How to Enjoy Romance After Having Kids

Accepting yourself, with love

The key to a strong relationship is for both partners to work together toward a common goal. That's best done if each of you is clear about your individual goals and can communicate them to one another. Your task, then, is to discover your life's purpose. I'm not talking about anything big, like saving the world or earning millions of dollars. I'm talking about the day-to-day things that spell satisfaction—the things that make your life fulfilling and happy.

Womanly Wisdom

The greatest satisfaction comes from the smallest things—sharing a few quiet moments with your partner, seeing the joy in your child's eyes when she learns something new. Attend to these, and you'll discover that your life is very rich.

When you accept yourself with your limitations you will be able to accept your mate with his limitations. When you have acceptance of each other you can go about the business of enjoying your life together. You'll recognize the need to negotiate certain aspects of your life and delegate responsibilities in ways you perceive as fair, but you will stop trying to change one another to suit what you think you need in a partner and begin instead to enjoy each other for who you really are.

Laughter Is Truly the Best Medicine

The best way to redefine your relationship with your partner, when it comes to your romantic life and raising children together, is to always have a sense of humor. Your life will never be as you expect it to be—just when you're beginning to enjoy the perfect romantic evening, the baby will wake up and start crying or your toddler will decide she needs another drink of water. These little frustrations can seem huge at the time, but if you can laugh at the unexpected, you'll find it easier to keep them in their true perspective.

Momma Said There'd Be Days Like This

Recently I broke my heel bone and was laid up for months. I felt very sorry for myself and for all the plans that were now out the window, but when I stopped brooding I realized that there was a positive side to my injury. My children were overjoyed to have me available to color with them and just sit and talk. And because I needed their help, they learned a valuable lesson about sympathy for others. And they learned to do for themselves some things that they once expected me to do for them. My accident gave us all an opportunity to grow closer.

Savoring the Moments of Your Life

It isn't the amount of time you spend with your family, but how present you are when you are together. You can learn to be more present, in much the same way people learn to meditate. When you are with your children, try to separate from all the noise and the chatter and focus on just being with them.

And this is important in your relationship with your partner, as well. When you are together, especially when you are going to be intimate, savor every moment and be mentally and emotionally present. Turn off the television, light a candle if you want to, but mostly just concentrate on your love.

The relationship between you and your partner forms the foundation for your children's lives. If you are able to create a strong base for them, they will be able to go out into the world with confidence and love. So even if you are too pooped to pop, you need to make love, sex, and emotional intimacy a priority in your life. You can have beautifully folded laundry, great meals, and a spotless house but without intimacy in your relationship you'll find that all the rest is unfulfilling.

Life is to be enjoyed, and if you are fortunate enough to find love, treat it as the precious gift it truly is. Children are far more important than laundry and husbands are far more important than clean houses. So if, in all the competing demands for your attention, some things have to slide, let it be the housework, not the humans.

When you strengthen your relationship with your partner through love and compromise, you are not the only ones to benefit. Your children will be much better off as well, growing up in a home without conflict. So even when you are tired, remember to fan the flames of your love as often as you can. Make romance a priority, and your home will be a much happier place.

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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