Yes I’m going to talk about this very subject because well, I guess I’m not embarrassed to admit that our romance took quite the dive after we had our daughter. It happens, I don’t care what anyone says, it happens. It happens to the strongest relationships, the steamiest, hottest, I want you all the time marriages! How can it not. The first six weeks of becoming parents are all about survival. Sleep with the baby sleeps, order take out, and be lucky to take a shower every 48 hours kind of survival. We napped with her on our chests, we walked around with her in the moby wrap so we could function, I remember one time in the first two weeks of having our daughter, I walked outside and the sun nearly blinded me!
OK then it starts to look up after the six-week period, the baby is sleeping more on a schedule, come on I’ve gone six weeks without intimacy, I can do this………..wait no I haven’t. First off, my doctor sent me for a six-week check up after giving birth, what do they call it? The six-week postpartum visit? Yeah I was still hurting when getting off the couch and postpartum, that’s a whole other topic! I know everyone’s birth is different, but to save you the details lets just say I got stitches, in three separate places. Six weeks wasn’t going to cut it.
I know I got lucky because after having my daughter it took a good five to six months before my “pregnancy” belly kicked in, I don’t know if it’s every happened to anyone else but I thought I was one of those lucky chosen ones, gave birth and miraculously lost my belly in the aftermath of birth. I fit into cloths I hadn’t worn in years, and bra’s, yep even fit into older, smaller bra’s. I felt good!! I had no idea I only had six months tops to get my groove on! After that it was all down hill.
One thing to keep in mind is, a Happy Marriage = Better Parent. In my eyes this is true, the happier I am with myself and within my marriage, the better Mom I am. I’m happier, my child can sense and feel that difference. It’s our responsibility to teach our children about relationships and how to love one another. What better way than to show them. Modeling a happy relationship is one of the best gifts you can give your children. Now that our daughter is two we often find ourselves trying to kiss in front of her, hug each other in front of her, snuggle with each other in front of her. Not even six months ago when we hugged she would look at us in a funny silly way, then run and get in between us, it dawned on me that it was probably because it was something she didn’t see that often. Not because my husband and I didn’t want to be affectionate in front of each other, not because we are affectionate people, but because we simply forgot. It happens. Now we “make” time for it, even if I whisper to my husband, “let’s hug, let’s show Madison what it’s like to kiss and say I love you.”
So according to “Parents” Magazine there are eight everyday romantic gestures that should be easy for your and your man to commit to that will help keep the heat flowing! Here are the eight ways with my thoughts:
1. Always Hold Hands – Didn’t you always hold hands before the baby(s) came along? Let me guess the stroller get’s in the way?? Come on that’s an excuse! Think of another way to hold hands, use one hand to push the carriage, loop arms, I even sometimes put my hand on the stroller too.
2. Kiss!! – Yes it’s easy to kiss good-bye in the morning, or hello at night, my husband is a huge “Pecker” LOL I don’t mean that as an insult, for example, last night he fell asleep on the couch, when he got up to go to bed (yes he was half a sleep) but he barley even got my lips, take the extra few seconds to kiss on the lips, longer…….it’s a few seconds, can it really be that hard?
3. One Compliment a Day – I’ve heard a lot of couples find that they get into a rut. It’s easy, don’t feel bad, it’s life, it’s marriage, it’s part of having kids, the children always come first and the “Mommy & Daddy” come last. Pay your significant other one compliment a day. Think about it, it’s just like #2, is it that hard? No all about thinking of it! Whether you hubby shaves one day and you notice the smoothness, or you hubby does or says something cute……TELL HIM. Of course don’t forget to tell him to do the same
4. Flirt! Do you even remember what it’s like to flirt?? I sometimes I forget, it does take thinking about it some days, but do it, it always helps. My husband is a big “grabber” he steals a pinch, cops a feel or slaps (a little too hard) while we are in the kitchen, packing up for an outing, or getting ready for bed. I used to hate when my husband grabbed me in certain places, but the more I worked on bettering myself, eating healthier, working out, the better I felt and the more I realized he still found me attractive, so now I suck up those moments.
5. Pet Names – Do you still have a pet name you use for one another? My husband knows when I’m mad or serious when I call him “Andy” or even “Andrew”. I’d rather it that way, that’s his name for his mom, family, his boss or friends should call him, babe, sweetheart, even Sexy, those are my names!
6. Love Notes – I highly highly recommend buying you man a package of sticky notes for Christmas this year. Have you ever heard of the saying “It’s the little things.” Well here they are. Little sticky notes you can leave around the house, or you can even go as far as me and my husband go every now and again and leave them in special thoughts so when one of us finds them throughout the day (Medicine cabinet, lunch box, steering wheel, boots) it brings a smile to your face in a way that just makes your day! Trust me……I still have mine hanging up and I still keep one in my truck.
7. Cuddle – When your tired at the end of day (like 7 out of of the 7) and all you want to do collapse on the couch and watch your favorite program, sit on the same couch. OK I have to admit, we are bad at this, I just want to be comfortable, sometimes I don’t even want to be touched, OK OK, well you can have those nights too. How about a few out of the 7? Sometimes my husband will ask me for a foot massage, and though I hate doing it, I love laying together, and I love doing something nice for him. Specially when I get one back in return.
8. Use Technology! – We have technology up the wazoo these days, use it. Take a picture of yourself holding a sign saying that you love your man and can’t wait to see him. I have to admit, I’ve never done this one…….until now. Do you know how good it feels to know that I just made my husbands afternoon.
So I heard this saying once and I don’t even remember where from, but it’s stuck with me ever since. Men are like a microwave, it takes seconds for them to warm up. Women, we are more like slow cookers, it takes us all day to warm up. This comparison is so true. If the wind blows a certain way, my husband is ready, if it’s a random Wednesday after the hardest day of the week, he is ready. Me, no no no…..I need the whining and dining, I need the flirting, the hand holding, the “feeling” of wanting to be close, I think this is the biggest problems in relationships, personally that is my opinion. Come the end of the day we are tired, we’ve worked all day, we’ve cared for our children, we’ve ran errands, dropped off, picked up, cooked dinner, did laundry, put the kids to bed…..man I’m tired just writing it!! So I think if you try and do the eight things I’ve listed above, It may just help keep the romance alive. Some days cuddling at night will be all you need, and some days, you may just surprise yourself!
Few other tips I have, make a cheat sheet for your man. Our therapist recommended this to my husband and I and I’m proud to say that it’s done wonders. In my family it was me making a cheat sheet for my husband because being a stay at home mom I lacked the appreciation most get from co-workers or bosses at work. A boss may not say well done when you clean your bathroom but they may just say job well done when you’ve completed a project you’ve worked your butt off on. So after having my daughter I lacked a lot in the “work” department. I felt like it was a joke while I made out this list of things for my husband to “remember”. I didn’t like the idea of my husband having to look at a list to appreciate me. The more I became comfortable with this and the more I realized he used this piece of paper and all of a sudden these little things he did for me, just helped. My list is simple, one of the suggestions on it was, recognizing that I may have had a bad day and maybe suggesting take out for dinner. Or leaving those little notes around the house. My favorite is for him to plan a date night, all date nights don’t have to cost money. My favorite is dropping boo off at my mom’s and coming home for pizza and a movie. Sometimes it’s nice for us woman to not have to plan those nights.
My last tip is TO ALWAYS ALWAYS ALWAYS, make time for one another. Our first year with Madison we had date nights/days planned a whole year in advance, our rule was that every birthday, anniversary, or holiday we would buy each other a date. Sounds crazy but within the first year of having Maddie we had 4 baseball games, 2 bruins games and numerous dinners already planned with babysitters planned. It helped us financially to plan for them ahead of time, it gave us something to look forward to, a date on the calendar that I could mark down so I could actually put make up on and heals! Use websites like Living Social, New Hampshire Daily Deal, Couptopia, or even go to your local restaurants websites and sign up to receive deals, you’ll get coupons in the mail or emailed to you, a lot places do it, Ruby Tuesdays, Olive Garden, the 99. It’s a great way to save money on a night out or even a lunch.
Now go grab your man and give him a kiss and a hug!