My husband and I recently celebrated our third wedding anniversary. With our second child only being born two months ago (in other words with us being sleep deprived zombies for two months) and having to focus on our first born’s fifth birthday the week after our anniversary, any thoughts of having an elaborate, romantic anniversary celebration went out the window.
I know what you are thinking, with the birth of a child, much less two, comes the death of romance in a marriage. However, the way I look at it, the romance in most marriages is not necessarily dead but in a comatose state. There is still life left but it needs extra care and attention (and some creativity) to keep it from flatlining.
Keeping the spice in your marriage after having kids can be tricky especially when your schedule calls for a 27 hour day and your clothes always seem to be covered in baby formula. But once you realise that romance is more than just date nights and roses; although those things don’t hurt; there is the chance for a full recovery.
True romance is about the little things that let your spouse know “yes we have kids, no longer have our own bed and are never ever alone but I still love you and think you are the most handsome man/beautiful woman I have ever met. You still give me butterflies when I hear your voice and if given the choice I wouldn’t change a thing about our lives.”
It is about taking at least 20 minutes out of your day after your children have fallen asleep to just be alone with each other. To reconnect, to talk, to hold each other or even just watch a show together and fall asleep on the sofa.
It is about laughing together at the crazy things life brings even when all you want to do is cry and consoling each other when one, or both of you, finally does break down and cry.
It is about not being afraid to be silly with each other in public and ignoring the disapproving stares of your embarrassed children.
It is remembering to say “I love you” every day and to kiss each other before you leave for work and when you return home from work.
Yes, it does takes work and refocusing your priorities to keep the romance in marriage from dying. It does require placing your spouse above the laundry that has to get done or the dirty dishes in the sink that you just can’t leave for another twenty minutes or the Facebook/WhatsApp/Email messages that require immediate responses lest your phone explode.
Marriage and children do not have to signal the end of your life as a couple, all you need is to make time for a little romance.
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