Our youngest child is nothing like the two before her. She has an independent streak but at the same time will not leave our sides. Literally. Whether we are walking, sitting or lying down in bed, she insists on being in between mummy and daddy. This went on till she was about three years old.
Sounds familiar? Do you feel that your child is coming between you and your spouse? Find ways to be intimate in everyday moments by creating ‘rituals of connection.’ These small and simple acts done routinely will keep the level of intimacy in the healthy zone and prevent the frigid gulf of alienation and loneliness from forming.
Holding hands, even if it is only for thirty seconds, helps you stay in touch with one another. What’s more, research has shown that holding hands with a spouse has the ability to reduce stress levels.
The morning routine can be one of the most difficult as you juggle between getting yourself ready for work and your child bathed and changed. Instead of dashing out the door when all is done, take a few seconds to connect with a hug or a kiss or both.
For most couples, daily conversations are likely to be transactional. “Did you buy the milk powder?” “Have you paid the bills?” “Did you make the doctor’s appointment?” A way around this could be to make pillow talk a habit. (I’m sure you will agree that keeping tabs with your spouse is more important that knowing what your friends did and posted on Facebook for the world to see.) Take turns to share with each other the facts and feelings from the day that just concluded. Here is another great opportunity to apply touch therapy. Cuddle up and stress will leave your body quicker than you can say “How was your day, dear?”
The Beginning Parenting Programmeis designed to help you successfully make the transition into parenthood. You will learn how you can focus on parenting your newborn without losing sight of your marriage. Learn more about the Ritual of Connection and other ways of strengthening your marriage from the Seven Principles Program workshop for couples
This article is written by Parcsen Loke. He is a husband and father of three children and Deputy Head of Programmes and Development at Centre for Fathering (CFF). He conducts workshops at CFF including the Beginning Parenting Programme and the Seven Principles Program.