Wine, candlelight, and passion are essential for an unforgettable Valentine’s Day–but when you’re a parent, it’s hard to make time for romance.
After your baby is born, your priorities shift. Date night is just a memory when you’ve got to adjust to the emotional, physical, and financial changes in your life. “My husband and I were like bunnies before we had a baby. But after having our first child, months would go by and we would have no sex. I started to feel unattractive, lonely, and unloved,” says one BabyCenter.com member. “I talked to him about it, and he admitted to not being in the mood because he was worrying about our finances. It was draining him physically and emotionally.”
Put aside the spit up and sippy cups for Riesling and a rendezvous with these tips for keeping the romance alive after baby!
Plan a date “night”–and stick to it.
Ask grandma and grandpa, godparents, or a trusted friend to keep your little one for an hour or two so that you can have some alone time–or just wait until the kids are asleep. Date night can be as simple as a living room picnic or Netflix and chill. “My husband makes it a point for us to have date night at least two times per month,” says one mom on MyAutismTeam.com. “Sometimes we only go out for pie and coffee. It’s not much, but it makes me feel like a million bucks.”
“No, you hang up.” “On three, hang up. 1..2…3…you still there?” Remember the early stages of your relationship, when you couldn’t wait to see each other? Keep the lovey dovey feelings going by flirting with your partner. Treat him or her to romantic text messages, love notes, and emails. Judy, a mom of five says, “My husband and I have five children, so we never have much time to ourselves. To keep romance in our lives, we send each other emails talking about our desires. It’s easier to be intimate at night if the thoughts have been floating around in our minds during the day.”
Set a regular bedtime.
Bath, book, and bed still works. The same routine that helped your 3 month old go to sleep still works. Having a designated bedtime for your children leaves more time for you two to reconnect. Kiss the kids good night and spend time together. DaddyVents and I like to enjoy a glass of wine and catch up on our favorite shows after the boys are asleep.
Communicate early and often.
“Discuss the challenges you are each facing as you create your new life, warn each other if you are having a rough day and find creative ways to support each other through it all! ” blogger Paula Rollo tells Happy Wives Club. Life is different now, and it’s easy to feel stressed. Feeling overwhelmed? Tired? Lonely? Talking about what you’re going through now means less frustration later.
Remember, you’re a team.
“Connecting with your partner on a regular basis can actually lesson the load and make the journey of being a parent much more enjoyable,” says parenting and early learning expert and Natacha V. Beim. Children who see their parents being affectionate with one another helps to lay the foundation for their own relationships. “Remember, when the kids are grown they’ll leave,” says Dana, a mom of five. “Your spouse is the person you’ll spend the rest of your life with, so he or she should be the most important person in your life.”
How are you keeping your relationship strong?
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