Bestselling author's tips on making room for baby without ruining the romance.
It's the secret nobody shares until after you become parents. Somehow the joy and wonder of a new baby can just suck the passion out of a marriage--and you have to work to get it back. Stacie Cockrell, co-author of the bestseller Babyproofing your Marriage gives Mom•Logic the secrets to preserving your relationship post-baby.
Mom•Logic: What issues do couples usually face once they have a baby?
Stacie: There are four key things couples need to do once they bring the baby home:
- Understand the great mom and dad divide. We don't do things the same way or at the same time.
- Realize there will be a sexual disconnect once you have a baby. For moms, their sex drive goes MIA and falls under the radar. Men want sex--baby or no baby. For women, try to understand how important it is for men. It's how they are hard-wired.
- Stop the score keeping. It's the endless tit-for-tat war between husband and wives. Who has it tougher, and who works harder? I changed a diaper, but I gave him a bath... It goes on and on and on, and we all do it.
- Manage the in-laws: It's instinctual that grandparents want to have an influence on the baby. With that, sometimes there is turf infringement, when a mother or father-in-law crosses the line. The nuclear family should come first, and sometimes you have to run interference with your own family or parents. If you send your spouse into the battleground, that relationship can be over.
Mom•Logic: What tips can you give couples to re-light the spark after the baby comes?
Stacie: Here are my top three:
- Date night. Try to go on a date once a week. If you can't afford or find a sitter, trade off with your friends. If you can't get out of the house, use a tablecloth on the dinner table, light candles, and have a romantic dinner once the kids go to sleep.
- Just do it. Sex is the glue in a relationship. For women, understand how important it is to your husband. For men, stop the shoulder tap at 10 p.m. and redefine foreplay.
- Make "me time." If men give us an hour to ourselves so we can strip off the throw-up stained warm-up suit and slip out of mommy mode, it's much easier to get excited about sex!