favour the mother as the one they go to for things or vice versa if the father is the stay at home parent. This and your lack of closeness can start a spiral of unhappiness you might not notice at first.
There are often restrictions with budgets to live on and lack of babysitters available which can prevent a couple having some time alone together. This is where you must value some simple things and get a little creative with your free time. Some couples I spoke to suggested these ideas:-
A walk on the beach together holding hands. Even if your little one is running on the sand in front of you. It's great for you as a couple but also for your child to see you showing love. We often stop showing affection to our partners when busy giving so much to our children.
You could book a couples massage. If you can't get out book a mobile couples massage for when the children are asleep.
Date night at home after the kids are asleep - a regular Friday night take away and favourite drink or bottle of wine with a home movie.
Book a babysitter twice a week and both go to the gym together. You might regain the attraction for each other's looks as you both become fitter, more confident and with more energy.
These are just a few things to try out but I'm sure if you put your mind to it there will be a lot more. Just don't lose sight of your partner and what brought you both together in the first place. Keep the love alive for both of you and for your children.