Don’t pull the brakes on romance just because you are busy playing mom and dad
When you have kids, your day begins with getting them ready for school or dropping them off and ends by putting them to sleep. On the weekend you watch the movies that they would like or eat at place where they would enjoy. With most activities centred around them, it’s hard to find time and space for the marriage.
Here are the notions you need to get over and the habits you need to change so you can keep your marriage alive even as you raise kids.
Put the marriage before kids
Focusing too much on the kids creates stressed out parents who do not feel connected with each other. It isn’t good for the kids either as it may put unnecessary pressure on them or make them overly dependent on you as a result of the attention.
The key to a happy family lies in the strong bond that parents share between them. If you want your marriage to last, make sure you give enough time to each other along with the kids. Try having kids-free conversation when alone at the end of the day. Share your day’s highlights (those that don’t necessarily involve kids). If that doesn’t help, go for a dinner date when the kids have fallen asleep. It will give you the chance to have an uninterrupted conversation.
Don’t be the know-it-all
Don’t tell your partner how to spend time with kids. You need to understand that both parents have a different role to play in the child’s life. Both of you want the welfare of your child. But questioning each others’ attitude towards them, make the other feel you don’t trust him/her enough. Next time she scolds them for not doing the homework or he lets them eat junk food, let your partner have their way. Keeping your mouth sealed is way to say that ‘I trust you with our kids’.
We are not suggesting you make out in front of your kids. However, being affectionate will show your kids an important part of your marriage. Home is one of the best places for your kids to learn what a loving relationship feels like. While it may turn out be beneficial for them in the long run, it will keep the romance alive between the two of you.
It’s ironic that children often threaten the romance that brought them into being. Sex functions as glue in a relationship. Very often, with kids around them, partners do not communicate their need. Lack of intimacy results is sexual dissatisfaction and frustration which in the long run takes a toll on the relationship. But you should plan for it.
Reserve two-three nights in a week for yourself. Wrap up early and go to bed. Even if you’re tired, engaging your senses will help you get into it. Or go for a hot and spontaneous kids-have-gone-out-to-play-and-letsdo-it quickie.
Take up an activity together
As the children are growing older and your schedule gets more hectic, it’s a challenge to find ways to connect with your partner. Having something common to do will take your mind off the kids and help you maintain your connection as a couple. Join a salsa class in the evening, go trekking on a weekend, play tennis in your building compound, jog in the morning or simply go for a walk or long drive after dinner.
Share the housework
There is a parallel between how couples feel about housework and sex. Findings suggest that you are more likely to indulge in sex when the housework has been divided fairly. The reason is that, each one of you is satisfied in your head that your partner is putting as much effort as you are to run the house. Thus there is less resentment. So if she is doing the laundry, make sure you do the dishes to keep the love alive.
Sort the finance
The sooner you get money issues out of way the better it is for your relationship. In marriage when you have kids, money should be considered as ‘our’ money instead of my money or your money. While autonomy is important when both of you are earning, you must divide responsibilities equally, just like housework, to take care of regular expense of your kids’ education and upbringing. You may decide to open a joint account and pool in money every month, depending on your earning capabilities, to tackle it smoothly.