HOW TO KEEP THE PASSION ALIVE IN YOUR RELATIONSHIP WHEN YOU HAVE KIDS
Do you remember when you first met your partner and you were starry-eyed with passion and love? Fast forward to now when you have a family, job and 1001 commitments. Quality time together for you and your partner seems few and far between. Here are some tips on how to keep the passion alive in your relationship when you have kids.
YOUR RELATIONSHIP BEFORE KIDS
Do you remember when you were young, free and single. You met your partner (let’s call him Mr Right now for ease although I know Mr or Mrs Right is different for everyone!).
You spent time together, savouring these moments when it felt like no one else existed in the world. You couldn’t think of anything else but him and you felt like the most special and luckiest girl in the world when you were with him. You felt beautiful, treasured, wanted and fantastic!
You could be together whenever you wanted and for as long as you wanted with only a few, if any, commitments getting in the way and standing between you.
Your relationship blossomed, you became a partnership.
YOUR RELATIONSHIP AFTER KIDS
Unfortunately, after kids come along, the story changes. Sadly, it signals the end of passion, intimacy, even just being able to have more than a five-minute conversation seems pretty much impossible sometimes, let alone anything more!
Intimacy and being close is not just about physical intimacy. It can also mean enjoying each other’s company, liking and loving each other, giving each other thought and time, connecting and engaging, sharing moments and learning new stuff together.
But since having kids you don’t spend so much time together. You don’t talk as much. You don’t get the chance to enjoy each other’s company. You don’t have the energy or the appetite for intimacy like you used to because you’ve been at work all day and ‘managing’ the children for the rest of it.
You might not have time for yourself or feel that good about yourself any more so you wonder how would your partner even begin to find you attractive?
It’s not uncommon to feel like this, but it’s time to put the magic back into your relationship! A word of warning though – you’ll probably just need to accept that you can’t be as spontaneous as you used to be. Even passion might need a bit more planning and forethought when you have kids, whether you’re in the mood or not!
REASONS TO KEEP THE PASSION ALIVE IN YOUR RELATIONSHIP
Firstly, in case you need a reminder, here are some reasons why you need to keep the flame of passion burning in your relationship.
1. Your family is built on firm foundations
If you have a strong, stable and close relationship with your other half then you’re more likely to stand the test of time and be stronger in times of trouble.
2. It’s a good example for your kids to see
Your kids will grow up understanding and expecting that you need to work at relationships – they don’t just happen, we can’t take them for granted and they certainly don’t last without showing love, respect and compassion for each other.
3. Keep in tune with your partner
As our circumstances change so do we. You and your partner are a team and it’s vital that you stay on the same wavelength by discussing anything and everything – from what you did that day, to where you’d like to be in 30 years’ time. Discuss the big and the bold, the unimportant and insignificant. It all helps you to maintain the bond of love and friendship that brought you together in the first place.
4. Feel better about yourself
Enabling you and your partner to have some quality time together and making an effort to do so will help encourage you to make an effort all round, including for yourself. You might not want to go full-on glam, but it may mean you wash you hair, slap on some mascara and lip gloss and climb out of your joggers and into some nice jeans. You’ll feel better if you think you look better and when you feel better, your whole outlook on life can change. You become more confident, positive and ready for anything.
5. Something to look forward to
Do you sometimes feel like getting through life is like spinning on a hamster wheel – always on the go, but never really getting anywhere? One day seems very much like another and there’s no prospect of anything exciting on the horizon. That’s not to say that you’re not happy with your life now but, everyone needs a bit of excitement now and then! So, imagine if you could wave fairy dust over your calendar and create a slice of time each week to do something exciting for just you and Mr Right.
6. A reminder that you’re a grown-up
Sometimes you just need grown up company – colleagues at work, mums and dads at coffee mornings. There are times when you need adult relationships and conversations on topics that don’t involve or revolve around our kids. Chatting with the kids is important and precious but we also need social connections in different ways.
7. A reminder that you are more than just a mother or parent
Although it’s the most important job in the world, your identity is more than just being a parent. You are your own person, with your own dreams and aspirations, talents and experiences. You are special and deserve to be recognised and cherished for your uniqueness. Being with your Mr or Mrs Right, who chose to be with YOU and no-one else, will lift your spirits, build your confidence and remind you that you are YOU, special and unique you.
So, you’ve read some reasons why, but you now might be stuck in working out HOW to keep the flame of passion burning when you’ve got loads of kids and no space or time!
10 IDEAS TO HELP YOU KEEP THE PASSION ALIVE IN YOUR RELATIONSHIP
Here are some ideas on how to create time and space to work on your relationship when you have kids.
1. Date night in
If you can’t get childcare then arrange to do something at home instead. Choose and cook or order in your favourite food and drink, get some flowers on the table and music in the background. Pretend you’re in a lovely restaurant and, for once, leaving the washing up until tomorrow!
2. Date night out
If you can get childcare then make the most of it! Get dressed up and hit the town, even if you are back home and in bed by 9.30pm! Enjoy each other’s company and the romance and excitement that comes with going out and doing something special together.
3. Date morning
If date nights are too difficult to arrange then try the morning instead. Get up early before the children are awake and chat about anything you like over a cup of coffee and breakfast together. Who said dates are just for the evening?!
4. Talk regularly
Make a habit of talking regularly. Communication is key to a great relationship and it’s easy to get so caught up in daily life that we forget to prioritise talking. Show the kids that you both care enough to want to listen to each other and be present and engaged to hear what the other one is saying.
5. Go for a drive and let the kids watch a movie
Get the kids settled in the back of the car with a film and snacks and just go for a drive so you can chat. It’s probably not the time for a deep and meaningful conversation but definitely better than nothing!
6. Put the kids to bed early
A good one if you’ve been struggling to find time and peace to chat. The kids won’t necessarily thank you for it and especially not if you do it too often but remember, you’re the parent and what you say goes!
7. Allow the kids to have a film afternoon
Let the kids hang out for a couple of hours in front of a film they love. Let them have snacks and drinks so it’s a fun and special treat for them and they won’t mind if you get some peace and quiet to hang out just the two of you in another room.
8. Book childcare if you’re desperate
If you really can’t find time or enough time for yourselves, don’t feel bad about booking trusted childcare. There’s no need to feel guilty because having some time away from your kids and doing something for yourself and your partner will benefit all of you in the long run.
9. The little things count as much as the big things
This is where it’s the thought that counts. It won’t actually create space for you to spend time together, but it will make each of you feel loved and special in your relationship! Leave a post-it note in his lunchbox saying you love him, or send him a loving text during the day. Hopefully you’ll get the same in return. It’s better than a text telling him he forgot to put the rubbish out again (or maybe you have to send that one as well!)
10. Plan a night away (or a weekend if you can manage it)
To rekindle that passion and take you out of your normal, every day life. I know it’s not possible for everyone but it’s good to set goals!
11. Be aware that we use different love languages
Sometimes we find it difficult to express our love for our partner in words. It can be frustrating if you’re good at saying “I love you” often but you never hear it back in return.
Don’t forget that there are other ways we can express our emotions. Perhaps your partner fills your car with fuel, or you make packed lunches, or they mow the grass, or you put their folded laundry away (or, of course, vice versa!). These are all acts of love and it’s good to appreciate them, even if you don’t hear those three magic words “I love you” very often!
SHARE YOUR THOUGHTS
How do you and your partner keep the passion alive in your relationship after you’ve had kids? Does your relationship get put on the backburner whilst busy life takes priority? Do you have regular date nights or similar which you can look forward to? How do you show each other you care and love one another? I’d love to hear your ideas if you have anything to share in the comments below?
RESOURCES TO HELP YOU LIVE INTENTIONALLY AND MAKE TIME FOR WHAT MATTERS
In this article we talked about different ways you can keep your relationship with your partner or spouse alive even when you have a family. Here are some other resources to help you live intentionally and make time for the most important people in your life:
- 20 Ways To Bond With Your Partner When Life Is Busy – When life gets busy, it’s easy for our relationships to go on autopilot or survive on time snatched at the end of a stressful day. Yet, finding ways to reconnect with your partner needn’t be costly or time-consuming but they do help support a happy, strong and healthy relationship. Check out this post on 20 ways to bond with your partner when busy life gets in the way.
- How to Introduce Slow Living to the Whole Family – Slow living encourages us to stop chasing and doing and be more mindful in enjoying the present moment. If you’re keen to step away from the fast lane and have a better quality of life as a family, in this guest post from Mia Barnes from Body+Mind magazine, here are some tips on how to introduce slow living to the whole family.
- Simple Tips to Make Weekends and School Holidays Fun For Everyone – How many times have you looked forward to the weekend or holidays and can’t wait for them to come around, only to find you’re tearing your hair out within the first few hours?! Are the kids arguing and complaining of boredom? The weather’s turned bad, your home is messy and you need a break but can’t. Try these simple tips to make weekends and school holidays fun for everyone.
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I’m Antonia and on this blog I share practical inspiration to simplify your home, time and life. Follow me on Instagram, Facebook and Pinterest! You can also subscribe to Balance Through Simplicity and receive regular simplicity tips straight to your inbox for free. Make sure you never miss an article plus you’ll get a copy of my free Declutter Starter Kit as a welcome gift!