Baby Makes Three
-Hi everyone, I'm Rene Syler. Well, in honor of Valentines Day, we've got some help for all the parents out there whose relationship has suffered after having a child. Oh, don't we know how that works? Joining us is the Lifestyle mom Dana Hilmer, and Dana brought the book "Blindsided by a Diaper". Dana, hi. -Hi. -I love the title by the way-- -Thank you. -Blindsided by a Diaper -It explains it, doesn't it? You're blindsided, you're caught off guard, you know it's-- it's a surprise how things change once you have kids and- -Why is that? What hap-- What happens exactly in the first year after you have a child? -Well, you know, they say the first year after having a kid is the year that more divorces happen than any other year, except for the first year of marriage, and I think a lot of these people aren't prepared to change their life. They're not prepared to look at their life for what it is now and change it accordingly as well. It's almost like they're trying to plug their old life into the new one, and-- and they need to kind of go the whole new flow, so-- -Now-- but does that mean-- what if you had a healthy marriage going into it? -I think when you have kids it makes you more what you were to begin with. So if you have a healthy marriage, healthy-- you know, healthy communication, you're patient with one another that'll show up more when you have kids. If you don't have that, that's also gonna show up more. So it makes you more who you are. -Yeah, it's like when you have a child it sort of exposes all that, sort of-- -Yes. -fissures and you will end up-- -Right, all those nooks and crannies in your relationship-- -or crash-- -Exactly. -unfortunately. Those babies, they really are-- they-- they take so much out of you and you really do have to sort of concentrate on the primary relationship. -You do, and I think the big thing is you have to focus on each other. You've got more demands on your time but you still need to prioritize each other. In fact one of the essays in Blindsided by a Diaper talks about-- Susan Cheever's essay talks about not dropping the ball on your spouse, and that's the big thing - prioritize each other and don't drop the ball on each other. -You have something you call The Four Cs. -The Four Cs. -Yeah. Let's run through this. -Okay. -The first one is what? -The first one is Communicate. -Yeah. -It's probably the most obvious but probably the most difficult. I think, you know, when you have young kids especially, it's hard to finish a thought, not to mention a sentence, you know, and to have an adult conversation. But the challenge is - and this helps couples tremendously - is to sit down for 5 or 10 minutes at the end of each day, stop what you're doing, look at each other in the eyes and talk about what's important to you and what your day was. No do less, no logistics, you gotta let that go and just talk with your partner. -You say Connect is the second one. -Connect, yeah, you know it's interesting, they say that we don't remember days but we remember moments? And that's really great for parents because we don't usually have a whole day together. So moments are key, and capture and savor those moments together whether it be learning something new together, just laughing, you know, of course if you want to put the kids in front of the TV so you can have a little time by yourself. You know they say- -Translate-- yes, I know what you mean when you're saying that because you did say-- -I don't know what's appropriate for TV. -Well because you did say at one point-- -But you do-- -that you just sort of have that connection and-- -You do, and I think-- -and intimacy. -The intimacy, and also I think a lot of what is so wonderful before you have kids is that spontaneity in your relationship, and you need to bring some spontaneity back. And so, even if it's planned spontaneity, you know, plan that time alone in your room or plan that time that you can sit down and-- and share cocktail together. But you need to have that. -You also say Create and Celebrate. -Create is create some plans that are the plans for your dreams together as a couple. So, whether you're dreaming about, you know, taking sailing lessons together or buying a second home - you need to have dreams that you're working towards together. And also creating traditions. So whether that's the big tradition that, you know, you wanna do every year, or more importantly the daily and the weekly traditions that are important to you. Whether it be have a cocktail at the end of the day, or you have movie night on Wednesday night, or you, you know, sit down and have dinner together after the kids are in bed on Saturday night. It's this little traditions that you look forward to and that's really key for keeping you together. -And secret that you share together and that you-- and it sort of is-- is sort of fuel for the fire of your relationship. -Exactly. -And you need that to look forward to-- -And also livin' in the moment, you said too. -Livin' the moment is huge. This time goes so fast and I think, like I said in the beginning, a lot of people take their pre-kids life and try to plunk it into their post-kids life and that doesn't work-- -I can see that. -Live in the moment. Look at what you have. You have this amazing life together, you've created an amazing life together so I think a lot of it is just appreciating it for all of its lumps and bumps and imperfections. Nothings perfect-- -Right. -but go with it and enjoy it. -Yeah, there are a lot of lumps and bumps. -Yes. -But-- but you're right, you have to enjoy those as well as the really great things. -Yes, exactly. -All right, Dana Hilmer thank you. -Great, thanks. -And to sign up for Dana's free newsletter you can go to Lifestylemom.com. And make sure you check out my new social networking site, it's called goodenoughmother.ning.com. We're having a lot of fun over there, come join us.