56. How to spend quality time with your partner when you have a baby - postpartum relationship advice for new moms & first time moms
Are you struggling to find time to have some quality time with your partner? It can be tough to do when you have a baby, especially right now in the middle of a pandemic.
Listen in to learn some easy ways you can fit in some quality time with your partner, even if you don’t have a babysitter.
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FULL EPISODE TRANSCRIPTION:
Hey there friends. Welcome to the better postpartum podcast. I’m your host Angel Swan, crunchy mom, coffee addict and postpartum doula turned new mom, coach. This podcast is your audio guide to not just surviving, but thriving during those early and newborn days. If you want to care for yourself, your household and your baby with confidence, grab your earbuds because this is the only podcast that you need. So what do you say? Should we get started with today’s episode? Let’s do this. Hey, friends, thank you so much for tuning in today. Before we get started, I just wanted to read this really awesome reviews submitted by Janie bird 1993. She says, I literally just started listening to you yesterday, and I cannot put down the phone or not want to listen to any of these. The holiday and the Tuesday Tip are genius, super helpful. Like I am so obsessed with listening to your podcast, they are so super helpful. I am a first time mom. I had my daughter three months early at 25 weeks, and we were in Austin, Texas NICU for three and a half months. And we came home in September. And we’re just so overwhelmed. So happy to be home and so blessed. And your podcasts are super helpful. Thank you for what you do. Well, that was a mouthful. But thank you. Thank you so much for that review. If you’re listening to this, and you are learning from it, or you’re just loving it, please go over to Apple podcasts, hit the subscribe button, leave me a five star rating. And if you superduper love me, please go ahead and just write me a little written review. Every time I see these reviews, it makes me so happy. I literally smile every time I see them. It helps to boost this podcast in the charts, which is actually supporting the show. And it also helps other moms find the podcast. So if you really want to spread the word about the things that I’m teaching and giving advice on leaving that review is the best way to do that. So thank you again to Janie bird 1993. Let’s get into today’s episode, which is how to spend quality time with your partner when you have a baby. Okay, so this episode is going to be one where you might want to have like a little notebook and a pen. So you can work through some of these tips and write down your ideas of how you and your partner can find time to connect even if your baby is present. And if you’re driving, or you can’t write things down, then just go ahead and continue listening and just think on it. Kind of get the wheels spinning, if you will. And you can always come back to this later and work through the episode. Again, with your notepad if you want one, I love to write things down. So that’s why I suggest that. So let’s first talk about how to spend quality time with your partner when you have a baby. But also like having realistic expectations with that that is a first thing we need to go over. So your quality time is likely going to be spent as a family meaning your baby will probably be tagging along unless you have a solid babysitter. Especially like right now with COVID. If you don’t have someone you trust to come and watch your baby for a while while you go out on a date, you’re probably going to have your little sidekick with you. And that’s totally normal and Okay. Because really the only time that you’ll be able to be baby free is if you have a sitter or maybe you have like a mother’s helper come over and watch the baby for you while you hang out in a separate part of the house. Or maybe you guys can do something together at home while the baby is sleeping. But other than that, like your baby is going to be with you. And that’s fine. Okay, don’t feel like you have to be without your baby to have quality time together, because that’s just not the case. So let’s be realistic, then about what you can and can’t do with your partner when your baby is tagging along. So you’re gonna want to choose activities that you guys can do while your baby is present. And well. You’ll want to choose things to do that you can, you know, easily pause, you know, take a break if you need to, like tend to your baby or whatever, like you want to be able to stop and come back to it. So now let’s think about some things that you guys can do together to have more fun. And some of those things. Let’s let’s first think about what you used to do before you had a baby, right? So go ahead and just write down a couple things that you and your partner used to do before you had a baby. Like your go to hangout sessions. What did you do? Go ahead and write that down. And then look at your list of things that you guys used to do and then think about which of those things you could do with your baby present.
So, you know, do you like to go outside? Do you like to go for a walk? Do you like to go hiking? You know, those are things your baby can totally do with you. You can wear them, you can put them in a jogger and just go and do it. Do you like to play board games, you know, you can easily like wear your Baby while you play. Or I like to just set them in a play gym next to you so they can hang out with you. They can play with their little play gym. The key to the play gym guys. And this is funny, I just realized that this is like a secret but nobody tells anybody. And all my clients are always so impressed with how I get their babies to stay in their play gym for so long. All you have to do is get one of the rattles especially like the jiggly kind, and you place the rattle a little bit low, and then put the baby’s feet right next to the rattle. So then every time they kick, they’re getting that rattle to make a sound. And they will stay there for a long time when you do that. So pro tip if you really want to have some hands free time without babywearing that is a great way to make it happen. Okay, so that was just a little tangent. So if you do want to baby wear, though, I know I talk a lot about how you should baby wear, right. But don’t forget that your partner is also perfectly capable of wearing your baby too. And you know, they might be a little bit nervous about it, but you can totally help them learn how to do it. I’m sure you were nervous too. When you first started, maybe you were unsure of how to do it if you were doing it right. So you know you’ve got the hang of babywearing. Now just help them get the hang of it to you know, make sure that the carrier is the appropriate fit. Give them reassurance. And honestly, you just like practice with them, you know, practice makes perfect, just keep trying. Okay, so let’s think of some more things that you can do together. Maybe you used to go out and grab a bite to eat and get a drink. You know, you can totally replicate this for really sweet in home date. Or if you are comfortable going out to eat, you can totally do that too. Babies like to travel you guys they like they enjoy getting out of the house, they don’t want to, they don’t always want to sit in the house and do the same thing every day. But if you do want to replicate this at home, you know, you can make it special, you can do a little bit of planning to make it extra special. So you know, maybe you’ll choose the meal that you guys want to have, you can buy the ingredients during your next grocery trip. And then don’t forget to pick up a drink if you want to have a little bit of alcohol make the night a little more interesting. responsibly, right. But you guys, you know, you can cook the meal together and you can enjoy your drinks, whatever, you know, whatever beverage alcohol, no alcohol, whatever. You know, it just takes a little bit of planning and that planning makes it extra special. Let’s see what else. Maybe you guys like to go out and watch movies, okay, you can watch movies, you can do that. Maybe don’t go to a movie theater. But you know, you could totally watch a movie at home. You know, turn your baby away from the screen. And you know, if you really want to go the extra mile and like protect their little ears, you can totally connect some bluetooth earbuds to your TV. I’m just assuming most of you have a smart TV. I feel like that’s all that’s sold at this point. So you can connect some bluetooth earbuds to the TV. And then you can each take an earbud and enjoy the movie without causing too much stimulation for your baby. And then obviously make it extra extra special just by popping some popcorn, maybe run to the dollar store and grab some really cheap but yummy candy to eat while you watch the movie. Just thinking of ways you can make these little things extra special. And so let me see. I’m trying to think of some things that Eric and I used to do. So before we had Jenny, our go to dates. Were usually just having a quiet dinner and watching a movie at home. We did not really like to go out we are kind of introverts. We really like to stay home and just be together. Eric used to be a professional cook. He’s a car salesman now. But he is still a great cook. But he used to work professionally as a cook. So he would cook up these really fancy meals for us to enjoy. And then so we just sit down on the couch, eat our yummy food and watch a movie that we had picked out together. But then after Jenny came along, you know, we still did this. We just had to get a little creative. So Eric was still our main Cook of the house for some time. And he would make dinner while Jenny and I hung out just outside of the kitchen. And we would watch him cook. And then when she was really little and couldn’t turn around to see the TV, we would actually pick out shows to watch together or like play games on the Xbox. And like I said before, we would do the earbud thing so that Jenny wasn’t like overstimulated, she does get overstimulated very easily
But unfortunately, when she got big enough to turn around to look at the TV, we kind of had to stop that for a little while because we did not want Jenny to have any screen time as a baby. So we did still get to watch a little bit of TV together. But we did wait until Jenny was down for bed at night. And then I would like sneak out of the bedroom and go and watch TV with Eric and just hang out and like do a little cuddle, whatever. Let’s see. Another thing that we used to do together, is we would go camping and hiking. We actually went camping for our honeymoon in a tent. Were very outdoorsy. So we just love doing anything that got us out in nature out in the woods. And after Jenny came along, you know, we really didn’t go camping. We did take her on a ton of hiking adventures, though. So sometimes we just take a walk around like outside walk around the neighborhood, there was a park nearby would walk down to the park. But sometimes, we would go on, there’s this app called all trails. And so we just look on there for like local trails, we see if we wanted to put Johnny in the jogger, then we would make sure that the trail is stroller friendly. That’s one of the really cool filters on all trails. Or we just wear her a lot of the times we’d wear her. So I usually wore her and Eric would carry the backpack, because I was also very heavy, just about as heavy as she was. So I definitely like sharing the load there. But yeah, that was super fun for us. And Jenny also really loved getting outdoors, you know, babies like to be outside, it makes them calm, that makes them happy. So those dates outside usually went really, really well. I can only remember one time where I took Jenny hiking, and she just started having a fit. But it was really more like I was wearing her on my back and she just kept like biting me. And I don’t know why. And I tell her to stop and she would get mad. Maybe she was hungry. I don’t know. Maybe she’s just hungry. And that was the problem. And she was like I’m ready for food. Now quit hiking. I don’t know what the deal is. But all that to say it was very, very easy to go on the outdoor dates. So that’s one really, really fun idea that you might try. Let’s see, Eric and I are both coffee snobs. Okay, so we used to go and visit local coffee shops and enjoy a cup of freshly roasted coffee. And before COVID We did go out a few times like we used to like after Jenny came because we had her a couple months before everything shut down. But then once COVID started, we really had to switch things up. So Eric has his own coffee roaster. And he would buy green coffee beans and roast them in his roaster. And then the whole house was not so so good, like freshly roasted coffee, it was awesome. And then later on, we would grind up the coffee and enjoy that fresh, roasted taste of the coffee together. It was so good. Oh, I wish we still had time to do that. But then, you know, if he didn’t feel like roasting coffee, then one of the things we would do is just one of us would go for a coffee run, we’d get some fancy coffees from the local coffee shop. And then we would bring them back home and we would just sit down and enjoy them together. So that’s another thing you could do. So I know having a coffee roaster like I don’t know anyone else who has own coffee roaster. So I don’t expect any of you to try that. But just having when you run out and grab some really yummy coffees and bring them back you can set together and enjoy that. Eric and I also really love going on long drives to nowhere, we would just get in the car, find a long road and drive until we felt like turning around. So with Jenny, you know, any baby in general, this is something that you can easily do as a family being cooped up inside of the house, especially now with COVID. Getting out is super, super nice, even if you don’t have anywhere to go. So if you don’t feel like going on an outdoor adventure, sometimes you know you just want to get out of the house. And you don’t really have anything to do you don’t have anything planned. Like just go for a drive. Just go for a drive. This is especially great if you’re having a hard time getting your baby to nap. Like you can pop them in the car seat, go for a drive, your baby will sleep and then you and your partner can just chat and that’s what Eric and I did all the time. There was a time when Jenny really did hate being in the car seat. So I would say for like the first couple months of her life that was not something that we did but then when she got a little older she did start to fall asleep in the car. So if you are in that situation where a baby is screaming their head off in the car, it does get better. Just saying just so you know it gets better.
Let’s see. Oh another thing that we love to do is play games. We used to play board games and card games together. So then when Jenny came along, you know, we kind of did the same thing where we’d sit her in her play gym while we played, she could just hang out next to us while we did our thing. Or we would just wait until she fell asleep, at nighttime or sometimes naptime, but usually it was in the evening. And then we would go ahead and play whatever games we wanted to play. So those are just like, the game nights are some of my favorites, because we just have so much fun, like getting competitive with each other. And that’s a really fun way to like, bond and you know, kind of give each other crap, you know, when you beat the other one at the game, whatever. I’m very good at man, Calla. And Eric, for some reason, like doesn’t have the strategy down to when I beat him every time. So it’s a very fun for me. But those are just a few of the things that we used to do in Jenny was a baby. So I hope that gives you some ideas of how you can incorporate your baby into the fun things that you and your partner like to do. That will just give you some, you know, quality time together. So you know, we basically just took every opportunity that we could, to chat with each other about nothing, like nothing and everything, right. And all of these things are just little adaptations of what we used to do together before we had a baby, we just kind of tweak it so that we can do it with a baby. And that’s what it is like, when you have a kid, that’s what it is, you’re just living your life with your kid. And that’s fine. That’s what it means to be a parent. You know, if you have a babysitter, that’s great, you can go out and do your own thing for a little while. But for the most part, your kids are going to be tagging along. So even the mundane things, even if you’re not making like a special plan for like a little date night or whatever, you know, cooking dinner together, folding laundry together, just sitting around, like, whatever it is that you do during the day, you know, you can try and do it together. We used to do all those mundane tasks and like, did them together just as an excuse to be with each other. And, you know, I think one of the things that really holds us back as moms from spending quality time with our partners is a fact that we feel like the work is never done. Because we are just constantly playing catch up. And there’s always an endless list of to do’s, there’s never enough time to do it all. And then trying to fit in time with your partner or even have time for your own self care really feels impossible. So that is why I created back to you. Okay, back to you is a membership community where you will learn how to get your baby or toddler on a predictable routine, so that you have more control over your day, then we create a weekly plan that has built in routines, daily routines that are going to prioritize self care, make chores a breeze, and just help you prioritize your life so that you can do all the things you want to do. And then we build a support system that you can lean on when you need backup. And that’s even if you don’t have a support system built in, I’ll teach you how to find your people. So then with all of these systems and all these routines in place, you will have no problem finding time to dedicate to spending quality time with your partner. So if you feel like you could use some support with getting your own routines in place that give you more time to do things that you really enjoy. like spending time with your partner. Come and join the membership. It is super affordable, and you’ll have a self paced lessons to go through. You’ll have a members only community where you can get support and accountability anytime and weekly q&a sessions where you’ll get to talk with me and I will help you get where you want to be like one on one real time support. So if you want to join back to you go to Angel swan.com/back to you to join today. That’s a NGLSW o n.com/backto y o u and join the program. Okay, I will link it in the episode description for you too. So you cannot miss it. Alright friends, as always, please don’t forget you can come hang out with me on Instagram. See what I’m up to? Give me a little shout my Instagrams at Angels dot Swan Angel dot swan the.is important. Grab my free postpartum planner on my website, Angel swan.com. And of course,
don’t forget to rate and review and subscribe on Apple podcast. Thanks again for listening. I will talk to you soon. Buh bye. Thank you so much for listening to the better postpartum podcast. Here’s what I want you to do next. If you loved what you heard today, would you do me a giant favor and leave me a written five star review? Those little love notes that you leave are the perfect way to thank me for putting out these episodes just for you see Honestly, it would mean the world to me. Next, take a screenshot of the episode you’re listening to right now and share it on your Instagram stories and make sure you tag me at Angel dot swan. That’s SW o n so that more moms can find this podcast and hopefully get the advice and encouragement they need to truly thrive with their babies. And don’t forget to come back every single week for more nuggets of wisdom and truth bombs about the early motherhood journey. I’ll talk to you next time. Bye bye