Most married couples would agree that marriage is not a piece of cake and that parenting is not a slice of pie. A lot of responsibilities come with both, especially the later. Sometimes, in the course of being a mom or a dad, couples forget that they were first and foremost, a wife and a husband. The media and its propagation of divorce and single parenting also doesn’t help matters. Individuals tend to focus more on being good parents and not on being good spouses. The truth is, being a good spouse could be a means that someway and somehow leads you to the end of being a good parent, but being a good parent may not exactly do the same. I’m not saying that the former is more important than the later. I’m saying that they must go hand in hand to successfully raise your kids in a happy home; and most importantly, to keep you happy and your spouse happy and refreshed in your marriage. Romance plays a huge role, whether we choose to admit it or not, in a happy marriage. It definitely isn’t the only important thing, but it’s absence can cause a rift between a couple even when other ingredients for a happy marriage are present.
It is usually a lot easier to be romantic when it’s just the two of you. However, when the kids start coming, it becomes harder and requires a conscious effort. It is important to put in this conscious effort because it pays of in the end. In order to help you, I have put together a few tips for keeping your romance alive after the kids have come.
Make Time For Your Spouse Daily
I know this sounds easy and normal to you, but it actually requires a lot of effort. Especially for women. It is hard to go from mom mode to wife mode, but it can be done. A good way to do this is to set a strict bedtime for your kids, after which you freshen up and spend time with each other catching up on each other’s day and showing affection. You could watch a show together, get active in bed, or just cuddle and talk about stuff. This helps to build your bond and keep it strong. It also helps to keep communication during the day through calls and texts to check up on each other.
Look Good For Each Other
A lot of people may come at me for this, but it is true. Whether we admit it or not, looks were one of things we feel for in our partners. Sometimes, we get so comfortable or become to busy to take care of our looks as we used to. This applies to both men and women. We let ourselves go and just do the barest minimum. We stop putting effort into our looks and other things about us that our partners liked when they first met us. We through on just anything to lounge at home, we stop working out, we stop getting haircuts and trims as regularly as we used to, etc. Even though you should be comfortable around your spouse without being conscious of your looks and vice versa, you should also put in a little effort to look andbe the best version of yourself at each point in time. Think about it, if you can make effort to look good when you go out with people or when you have guests over, you can do the same for your spouse who is very important to you. Besides, you should think of it as you looking good for yourself first and foremost, that way you feel good about it.
Yes, public display of affection. Don’t say “I don’t do PDA” or “I’ve never been a PDA kind of person”, everyone can display their affection publicly, though on varying levels. You may not be comfortable kissing in public, but you can hold hands in public. You may not be comfortable sitting on your husband’s lap in public, but you can lean your head on his shoulder. So there are various levels to it, find what you’re comfortable with and what your spouse likes and stick to it. Also, along with PDA, you should learn to profess your love to each other often. Say “I love you often”, have a term of endearment or a loving name you call each other, text each other sweet things regularly, etc. The point is, don’t wait for special occasions to profess your love and display your affection.
Sweet Romantic Gestures
I’m certain you already know this, but I’m just reminding you. Perform little and inexpensive gestures regularly to keep the romance alive. Send her flowers every now and then. Cook him his favorite dish every now and then. Little gifts here and there show that your spouse is constantly on your mind. Fellas, it also keeps the “chase” alive, if you know what I mean.
These are different from romantic gestures, but ultimately have the same or even a better effect. Things like giving your spouse a day off to do their own thing while you watch the kids (women need this a lot from time to time), making an effort to be present for things that are important to your spouse, giving them space when they need it, watching their favorite show or a game with them every now and then, etc. These help strengthen your bond, and help you appreciate each other better.
Make Love Often
It’s about a lot more than just sex. Intimacy is like the glue in a marriage. It helps create a stronger marital connection and bond. Get to know your spouse better and try to make your intimate time a pleasurable experience for them as well as for yourself. Yes, it can get a little trickier after the kids come. Most of the time, you’re exhausted from working all day or from having kids climbing on you all day. But intimacy is a vital part of your marriage, and it’s worth any time and effort that it takes to improve it.
Make Date Night Priority
Find a night in the week that works for you and your spouse and is convenient to find a sitter or a relative who will watch your kids if they’re young, and make it your date night. It could be weekly, it could be twice in a month, whatever works for you as a couple, as long as it is regular and consistent. It takes effort to stay consistent but it works in keeping the sparks alive. Your date can be anything ranging from fancy dinners to a picnic in the park. Switch it up every now and then so as to avoid routine. Having a fixed date night shows a level of commitment to keeping your romance alive that will be appreciated by your spouse.
Make Time For Yourself
Yes. You read that right. This is aimed mostly at the women and men who have no lives outside their family and work. You need to make time to spend by yourself or to spend doing things that make you happy. It could also be spent with your friends. The important thing is to have that time when you unplug temporarily from your spouse, kids and work to recharge so you don’t break down. It’s also a good way to ensure that you don’t lose yourself to the role you play as a wife and as a mother. It helps you keep alive bits of you from your days before marriage and kids. It keeps you mentally healthy as well, and a mentally healthy spouse is a happy spouse.