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  • Writer's picturedenmother

Romance when you have littles? How??

Couple enjoying each other with young kids

Maintaining a healthy marriage while also raising young kids may seem impossible. For many of us, our romantic partner turns into a roommate once the babies start coming. It can be hard to pull ourselves out of the tag-teaming day-to-day of parenting, but luckily it’s not that difficult to get back what you once had - or even get to a better place than you have ever experienced before in marriage. Here are some tricks that helped my husband and me. I hope they help you and your spouse, too. 

  1. Schedule it

As unsexy as it is to schedule romance, it’s a must in the early years of parenting. Life gets hectic, especially once the kids get into school and into sports. Having a set date night once a week on the calendar ensures at least one moment of connection between you and your spouse - and if spontaneous connection should happen in addition to that, all the better! But getting into a rhythm of regular dating helps to keep the two of you connected during any and all ups and downs. 

Dates don’t have to be big, and they don’t have to cost money. Most often my husband and I just do a “Netflix and Chill” night every week, with a few bigger or fancier dates sprinkled in throughout the year. My husband is also adamant that date night is set in stone. If someone asks us to do something on a date night, we reschedule the other thing - never the date night. This practice of constantly putting our marriage first has paid off immensely over the long term.

  1. Work on yourself

It can be tempting to focus on what you want your spouse to change but especially in the early years of parenting, when many moms tend to lose themselves in the overwhelming task of raising kids, it’s important to work on yourself. Read books, get fresh air, protect your sleep, drink water, and exercise. Not only will you feel great and increase your joy, but the benefits will seep out into your relationship.

  1. Manage your thoughts

Because the workload is so heavy in the early years of parenting, many new parents tend to keep score on how much they’re taking on versus their partner. This can lead to bitterness and resentment, especially if those thoughts are left to fester. It takes practice, but learning to master your thoughts will benefit your marriage in the long run. 

But what does managing your thoughts look like? It looks like choosing to give your spouse the benefit of the doubt instead of choosing the worst case scenario. It looks like focusing on the things you love about them instead of focusing on the fight you just had or the annoying thing they just did. And it looks a lot like gratitude. Gratitude for your life with this person, your marriage, your home and your family. 

  1. Have sex!!

Sex may seem like an optional part of marriage, but it’s not. Sex releases the love hormone Oxytocin, which can make you feel more connected to and in love with your spouse. Sex also helps you sleep better, stress less, improves your mood and improves your immunity among a whole host of other benefits - all things which help foster an environment for a thriving marriage. If you have to schedule this, too, do it. Make sure you are getting it regularly - if not for your libido, for your mental health! A few spontaneous moments never hurt either… wink wink. 

5. Double Date

When you can, spend time with other couples - even if you have to bring the kids along. Seeing your spouse through someone else's eyes can remind you of all the things you love about him or her. The community atmosphere can also create a fun, less awkward vibe which makes it easier to relax and connect.

This Valentine’s Day, if you aren’t happy with where your relationship is, don’t despair. Romance and marriage are ever evolving. So take control and make your marriage what you want it to be. Happy Valentine's Day!

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