Spousal Sign Language: Staying in Touch After Having Kids

Posted March 11, 2016 by Niagara Mommy in Mommy Stuff, Self Care / 21 Comments

The other day, my husband came up behind me while I was chopping vegetables for dinner. He wrapped his arms around me and snuggled into my neck. I said, “Aw, hi babe. You ok?” He said, “Ya, I just don’t do this enough.”

I melted.

But it occurred to me that one of our biggest challenges as parents isn’t just taking care of the kids, but taking care of our relationship too. Staying in touch, for Niagara Daddy and I, is an imperative part of our daily lives.

Staying in touch after having kids is so important, but so impossible. It's the little touches, snuggles, smiles and gestures that become a way of communicating for parents.

The daily routine that is our life together can get so repetitive, so mundane that we’re just too numb at the end of the day to take care of our marriage. We get up, go through the morning routine, go to work, then he picks up Niagara Girl and I pick up Baby G from daycare. We all meet at home for dinner, curl up for a couple of cartoons and snuggles then put the kids to bed. After that, I’ll work out or do some blogging and he’ll watch his favourite shows or read.

We’ve been together so long that we take each other for granted and are quite happy just doing our own thing each night. It seems almost impossible to think about each other when, by the end of the day, we’re exhausted.

Saying “I love you” seems arbitrary, sex is great if you’re not too tired, and even a kiss goodbye every morning can lose its luster after five years of diapers and tantrums. You’re just spent.

So how do you stay in touch with your spouse after having kids?

Date nights are a great way to stay in touch, but most times, on our date nights, we end up mostly talking about the kids.

The one thing thought that does keep us in touch with each other is touching. Don’t worry, I’m not trying to gross you out here. What I’m talking about is, well, a spousal sign language, is the best way to put it, I guess. All the little things that we did when we first got together, before we created the munchkins of mayhem.

Staying in touch with your spouse after you start a family can easily fall by the way-side if you let it. Here's how we stay in touch.

A snuggle to the neck, a back scratch, a hand on the waist, fingers through the hair, a tug on a bra strap to make ‘the girls’ dance, whatever! It’s these little things that have become a way of communicating for Niagara Daddy and I. They’re our way of saying, “Hey, babe. We’re still doin’ it and I’m still in it all the way.”

It’s a language that he and I alone understand, and it transcends the busyness, the numbness, the endless din that comes with parenting.

Louder than a five year-old’s outside voice, but quieter than a baby’s snore, it’s the most subtle, simple thing, but it’s what makes the hard days easier and the easy days blissful.

How do you stay in touch now that you’re parents? Are date nights  part of your weekly or monthly routine, or do you stay connected in other ways? I’d love to hear about what works for you and your spouse. Rock those comments below.

Subscribe to Niagara Mommy for more on staying connected with yourself and your spouse and you’ll see me hangin’ around your inbox:) Thanks for reading.

Hugs,
Vickie

 


21 responses to “Spousal Sign Language: Staying in Touch After Having Kids

  1. My husband just started working a different shift and for the first time in a long time we’re actually going to bed at the same time. I love that we get to snuggle before going to sleep. No better feeling than his arms wrapped around me!

    • Mmm, that’s so wonderful. What is it about arms? I don’t know but it’s one of the first things that attracted me to D. The little gestures and “isms” that he and I share are just for us, no one else. And they’re one of the best parts of our relationship.

  2. N.

    You’re so right about the need to not ignore your marriage after parenthood! And yes, touching is very important. For us it’s mostly random hugs, holding hands, that sort of thing, like 13 year olds with their first boyfriend/girlfriend 😂

  3. We still have date nights (not as often as we would like, but hey!) and still hold hands despite being together for over twenty years. You’re right, it’s the little things, gestures, looks, etc that are your own secret language! Great post, thanks for sharing! x #fartglitter

  4. We have Friday afternoon cinema dates as the fates and our various timetables align. All the things you’ve mentioned are really important too, otherwise we start to feel like room mates trying to survive this gig called parenting.

    #fartglitter

  5. Affection is definitely key! Him indoors is very affectionate, and it’s one of the things I like best about him. #bestabdworst

  6. Thanks for your post.

    It is hard when routine can veer dangerously close to distance. I’m trying to be more open about why I sometime need quiet time or busy myself with house work so my wife can understand it’s not that I’m mad at her it may just be that I’m having difficulty with a situation.

    Equally when she’s on her phone it’s not that she’s ignoring me but it’s the way she keeps in touch with her friends when it’s difficult to get everyone’s diaries in order!

    Were trying to make sure that if we are on our phones looking at stuff that we talk about what we are looking at and use it as a basis for conversation rather than ending one!

    #bestandworst

    • Tech can totally get in the way of the relationship. We’ve definitely found that. We break out a board game every so often, turning off candy crush and kicking each other’s ass face to face:)
      Thanks for reading:)

  7. You routine sounds identical to mine and it is so true…you disconnect a bit! Date nights, cuddles, sex are all our ways of connecting but yes tiredness can be a massive factor in stopping any of that! I think as long as you are aware and constantly trying all will be well. Thanks for sharing with #bestandworst x

  8. moderatemum

    This is great, I have to say I thought this was going to be about when you fantically sign to your partner to stop talking when he says something embarrasing 😀 #fartglitter

    • Yes, if you don’t have some sort of communication while you have a crying baby in one hand and he’s got a toddler clinging to one leg, things are bound to get out of hand.

  9. SLY

    My hubby works away from home for months at a time. I have adjusted to not having him around with an 8 yr old and a 6 yr old at home but it`s very difficult. He comes home and it`s hard to get back into a routine again…..we get on each other`s nerves and I often joke `when are you leaving again?’ It’s easy to fall into a rut, take each other for granted, but whenever he is home we always hold hands, we always share a smooch or a backscratch or a hug. I often come up behind him and give him a snuggle from behind or I rub his head/shoulders in the car. He often wants me to snuggle up to him for a movie….and then there’s the odd boob grab (lol)…the usual stuff. We have found a better connection though when he’s far away though — texting yes, not social media per se (not his deal), but he has begun to FaceTime me/us more often & he spends talking to me vs. playing games on his phone during his downtime. I was finding when he was home he wasn’t truly HERE….he was on his phone constantly playing the games. We joked about it at first – “Step away from the phone!” but it was becoming a problem. One night I sat him down and we had a serious conversation about it; after 19 years of marriage it was time to remind each other why we’re together in the first place and we have both agreed to make our marriage a priority and give each other the attention we need, separate from the kids. Things have been much better ever since but we’re still working at it day by day 🙂

    • It’s a constant in our lives and totally evident when we push it aside for awhile. Thank you so much for reading. All the best to you and your family. 😊