Being a mother is one of the most rewarding things we will ever do, but that does not mean it doesn’t come with its own set of challenges. One of those challenges is navigating your intimate relationship with your partner after becoming parents. As a Marriage Therapist for over 20 years and the owner of Therapy With Heart, I am saddened by the number of couples I meet with who report feeling alone in their marriage, unappreciated, and disconnected. Regardless of the stage of parenting you are in, it’s important to give some love and attention to your relationship as well. Here are some suggestions of ways to stay connected despite the busyness of life with children:
Hello’s, Good-bye’s and Goodnights:
These points of transition are opportunities to connect and often become so routine that there is little thought or emotion behind it. Take the time to linger in a hello or good-bye kiss or hug, make sure you take the time to say good-night especially if you don’t go to sleep at the same time, and recognize that these little moments are available to you. We all have the 30-60 seconds that this takes to do.Really Listen:
Even as a therapist who listens for a living, I have been known to ask my husband how his day was and not listen to a word of his answer. One time, I even asked the question and then walked out of the room when a child called for me! This was my wake up call and now I am mindful to take the time to listen to the answer and to slow down and make sure I’m present and engaged.
When you are connected with your partner the little irritants like crumbs on the counter are literally just that. When you are disconnected than the crumbs on the counter can link to messages of feeling disrespected, taken for granted, or many other negative perceptions. Take the time to connect, it could be a date night to Target, a conversation when the kids go to bed, or time to be intimate together.
Don’t wait until there is a problem to get support:
It is so heartbreaking when a couple comes in and they are already moving into a divorce and if they had come in sooner, we might have been able to help them find their way back to each other. Every couple needs a third person to help navigate struggles. We can get caught in the same cycle and get frustrated and hopeless over time. Whether it’s a marital enrichment workshop (click here for our Couples Workshop schedule) or coming in for couples therapy, don’t wait until the problems become severe to reach out. Contacting Therapy With Heart does not mean your relationship is broken, it means you value your relationship enough to invest the time in each other to heal and communicate in a healthier way.
If you have questions, need resources, or just want to reach out, please know I’m here as a support to you as you navigate your life and the many roles you have. As a business owner, therapist, mother, and wife of almost 20 years I get it and can connect you with the best therapist given your specific situation.
Rachel Thomas, LMFT is the owner of Therapy With Heart and has been providing therapy for over 20 years. With locations in Scottsdale and Tucson, Therapy With Heart is based on the heart and we work to create a safe space for healing. Our purpose is for couples, individuals, and families to be empowered to create authentic, honest conversations and navigate towards change and growth improving life’s relationships. We do this through providing the highest quality therapy by specialty professionals who are committed to building lasting connections with our clients. Life is stressful and overwhelming at times and we want to make it as convenient as possible for you to get support so we offer appointments in the evenings and weekends as well as during the week.