My husband and I have been married for five years, together for six. I vaguely remember the good old days when romance came easily–though it all seems like a faraway, foggy memory today.
In the beginning, our romance ignited so quickly, we fell in love in a matter of weeks. And it didn’t fade with the years. We could go out to dinner any night of the week, take weekend trips at a moment’s notice, stay in and cuddle by the fire … whatever we wanted. We brought each other sweet little gifts or cards, just to say “I love you.” Our focus was on making the other person happy, just because we wanted to.
After more than a year of being full-time working parents, our marriage–and the romantic spark that started the whole thing six years ago–has been challenged. Is there anything like a new baby to put a marriage to the test?
But I’m proud to say we’ve made it! We still love each other, probably more than ever. And despite the daily challenges of crazy work schedules, the constant needs of a toddler, and all the other stuff life asks of us, we manage to carve out a little time for each other.
So how do we do it? I’ll share some things that work for our marriage after baby, and maybe they can help you, too.
1. We talk to each other each day. Not just ask who fed the cats or when our daughter’s diaper was last changed. Really talk–about how our days went, how we’re feeling, what’s on our minds. Whether it’s in bed or at the dinner table, a little conversation goes a long way.
2. We go on dates. Some people call them “date nights.” Frankly, it doesn’t have to be at night. It could be a Sunday afternoon or a Saturday morning–or even a whole weekend if you’re really lucky. Whenever we can get some time for just the two of us, we take it. We’ve had friends or my folks watch her. As long as I know she’s in good hands, I can relax and enjoy a little romantic time with my husband. No guilt!
3. We show our affection. I think it’s easy for new moms to pour all their hugs, kisses, and cuddles on their babies. They’re so darned sweet and innocent, you can’t help yourself! But husbands need a little sugar, too. So when I wake up in the morning or get home from work, I don’t just shower Cassie with love. I always give my husband a real hug and kiss–like I mean it. We often hold hands when driving or walking or just sitting in the backyard. There’s no such thing as too much affection in our house!
4. Our bedroom is a romantic retreat. For a long time, it was a plain old room with white walls, hand-me-down furniture, and zero atmosphere. Blah. But shortly before Cassie was born, we wisely redecorated in a very romantically oriented style (Moroccan). Believe me, it makes all the difference.
5. Even with Cassie at home, we find time for “dates”. No, it’s not the same as a fancy dinner at a restaurant or a movie in the theatre. But after she goes to bed, we can enjoy a pizza, a glass of wine, and a Netflix together. It’s still quality time, right?
6. When things get tough–with work, Cassie, or life stuff–we remind each other of our love. How amazing our little girl is, and that together we created her. How our little family is all that really matters. It really helps put everything in perspective.