Relationship Advice: Romance among the Ruins (Life after Kids)
Our favorite Hallmark holiday is this month. February is the month of romance. Ah so sweet! Just think of candy, roses, romantic dinners and the two of you dancing the night away to celebrate your love. If you’re a couple with small children, the reality of your romantic life after kids could be vastly different! Chances are that your days and nights are consumed by more crying babies than passionate encounters. You are more familiar with dirty diapers than dirty dancing. The meaning of a romantic dinner is one where you and your partner get to sit down to eat at the same table at the same time.
If this sounds all too familiar, don’t despair! It might not seem possible now, but I am here to tell you that there is life after kids. You and your partner have a challenge right now and that is to keep your love and your passion alive during this chaotic time; to find your love among the ruins. It is possible to flirt, to play and to fan those smoldering embers of love while you’re in the midst of young childhood parenting. Think of it as foreplay through the toddler years.
Your expectations will need to change a bit. Your romantic life after kids is not going to be the same as before you became parents, but if you follow some simple guidelines, you can have an even better, more satisfying romantic life than you ever had before. Don’t fall into the trap of becoming stuck in the past, you will be disappointed. Instead, recognize that your life and relationship is going to change and evolve over time and see it as an opportunity to keep it fresh and new as the years go by.
Right now it’s about snatching those moments together and planning for the future. When you get that baby to sleep through the night you will probably be exhausted. Passion is the last thing on your mind, but wait! You don’t have to be having sex every time the baby naps. Sex is a brain game at this point in your life. Use your free time to rest, but throw in a little bit of togetherness as well.
Take a shower, get cleaned up. Do your best to create an atmosphere where romance and sex is at least being considered. You can consider it all foreplay. Play being the operative word. You and your partner should be physically affectionate, playful and keeping your passion and romance alive even if you don’t have the ability to always act on it. Concentrate on being kinder towards each other. Make her feel that her post pregnancy body is still sexy and desirable. Make him feel like he’s on your mind while your attentions are being monopolized by the baby’s needs.
When it comes down to it, you’re in control of your romantic life after kids. You can get a babysitter and go out. People do it all the time. You needn’t feel guilty for leaving your kids behind. In this time of life, your family is priority one, but the family only survives if the parents keep their relationship strong and connected. The way to do this is to see that this time is fleeting. Blink twice and your baby will be in school. You and your partner need to keep this in perspective so that your romantic life after kids can be vibrant and passionate, and you needn’t worry about losing that all important connection.
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Stuart Fensterheim, LCSW helps couples to overcome the disconnection in their relationships As an author, blogger and podcaster, Stuart has helped couples around the world to experience a unique relationship in which they can feel special and important, confident in knowing they are loved deeply and that their presence matters.His weekend workshop, Two Days: Seven Conversations has become a popular venue for many to set off on their journey of connectedness. The Couples Expert Podcast consists of weekly provocative conversations offering the perspectives and insight of experts from a variety of relationship related fields. Stuart also offers daily relationship video tips on The Couples Expert YouTube channeland by subscription in Stuart’s Daily Notes.Stuart is happily married and a devoted father of 2 daughters. He lives and works in Scottsdale, Arizona.