How to Enjoy Romance After Having Kids

Making passion a priority

Mom Alert!

Don't make your partner guess why you're too tired lately for a little romance. Tell him, even if you think it should be obvious. He's got his own insecurities now that he's a new dad, so he may not see that you're just feeling overworked—he may take your temporary lack of interest as a more permanent kind of rejection.

Making your sex life a priority in the scheme of things will make a positive difference in the harmony of your home. Men and women need to join with each other on a regular basis to maintain intimacy. This does not necessarily mean intercourse, but it does mean that you need time to focus on each other as lovers, and not as simply fellow travelers in the great childrearing enterprise.

Now, this does not mean that every sexual encounter you have with each other must be spiritual and transcendent. If you can find the time for some fun with each other, grab it—sometimes, even being a little bit naughty can be pretty nice.

You can rekindle romance without risking your life in many very simple ways:

  • Remember how much you love each other and do not forget to say it every day.
  • Avoid criticism and give compliments as much as possible without being phony about it.
  • Reminisce about your life as lovers before the children were born.
  • Talk about ways you can sneak in some lovemaking time.
  • Beg someone to take your children overnight or for a weekend, and do not leave your bed.

But most of all, remember to be loving to each other and think of one thing in your relationship to be grateful for each day.

Momma Said There'd Be Days Like This

When our kids were small, I once tried a little too hard to rekindle the old flames. I bought the cutest pair of red fur handcuffs at a novelty lingerie store and, while the kids were at school, I made a date with my husband to sneak home for lunch. When his car pulled into the drive, I was all set, handcuffed to the bedposts, with the key on my chest. But my husband had a surprise of his own—a rambunctious golden retriever pup pounced onto our bed and knocked the key to the floor. I had a hard time avoiding his attentions, while my husband spent some serious time on his hands and knees until he finally located the tiny key to free me.

Womanly Wisdom

Stay sensitive and aware of your partner's emotions. If he's feeling unloved or displaced, a little tender, loving care can make him feel less isolated. And don't be shy about letting him know when you're feeling the need for a little nurturing, too.

Finding the Time for Togetherness

Finding the time does not mean finding the time for sex only. A couple also needs to find the time to allow their relationship to grow. You can't put all of your energy into raising a family and into your separate interests and expect your relationship to grow along with everything else. You need to make a special effort to know what is really going on with each other. You need to talk, or sometimes you just need to spend some time together not saying a word.

It's Not Just Children Who Need Nurturing

The relationship between you and your partner needs to be given the same kind of energy you give to your children. A relationship is headed for trouble if the energy is focused too one-sidedly: either entirely on the children or exclusively on the couple. In this, as in all things, what you seek is a balance—one that recognizes the needs of everyone in the family.

But when children are small, it's easy for a mother to bury herself so thoroughly in her children's demands that she misses the warning signs of trouble with the adult relationship. You need to carve out several different kinds of time: family time, alone time, children time, and partner time. Sounds like you need a lot of time, doesn't it? But remember that the amount of time spent in each area is less important than the quality of the time you put into it. If you find that things are not working well at home, chances are there is something out of balance in one or more of those relationships.

excerpted from:

Excerpted from The Complete Idiot's Guide to Motherhood © 1999 by Deborah Levine Herman. All rights reserved including the right of reproduction in whole or in part in any form. Used by arrangement with Alpha Books, a member of Penguin Group (USA) Inc.

To order this book visit Amazon's web site or call 1-800-253-6476.

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