by Ginger Solomon
At one time, I had seven children aged 12 and under (if my calculations are correct, my kids were 12, 10, 7, 5, 4, 2 and newborn). They’re all older now – the youngest is 9, but back then there wasn’t a lot of time for romance, and even though we lived close to relatives, they were thirty plus minutes away. AND I would have to pack up all the stuff the kids needed just so my husband and I could spend an evening having dinner alone, which would probably have been spent talking about the kids. Too be honest, it didn’t happen often. It was too much trouble.
So how did we keep romance alive?
I hope you don’t mind if I’m a bit honest here.
We didn’t, or rather I didn’t. I was too tired. Exhausted really. That’s not to say that we had or have a bad marriage, but I didn’t put the effort into caring for my husband as I should have. So try to do what I recommend, rather than what I did.
- If you have older kids, like I did, let them have a picnic in a bedroom with a TV. Pull out all the things you might not normally let them eat, but they enjoy – chicken nuggets, french fries (baked, if you prefer), cookies, hot dogs, whatever. Make it fun. Put down a happy blanket in the room (or two), put on a movie they either haven’t seen or they don’t mind seeing over and over. Pay the oldest to do his/her best to keep everyone else quiet. Then have a quiet dinner (well, as quiet as it gets because even if they’re at the other side of the house, you’ll hear the kids LOL) with hubby. Try to look your best – wear an outfit he likes to see you in, do your hair and makeup(if you wear it), etc. Make his favorite meal. Add a few of yours too, so you get to enjoy your time together. If you get interrupted, deal with it, and go back to the meal. And when the kids are in bed, continue where you left off…or start something new. ;)
- If you don’t have older kids yet, feed your children and put them to bed early. Follow the above advice about the quiet dinner, etc.
- Take walks, letting older kids bicycle or push younger ones in strollers or pull wagons.
- Don’t dump on him as soon as he walks in the door – even if it’s been a pull-your-hair-out kind of day.
- Take a nap to be more rested when hubby gets home – even if you can only manage 30 minutes.
- Take a bath/shower together – yeah, I know, but let’s be realistic…YOU’RE MARRIED with kids. You know how he looks, and he knows how you look (and probably likes it). *blush*
- Enlist the kids to help with clean-up. Even a two-year-old can be taught to pick up toys. Make it a game and give rewards for helping (stickers, tickle-time, or food, whatever works for you/them).
I’m sure I can come up with some others, but I want you to help each other be more romantic. What are YOUR ideas to keep romance in your marriage when you have young ones?
Cathy Bryant says
Love this post, Ginger! It’s so easy to let other things–children, writing, life, etc.–come between us and the people we’ve pledged our lives to. Thank you for the creative ideas on keeping the connection strong. I especially love the tips on being rested (as much as possible, anyway) and not dumping on him as soon as he comes home. I can remember telling my kids, “Just wait ’til your dad gets home.” Poor guy. That’s an awful way to be greeted at the end of a long work day. Thanks again for the post! :)
Cathy, I think we all said, “Wait ’til your father gets home” line. It’s a given, isn’t it? We get so frustrated as the little things pile up. At least I used to.
Valerie Comer says
We don’t usually think of “practical” and “romance” as belonging together. Great post!
If I’m anything it’s practical, right down to the core. :)