It’s no secret that having a baby dramatically changes your marriage. While in the past couple- or me-time took priority, now the child takes centre place in your universe.

Between handling dirty diapers, sleep deprivation, junior’s feeding needs and household chores (all on repeat), it’s easy to let your marriage take a backseat. Romance can sometimes feel trivial next to keeping a tiny human being healthy and alive.

But what research has consistently found is that a happy marriage is crucial to nurturing happy kids – this means, keeping the flame alive between your and your partner is very much considered a parenting responsibility!

Here are some essential tips to kick-start the romance amidst the daily challenges.

1. Adjust expectations of yourself

As a newly minted mum or dad, you may feel the need to be present for your child 24/7 – but burnout can happen sooner than you think, especially when your baby isn’t the best sleeper. Take a step back every now and then, so you can save your energy for frequent catch-ups with your spouse. Which brings us to the next point…

2. Ask for help

It truly takes a village to raise a child – even the most fiercely capable parents will concede to this. For those without domestic helpers, your parents (or even kids-loving friends and neighbours) are usually more than willing to jump in for a couple of hours on the weekends. During this time, go for a nice meal, get a workout in, or just do anything that lets you relax as a twosome again.

3. Don’t forget intimacy

For the first few years of parenthood, the quantity and sometimes, quality of physical intimacy may take a hit. Intimacy can also come in many forms, including cuddling, hand-holding and even having a heartfelt conversation about well, intimacy itself.

4. Be specific with your asks

When there are an infinite number of tasks at home to manage, tension can mount between parents. Instead of expecting the other party to intuitively know your needs, be explicit with requests. Therefore, rather than saying “Make yourself helpful around here”, try “Please get more diapers, they’re running low” or “I need a nap, please look after the baby for a couple of hours”.