How do you keep romance alive when you have children?
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My marriage didn't start out with the typical romantic gestures, like a dramatic proposal. But I think my husband is one of the most amazingly romantic guys I know. For us, just being together is living the good life. We cook with the boys on weekends. He brings me coffee in the morning when I'm too tired to get out of bed at 6am. He does the worst household chores. He foregoes his online game night with his friends when I have had an especially trying day. I guess, for us, romance is in the everyday acts of consideration. My proposal may have been overly practical, but the life I am living is incredibly sweet.
I think it's important to kiss- not like, make out, but kiss "hello" or "goodbye" as much as possible. Also, don't forget non-sexual touch- like a hug- that's something so many couples forget to do when they're busy with children and work and busy lives.
Just like our little ones need hugs, big people need them, too! Hold hands or squeeze each other's hands just before falling asleep and say "I love you." The little things add up to the big things and make you feel connected, so you don't lose that romantic spark that lights the flame!
Dancing in the kitchen in our socks while the kids scamper around us.
Delusion. Corduroy. Home Depot.
Money is scarce and it's difficult to get sitters for our young children so we do date nights at home. We put the kids to bed and then make appetizers together in the kitchen. Sometimes it's premade stuff we've found, we particularly like PC breaded prawns but often we'll pour ourselves a glass of wine and cook together. Something very simple so we don't create a big mess and then often we'll play a game like scrabble or watch a movie while we eat our appies. Romance really is about spending time together, the more you feel connected the more you feel like connecting ;)
My husband and I have been together for almost 25 years. Since I was 15 years old. Asking me how we keep romance alive after so much time together and with small kids is like asking an ER doc how she treats the accident-prone. Romance, under siege by crying babies, has been known to flatline on the gurney: "Get the paddles! Sitter! Champagne! Stat!" It did, in the toddler years, fall right into a coma: "Shhh. Just let her sleep."
As the kids have grown older, though, we have started finding time and energy, not necessarily for regular date nights, but for our own new hobbies. I learned how to dive into a swimming pool, just to face a fear I've always had. When I told my husband I wanted to join a gym to swim laps, he did a double take. "Since when do you swim laps?" Having him look at me in a new light, delights both of us.
And he, at the age of 40, picked up his first musical instrument and learned to play electric guitar. He's usually strumming U2 or Beatles, but one day, I walked by him thinking my own banal thoughts about laundry and packing lunches and he stopped what he was practicing and started playing "Pretty Woman" for me. Which made me stop in my tracks then, and makes me smile every time I think of it now.
My prescription: go have some fun, and then see how good your spouse looks doing it, too! A link to my diving adventures here: http://upside-down-patty.blogspot.com/search/label/Diving
That's a good question. When someone finds out, let me know the answer x
My 50th birthday is just around the corner and we are off to an exciting 4 days in Sydney. My travel agent booked us a suite in a five star hotel with magnificent views of Sydney Harbour. I told my father the details and to my horror he replied, "You're bringing your children? How are you going to have birthday sex?"
As for the romance, we go on a weekly date, and treat it as such. I even wear make up, I stand and wait for him to open the car doors and we don't talk about the kids.
I cry a lot to elicit guilt driven acts of kindness from him like small gifts or times where he feels so badly that he takes the children for hours so I can have time to myself. Works like a charm.
We might also try to have weekly dates at home. Going out each week doesn't work financially with three young kids, but just turning off the TV, wearing something a step up from sweats, and a good bottle of wine gets the conversation flowing and a chance to reconnect as people instead of as parents and partners trying to successfully run the business of a home.
But the guilt thing really makes me feel happy and romantic....