May 20, 2015

10 Ways to Keep the Romance Alive AFTER Kids

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“Romance after kids – does it exist?”  

That’s a question we get asked a lot.  And we get it!  It can be hard to keep the spark and romance in your marriage when you’re up all night with a crying baby… and surrounded by dirty diapers.  The shift from husband and wife to mommy and daddy can be a tricky transition for some marriages.  But we strongly believe that you have to create your own happily ever after.  Love is a choice!  And here at The Dating Divas, we’re all about being intentional in our marriages.  So today we’re sharing…

10 Things Close Couples do to Keep the

Romance Alive AFTER Kids

Keeping the Romance Alive After Baby

Think of all the couples you know that have kids.  Now think of that couple that is still madly in love!  The ones that still act like newlyweds even though they have several little ones in tow. What are they doing differently?  What’s their secret?  Well, I asked several of them to find out – and these are the 10 things that kept coming up.

1.  Make Date Night a PriorityYou had to see this one coming.  I mean, we are The Dating Divas – it’s the whole reason why we started this blog.  The truth is – dating each other is what made you fall in love in the first place.  So it makes sense that you should keep dating to stay in love.  If you don’t want the fire to die out – you gotta keep blowing on the flames.  Right?  It doesn’t have to be an elaborate, over-the-top date. Even if it’s just talking & laughing over a shared sandwich or candy bar…. in whispered tones so the baby stays asleep!  Just set aside time each week for just the two of you to reconnect.  {Family nights are great, but they don’t count as date night!}  You need time to be husband and wife instead of mom and dad.

I think most of us know we should be making time for date night regularly, but the reality is that it isn’t always happening.  We get it – it’s hard!  Especially if you have little ones at home.  But if you’re honest with yourself you’ll admit that if it’s important- you’ll find a way.  If it’s not – you’ll find an excuse.  Remember, you always have time for the things you put first!  If you’re struggling with this one – you need to stop right now and go read “Great Ideas for Making Date Night Happen.”  It’s full of practical solutions for overcoming all of your date night challenges.  And if you’re a new parent looking to rekindle the romance, make sure to check out our New Parents Cozy Date Night!  It has everything you need for a romantic, at-home date with your sweetheart.  So, no more excuses!

You Always Have Time for the Things You Put First

2.  Spoil Your Spouse, Not Your KidsOne of the very best things you can do for your kids is to put your spouse first!  Strong marriages make strong families.  Not only does it provide your children with a sense of safety and security, but it shows them what real love should look like.   If you are always putting your children before your husband, you are not doing them any favors.  In fact, you’re doing them a great disservice.  I get it – your husband is a grown man who can take care of himself and your children are small and need you.  But do you know what they need the most?  They need a happy home.   And happy couples create happy homes.  When you’re working together to be a better husband and wife – you will be better parents.   Not convinced?  Then, I highly recommend you hop on over and read “10 Reasons Why You Should Spoil Your Spouse!”

Marriage Quote

3.  Bring Back the PDA- I bet when you first started dating and fell in love, you couldn’t keep your hands off each other.  Am I right?  You were always cuddling up, holding hands, and sneaking in extra kisses.  Well, how affectionate are you now?  After kids come along, things can get a little trickier in this department.  I mean, it’s hard to snuggle up when you’re holding a baby and the toddler’s crawling all over you.  But it’s important to be intentional in your relationship so you can keep that closeness.  Physical touch should be happening regularly – and I’m talking about outside of the bedroom, too!  Give him a little love tap as you’re passing him in the hall, hold hands when you’re driving in the car, or pause for a quick dance in the kitchen.

Sometimes parents back off on the PDA because they don’t want to gross out the kids.  But I say…  go ahead and gross out the kids!  Obviously you want to keep things G-rated in front of them, but it’s okay for them to see you kissing, cuddling, dancing, and being in love!  In fact, it’s good for them.  Part of our job as parents is to model what a strong marriage looks like.  Besides, I don’t know about you but, I never want my children to question whether or not I love their dad.  I want it to be blaringly obvious.

Be Good Parents.  Gross Out Your Kids

4.  Make time to transition from “mom mode” to “wife mode”-  One of the best things we’ve done for our marriage is being consistent and firm about bedtime.  Our kids know that after bedtime is “our time!”  After 8 o’clock I am no longer mom – I’m Becca.  After dealing with diapers and crying all day, I need a break and time to transition from “mom mode” to “wife mode.”    After the kids are in bed, I take a nice hot bubble bath {this stuff is my favorite!} or shower and let all the stress of the day wash down the drain (along with the spit-up that I’m usually covered in.)   Afterward I always feel more refreshed and more me.  Besides, I’m much more likely to cuddle up close to my hubby when I’m feeling clean and smelling yummy.  Whatever you need to do to transition out of “mom mode”- make time for it!  Sure, being a mom is a 24/7 gig, but remember- so is being a wife!  And you’ll be a much better, happier mom if you make time for yourself too.

Be a Full-Time 24-7 Wife

5.  Get Your Flirt On, Girlfriend!-  Yeah, you’re his wife – but never stop being his girlfriend!   Don’t lose the playful, fun part of your relationship – that’s where all the romance is! Don’t stop flirting! Especially at home. Adapt to and learn the art of flirting in front of your children.  Leave love notes for him to find, send flirty text messages while he’s at work, or give him a small gift – just because!   It’s time to reclaim the FUN in your marriage.  Have inside jokes! Find moments to laugh together.  If you feel like you’ve forgotten how to flirt or you’re a little out of practice – no worries!  We have a whole list of “101 Ways to Flirt with Your Spouse” to get you started.

Never Stop Being His Girlfriend

6.  Quit the Competition- Don’t play the “who’s doing more work” or “who has it harder” game.  The truth is, being a mom is hard.  Being a dad is hard.  But you have to remember that you’re on the same team.  If one of you loses you both lose.  Instead of complaining and comparing, work together to support, complement, and encourage each other.  You should be your spouse’s biggest fan and cheerleader.  Not his rival or competitor.  So ditch the scoreboard and stop keeping track.  Complete each other- don’t compete with each other.  Take time to continue sharing your hopes and dreams with each other. (Create a bucket list – include things you consider both doable and far-fetched; nothing is too small or big. Have fun! keep adding to and checking things off)

Complete Each Other - Don't Compete With Each Other

7.  Be His Lover, Not His Mother- Even though you’re a mom, you are not his mom!  Never give into the urge to nag or mother your spouse.  Too often women complain that their husband “acts like one of the kids.”  Well, if you want him to act like a man, then you need to treat him like one.  Give him the love and respect that he deserves and never talk down to him or about him.   You wouldn’t like him acting like your dad and telling you what to do, right?  So remember it goes both ways.  If you want to be treated like a queen, treat him like a king.

Be Your Husband's Lover, NOT his Mother

8.  Get on the Same Parenting Page- Parenting is a tough gig.  And chances are, you and your spouse are probably going to have different parenting styles.  It’s important to be united as a team, so the kids can’t pit you against each other.  While most of us can agree that we both have our child’s best interest at heart, we sometimes disagree on what that “best” is.  Because we were all raised differently, we bring different viewpoints and experiences into our marriage.  Now remember, you don’t have to think alike to think together.  But you do have to learn to practice honest, open communication. And it usually requires a great deal of humility and patience.   It might not always be easy, but parenting is one of the best ways that we can work to become one in our marriage.

Parenting Joke

9.  Make Love to Stay in Love- It’s totally true – making love is one of the best ways to stay in love.  It’s about a lot more than just sex.  Intimacy is like the glue in a marriage.  Besides being FUN and creating a stronger marital connection and bond, it also has some pretty nice benefits too! Ready to hear ’em?  Here we go — regular sex has also been scientifically proven to help you:  weigh less, look younger, have less wrinkles, have less stress, gain more confidence, AND have less headaches.  And those are just my favorite benefits!  I mean come on – why would you NOT want those?   I’d be interested just for the beauty benefits alone.

Yes, it can get a little trickier after the kids come.  Maybe you’re always tired and exhausted – or over-touched from having kids climbing on you all day.  But intimacy is a vital part of your marriage, and it’s worth any time and effort that it takes to improve it.  If you’re struggling in this area, communicate with your spouse and let him know that you want to work on it together.  Maybe that means having him watch the kids while you take a nap so you’re not so tired or having him give you a massage using nice oils to relax.  Or maybe it means getting your hormones checked.  Whatever it is – make it important to you.  Because it’s important to your marriage.

Making Love is one of the best ways to stay in love!

10.  Don’t Give Up-  Marriage is not a one-time commitment or act, it’s a continuous decision. Marriage is about choosing each other again and again – every day.  It’s about forgiving, learning, and growing.   It’s about falling in love with each other over and over again.  It’s the little things we choose to do each day.  Pray for each other.  Serve each other.  Love only diminishes when we stop giving it, so never stop.

Inspirational Quote

And there you have it – the 10 secrets to keeping the magic in your marriage, even after kids!  

 Do you have anything you’d add to the list?  Let us know in the comments!  We’re always looking for more ideas and tips to strengthen our marriages. 

Pssst… for more ideas on how to keep the romance alive after kids, make sure to check out our 45 At-Home Date Night Ideas for After the Kids are in Bed AND How to Organize a Babysitting Co-Op.

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