Our relationship as parents: 6 months in

We knew that having a baby would change our relationship. We prepared for it. We just didn't realise just how much things would change. I wrote a post previously on how we had prepared for battling through the years being parents to a baby, you can read what we said here. I thought that now we are six months in to parenting Charles I would go over the list and add some things about how our relationship as adapted and changed.

What we had originally:
#1 Time for ourselves as a couple.
We have made a real effort to spend quality time together without Charlie. Its been hard leaving him with others, especially for a night. But we trust our families and he has so much fun wherever he is which makes it an easier decision. We have talked and made an effort to really make that quality time together count.

#2 Time for yourself.
I don't think either of us have made this a priority until recently when we realised that we were getting in each others hair as we were always together. Its so important to have some time to yourself to do as you please, whether thats doing the washing up, reading a few pages of your book or just catching up on that program you had on record whilst the other person puts the baby to bed. It makes all the difference.

#3 Put yourself in their shoes.
Its taken some time to truly get a grasp on this. I am still not back at work (whilst I write this) so it is hard for me to leave Ben for a long period of time with Charlie on his own to get a true reality of how it is having to look after him alone all day. And because I don't go to work I don't know what it is like to be at work all day come home and have to carry on working (parenting) and to be away from Charlie for so much of the week. We have had moments where I have had a KIT day at work and when I was really poorly Ben took over but I think this is definitely a work in progress. We try our hardest to think of how the other one feels and thats what I think is most important.

#4 Compromise.
We compromise ALL the time. We are lucky to literally have opposite likes and dislikes when it comes to housework. Tying these in with Charlie duties we work really well on compromising jobs. It makes us both happier by doing jobs we like instead of always having to do jobs we don't want to do.

What we have now as well:
#5 Make time quality.
We try and have time where it is just us as it is our main point in making our relationship work. But its making that time quality time and not just time where we get things done because we haven't got Charlie. Things can slip so easily when your living with someone but don't talk about the little things, its easy to ask them to help to do this or do that, but make sure you ask them each day how they are. Make sure you still show you care.

#6 Break the routine.
Sometimes its nice to not have to do Charlie in the night if he wakes up, and sometimes its nice for Ben to not be handed the baby as soon as he gets home. By breaking the routine of our day to day we stop ourselves falling into a rut.

#7 Plan. Plan. Plan.
We are currently in the middle of planning our wedding which is in October, BUT we are trying to not make it every day conversation as it is so stressful. We do however talk about all of the things we are planning to do over the next few months and through to next year. Knowing we have things planned for us as well as a family is really refreshing and keeps excitement in our day to day life. Plan a little something for you both to give you something to look forward to and a little get out of day to day life event!

#8 Adapt.
Having a baby changes your relationship, but that doesnt have to make it change for the worse. Adapt to the new changes and things will be lots easier and happier. Having Charlie has changed both myself and Ben for the better and we love our roles as parents.

I am not a relationship expert but these are just some of the things that we have found to of helped keep us happier together. Life gets harder when you put a baby in the mix, but that doesnt stop it from being happier as well. If you have any tips of how to keep a relationship going strong do let us know in the comments.

Love Ellie, 
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