10 ways to keep the romance alive after kids

10 ways to keep the romance alive after kids - motherhooddiaries

The birth of a new baby and, ultimately, a growing brood, can sometimes mean dying romance and intimacy between mum and dad. The process starts with the trauma of birth, sleep deprivation and poop/pee everywhere, which can crack even the closest of couples. Once you become a parent, your focus shifts from your partner and onto your children and, while they are the most miraculous of all gifts that you can receive in this world, you have now sacrificed spontaneity, hours of date nights and overall privacy. Some couples fade under the extra tension and drift further away from each other into the never-ending daily tasks of parenting life. While it is amazing that you give your all to your children, at the same time, your partner is being deprived of your love and attention, and vice versa, even if you don’t know it yet. It’s massively important to work on keeping that spark alive and intimacy deep for not only does it maximise your chances of staying together, but it also sets a notable example of how your kids should act in relationships when they get older. Here are 10 tips on how you can keep the romance alive after having kids:

Take care of yourself

Take care of your kids - 10 ways to keep the romance alive - motherhooddiaries

If you have just had a baby, it is very difficult to know which day of the week it is, let alone work on getting fit and healthy again. Working on the inside first makes working on the outside that much easier to tackle. For example, if you are knee deep in the baby mess and have little time to work out, then take your kids to the park and get some fresh air. It is said that you need just 30 minutes of blood pumping exercise a day, so whether that’s running up and down your stairs, doing 15,000 steps a day or just lifting your baby up and down, get that exercise in and start taking care of yourself again.

“It’s one thing to fall in love. It’s another to feel someone else fall in love with you, and to feel a responsibility toward that love.” David Levithan

Keep reminding yourselves of what you were like before kids

Keep reminding yourselves of what you were like before kids - 10 ways to keep the romance alive - motherhooddiaries

Think back to when you two first met. What attracted you to your partner in the first place? Were they funny? Were they bubbly and happy? It’s very easy to turn into a drone when you have kids and forget what life was like before you became a parent. But, it’s important that you understand that you are still you and your partner is still your partner. Whenever you feel like you are drifting apart or falling into the black hole of a never-ending argument, think back to one of your firsts, i.e. the first time you met, the first date you had, or the time you got married. Really concentrate on how they made you feel at that moment. Those old memories of love will come back soon, just be patient.

“Who, being loved, is poor?” Oscar Wilde

Forgive and forget

Forgive and forget - 10 ways to keep the romance alive - motherhooddiaries

You’re both going to do things that drive the other one mad, so concentrate on letting the little things go. If you won’t remember what you fought about in a day, week or month then let it go. If it is slightly more serious than that, opt for counselling or speak to an objective third party who can talk you through your troubles and shed some light on the seriousness of the situation. It is important that you give it everything you’ve got to stay together, for yourselves as well as for your kids.

“Whatever our souls are made of, his and mine are the same.” Emily Brontë.

Sex is important

Sex is important - 10 ways to keep the romance alive - motherhooddiaries

It’s important to keep your sex life up as much as possible, as this feeling of intimacy is what’s personal and unique to you both. As we get older, our sexual ability and libido tend to subside and other health-related issues come up onto the surface. If you and your partner do not suffer from any sex-related health issues, then there should be nothing stopping you from going at it like rabbits (except exhaustion and finding pockets of time together without the kids of course!) If there are underlying issues that have not been spoken about yet, pharmacies and GPs can offer sex-related advice in private and in confidence. Men can seek erectile dysfunction advice from Online Doctor LloydsPharmacy in the privacy of their own home, so there’s no reason why you should keep any secrets from each other. Let it all out and start rekindling that love that got you those gorgeous kids in the first place. Use protection this time though, if you don’t want to add to your brood!

“Let the wife make the husband glad to come home, and let him make her sorry to see him leave.” Martin Luther

Communicate all the time

You’re sleep deprived and fed up. You haven’t eaten properly, there’s too much noise in the house, and you haven’t been able to go to the loo or shower in peace… it’s safe to say that your nerves are frayed and your patience is wearing very, very thin. So, who gets the brunt of it? Your partner. Often unavoidable and totally unintentional, your partner becomes your punch bag because there isn’t really anyone else that you can vent out all these turbulent emotions too. And, while it may make you feel better for all of 30 seconds, imagine how it must feel for your partner who has either gone through the turmoil of the day with you or come back from a manic day at work, not to mention that they have been away from their family for the best part of the day. Both of you are feeling the stress and burn of family life. Maybe your partner did something that really irked you today, like not taking the bins out or leaving the food on the table for you to clean up. As much as you just want to ‘AAAARGH!’ at the situation, count to ten and think of what it would be like post-screaming. There is a great breathing technique that seems to work almost all the time when tempers are high and stress levels are at the maximum point. Dr Weil came up with a 4-7-8 breathing exercise (otherwise known as ‘Relaxing Breath’) that helps to lower stress levels and calm yourself down in that instant. Check out the conscious breathing technique here.

“Where there is love there is life.” Mahatma Gandhi

Early bedtimes

Early bedtimes - 10 ways to keep the romance alive - motherhooddiaries

Early bedtimes for children are win-win because the child gets to rest, re-energise and grow and mum and dad get their time back to be with each other. Use those ‘us’ times efficiently. If there is tidying up that’s needs to be done, be a team and get it done together. That way, you have more time to spend with each other, either by curling up on the couch with a movie and some popcorn or playing some cards or board games. Take it in turns to decide what your ‘alone activity’ will be and make sure you stick to it.

“When I saw you I fell in love, and you smiled because you knew.” William Shakespeare

Schedule time together alone

Schedule time together alone - 10 ways to keep the romance alive - motherhooddiaries

Even if it’s only 5 minutes at home, time together alone allows you to reconnect with each other and communicate about things that can’t be said in front of the kids. You forget that under the pressure of daily tasks, you probably haven’t really said two words to each other. Life takes over and so it is important to ensure you plan time together accordingly. Set aside one night each week where you turn off the gadgets and enjoy real quality time with each other. Whatever you decide to do is totally up to you (I recommend a board game or cards), but there must be no distractions. Put the phone away!

“We can do no great things, only small things with great love.” Mother Teresa

Get touchy-feely

Get touchy feely - 10 ways to keep the romance alive - motherhooddiaries

Your boobs hurt, your belly hurts, everywhere hurts, you’re packing some extra weight and you really don’t want to be touched. That may suit you fine for now, but what you don’t realise is that your partner needs your touch more than ever. They’re already feeling lonely because children have become the priority over them. At times when the home has been turned upside down and the kids have been extra taxing on you, your partner’s warmth and cuddles will be the one thing that will give you the boost and love that you need, even if you don’t think so at that time. Bypass all the negative feelings you have when your partner approaches you and receive those lovely cuddles. You’ll feel better that you did!

“The best thing to hold onto in life is each other.” Audrey Hepburn

Date night!

Date night - 10 ways to keep the romance alive - motherhooddiaries

Dating is a priority, it is what made you two fall in love with each other in the first place, so it makes sense to keep the whole dating thing going. Even if you take the other half to McDonald’s (I wouldn’t recommend it), a quick trip to the park, or a cosy night in front of the TV together, it is important to set aside some time each week for the two of you to reconnect and be husband and wife, not mum and dad. If you have little ones, finding a date night every week could prove quite difficult, especially if you need to fork out extra money for a babysitter. But, remember, it is important to keep the romance alive, so if you can only find five minutes to be with each other, take it. Life will soon get easier as the kids get older, but will you be able to rekindle that flame that was left to fizzle out for so long?

“Happy is the man who finds a true friend and far happier is he who finds that true friend in his wife.” Franz Schubert

You’re on the same team

You're on the same team - 10 ways to keep the romance alive - motherhooddiaries

After all the trials and tribulations of family life, remember that you’re on the same team, even if it doesn’t feel like that sometimes. It took two to make a baby, so it takes two to run a family. Give each other some time off sometimes and allow the other person to rest and socialise with friends occasionally. Run a bubble bath for each other, wait by the door with a kiss and a cuddle before they go to work and when they come home. Greet your partner with a smile, even if you are struggling inside, but don’t hold those emotions in. Trust your partner to help you through those issues and be proactive, not reactive. Use “I feel” rather than “You always do”, to allow your partner to respond to issues in a calm, positive and communicative way. Show your partner how important they are to you and you both will likely use this positive energy to work on any problems and grow together again as a couple. A problem shared is a problem halved, as they say!

10 ways to keep the romance alive after kids - motherhooddiaries

*Collaborative feature post*

Never miss a new post!

Don’t forget to tailor your preferences, so you just get the posts you want to read!

Follow Motherhood Diaries on Facebook (Facebook Recipes Page), Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram, Google+ and LinkedIn

If you’d like to share your pregnancy or parenting story, then please do share your story here. Don’t forget to read our Ad Policy!

Leyla Preston (494 Posts)

Leyla Preston is the owner and Editor of Motherhood Diaries global magazine for parents. Leyla is a busy mother of two even busier boys; Aron, 5, and Aidan, 4. When Leyla isn’t feeding, managing a gazillion tasks or cleaning the infinite mess at home, she is busy working on this magazine and a new cooking channel coming very soon – no rest for the wicked! You can follow Leyla on Twitter (@M_Diaries) or join the busy Motherhood Diaries Facebook group where all mums get together and share stories and solutions with one another: https://www.facebook.com//groups/motherhooddiaries/

Did you enjoy your MD experience? Please share the love :-)