When you have children in the household, it is sometimes a battle to keep your martial (and sexual) relationship on the top of your priorities. Long nights with new baby feeds, high energy toddlers running around the living room, or keeping on top of your teen can take a toll on a marriage. Adameve have gathered up a group of parents to see what they do to keep the spark going in their relationships even when they have children in the house.
We had a chat with Gary and Helen, parents of an 8 year old boy and a 13 year old girl; Lucy and John, new parents to an 8-week old baby boy; and Sarah and Emma, moms to a 15 month old boy. Each gave us ways that they keep the love flowing in their homes.
Gary & Helen – We spent the first six years of our with-children lives just existing in the same household. We were more like roommates than husband and wife! One day, we turned to each other and asked what happened to the way we used to be? We knew that having children would put our love life on the back seat, but we didn’t think it would last this long. Finally, we decided to make our relationship a priority. We started spending our lunch hours together, leaving our working world for that time to reconnect. Luckily, we work in the same city, so we would either meet in the park on nice days and have a picnic – just the two of us – or we’d hit a coffee shop or diner to have a quick lunch. We made a rule that we wouldn’t discuss work, or anything negative involving the children. This was a time for us to be happy and enjoy each other’s company. We even had a few times where we snuck off to a secluded location and ‘connected’ in other, more pleasurable ways.
Lucy & John – Our biggest issue was that we never talked about anything other than our baby for what seemed like months. The last few weeks of Lucy’s pregnancy were pretty uncomfortable to her, and now we are up both late at night with the little one. When we are awake during the daylight hours, and I’m not at work, it was spent with Lucy filling me in on her day with our son. We finally realized that we hadn’t had a baby-free conversation in ages, so we decided that no matter what, we would at least have a chat once a day that didn’t involve our son’s immunization schedule, the number of ounces he drank, or if we were taking him to see his relatives that weekend. If we were too busy during the daytime to have that chat, we would find ways – either at night after we put our son to bed, but before we fell asleep; or I’d call home during my lunch hour; or even while one of us showered and the other sat on the bathroom floor playing our son. We would just talk like we used to.
Sarah & Emma – We decided that we would have family date nights. We always put off going out to eat for when we could get a sitter, but that never seemed to materialize. So, we’d pack up our son, find a nice, but family friendly restaurant, and spend some quality time together as a couple, with our toddler in tow. We found that the best places to have decent meals at places that don’t mind kids are in the malls. Not so much the food courts, but the sit-down places. Our son would be happy playing with spoons and watching the wait staff walking around, and we were happy to be able to slow down and spend some time together.
The common theme that AdamEve found in all their conversations was – communication. They all let us know that when there’s communication gratification in other areas shortly follows!