Our relationship as parents: one year in.

After writing two posts about how our relationship was changing getting used to being parents I thought that I would update you all on how things are now a year on. Not only are we parents but most importantly we are husband and wife. It is so important to us that we put that first as much as we can in our lives as its the foundation of a happy family. Being together for 10 years we know how our relationship works and how it doesn't, so with that here are where we are a year into parenthood.

#1 Time for ourselves as a couple
Every month we organise a 'pay day date night' we make sure we go out of the house and spend some time together. Its nice to get out of the house and chat to one another about things going on in one anothers lives. Not only is it nice to spend some time without the distractions of the baby monitor, the toy box in the corner or the huge pile of washing that never ends, but its nice to dress up and make an effort. I love our date nights especially when we go out, but staying in and making an effort to watch a film together is just as nice.

#2 Time for yourself
This is something that we make sure happens ourselves. Time for me is different for time for him so as long as we make sure that we get some time each day or week where we can collect our thoughts and do something we want to do for us then we are good. It makes us happier having those moments which makes us happier when we are together. Even if it is sitting next to one another whilst he plays on the Xbox and I read or write we aren't suppressing the other in to doing things only one of us wants to do.

#3 Put yourself in their shoes
This has really come in since I have been back to work. Working long days and then coming home to the whole dinner, bath, bed routine can be really hard especially with a pregnancy thrown in there. I respect Ben so much more than I did before I had that experience. I also get how hard it is to be away from Charlie for so long and missing things he does and therefore whenever I am home alone with him I make sure I send Ben even more pictures and videos of Charlie than I did before. Ben has said he appreciates how hard it can be to be sole carer of Charlie and empathizes with how I feel missing him whenever I'm at work. I think its helped us to really compromise on our day to day duties of parenthood and houseowner and we understand each others day even more than we did before.

#4 Compromise
We are always really good at talking about who is going to do what and I think we share out jobs really well, whether its who cooks dinner whilst the other puts Charlie to bed or who gets up at the weekend. We put each others days in to the mix as well as my pregnancy symptoms so we try to even out as much as we can. Its nice to have Ben to fall back on if I'm having a bad day and visa versa. We are a team and compromise is key to that.

Like I have said in each relationship post, I don't claim to be a relationship guru or have the advice to save a marriage. I can only talk about what works with us, and sometimes it doesn't we still argue like every one else but its always about silly little things, seriously how he hasn't learnt to change the toilet roll when it runs out is beyond me! But I love the guy, hes my soul mate and I plan on working really hard to keep us as happy as we are today every day of our lives together.
What are your tips on keeping things fresh in a relationship when babies are involved? Let me know in the comments.

Ellie xo