Reconnecting With Your Partner Post-Children
Now that the kids sleep through the night, you may find that you and your partner feel kind of awkward and uncomfortable with all this new time together. It is an adjustment when you are not used to bedtime chaos and waking through the night.
You may feel nervous about the state of your relationship. You may be thinking that you should be eating nice dinners together or watching movies, but instead, you do nothing and are not quite connecting.
First, the word "Should" definitely needs to be ditched and fast. It is a tricky word that sets us up to fail. There is no should. The shoulds keep you locked in self-judgment and leave you no space to move or grow.
So if you can, try to let go of should and the feelings that come with a should. Typically that is guilt, shame, and regret. That is all in the past, and the key is living in the present moment.
It can be surprisingly challenging when your life changes for the better, especially if the thing that changed was a primary disturbance or distractor in your life. That problem gets a tad larger than life and can become the only thing we look at and focus on. We can become quite myopic in our way of seeing when the problem feels overwhelming.
When we have kids, it's easy to lose ourselves in our role as a parent. Remember that you are not just a parent; you are a whole and unique person. Your kids need you to be whole for them to grow and learn from you.
Your kids need to see what inspires or interests them. They will learn that it is something they are allowed to do too!
Instead of primarily focusing on what feels missing with your wife, connecting with yourself is an excellent place to start. Did you forget who you are without kids a little or forget what gives you joy and inspires you?
You can begin by remembering the parts about yourself. You get to remember how great you are. You are not doing this to change someone else and make them what you need; this is about you.
You are moving inward and more toward who you are as a whole interesting, creative, curious, and integrated human being.
What do you love? Do you have a hobby? Is there an everyday activity that you and your wife can do together that is simple? I find a nice walk is a great way to connect with yourself and, in turn, with your partner.
Remember that change is just that; it's a change, and it often takes some time to adjust. Make sure to be loving, kind, and patient with yourself.
Perhaps try to see the emptiness as space for an adventure. You never know what or who you may find.