Article: Rekindling Romance: Intimacy Tips for Busy Parents
Rekindling Romance: Intimacy Tips for Busy Parents
Welcome to the wonderfully chaotic world of parenting! Amid the hustle and bustle of raising little ones, it's all too easy for romance to take a back seat. But fear not, busy parents - your love story doesn't need to be put on pause. In this article we’ll dive into simple yet effective ways to keep the flame of love burning bright. From carving out quality time to meaningful gestures that speak volumes, let’s explore how you can nurture your relationship while juggling the joys of parenthood.
Rekindling Romance: Intimacy Tips for Busy Parents
1. Importance of Prioritising the Relationship
Being a parent is one of the most rewarding roles you can have - I say this as a toddler shouts at me to push his tip-top up - but it's very easy to allow the demands of parenthood overshadow the romantic relationship that created the parent. It's crucial for couples to remember that the foundation of their family is often their bond. Prioritising your relationship isn't just beneficial for you as a couple, but also for the entire family.
From our own journey, Rachel and I have found that our connection as partners deeply influences our family life. When we feel good together, we’re connected, and well-bonded, we don’t just have a better relationship – but we're better parents.
We laugh more, we're more patient, and that happiness transfers throughout our home, influencing all other aspects of family life. It’s like our “love” becomes the base of our household, setting a rhythm of joy and warmth for our kids.
For example, let's talk about bedtime routines – a seemingly mundane part of parenting, yet incredibly impactful on a couple's intimacy. In the early days of our parenting journey, Rachel and I didn't set a specific bedtime for our kids. They'd stay up with us until we ALL went to bed or they’d just doze off on the sofa. It seemed convenient at first, but we soon realised the toll it was taking on us, both as individuals and as a couple.
By the time the house quieted down, we found ourselves drained, agitated, and with little energy left for each other. Those precious moments of connection, and not just the physical aspect of “love making” but also the simple acts of intimacy – hugging, talking, sharing our day, even watching an actual show together – became harder to come by.
So instead, we opted to prioritise each other as a couple and get stricter with bedtime. Suddenly, we had this pocket of time in the evening that was just ours. It allowed us to unwind, reconnect, and be present with each other, rekindling those sparks of intimacy that are so easily lost in the daily grind of parenting.
That’s just one example of prioritising the relationship.
2. Simple Yet Meaningful Date Nights at Home
I’ll be honest, there's something deeply appealing about going out for a proper date night. Imagine a restaurant where you can actually sit and talk to each other, enjoying a meal without having to constantly scan the room like a drill sergeant – a familiar scenario for anyone venturing out with three kids, as we often do. It's “fun”, but let's be real, it's also a bit of a circus.
However, hitting the town isn't always on the cards. Sometimes, it's just not feasible – whether due to the hassle of arranging childcare or the costs associated with a night out. But who says date nights need to be about grand gestures and expensive outings? A date night at home, once the kids are snug in their beds, can be equally enjoyable.
There’s a certain charm in cooking a meal together, choosing a favourite film to watch, or simply having an uninterrupted conversation. These moments at home can create memories just as precious as any fancy night out.
My advice? Try to pick a date and mark it on your calendar. And here's the crucial part – STICK TO IT. Treat it with the same importance as any other appointment. Remember, you’re the priority now.
Hey, if you really want, you can even set the mood with some ambient lighting via a delightful scented candle to transform your living room into a cozy haven.
3. Communicating Desires and Needs
Alright, let's venture into a more “adult” topic, but one that's undeniably real and important: our desires and needs. Particularly the physical ones. Yes, I'm talking about sex. The transition to parenthood often brings a seismic shift in a couple’s sexual lives. It's a subject worth discussing, though I'll keep it brief here – it's a deep enough topic to warrant its own dedicated post.
Becoming a parent can undoubtedly complicate your sex life. From feeling “touched out” after a day filled with child-centric activities to finding fewer opportunities for intimacy, or simply grappling with increased fatigue, sex can, quite understandably, take a back seat. This is especially true if there’s a feeling that household responsibilities aren't being shared fairly.
Resentment towards your partner is hardly conducive to feelings of arousal.
The cornerstone here, as in many aspects of a relationship, is open and honest communication. It's about creating a space where both partners feel comfortable expressing their needs and desires, both emotional and physical. Regular and frank discussions can not only help in understanding each other better but can also significantly enhance emotional intimacy.
And remember, it's okay to have unspoken desires – whether they're new interests or long-held fantasies. The key is to bring these into the light with your partner. Initiating these conversations might feel daunting, but they're integral to maintaining a healthy, fulfilling relationship, especially in the context of the changes that come with parenting.
So perhaps you’ve always wanted to be tied up? Maybe you want to role play over text, take on dominant/submissive roles, get whipped and spat on, get watched on a hidden camera, shafted with a strap-on, start using sex toys, or pursue interests in any other kink related activity.
Don’t be afraid to explore these desires with your partner and venture into the ones you both feel comfortable with. It might just help to rekindle that spark and make you feel like you’re dating again.
4. Small Daily Gestures of Love
Never underestimate the power of small acts of affection. A loving text, a surprise cup of coffee, or a thoughtful compliment can go a long way. These gestures show your partner that they are always on your mind, reaffirming your bond every day.
I highly recommend the Love Languages book by Gary Chapman. If you don’t fancy reading the book then you could simply take the test. But understanding BOTH your own, and your partner’s, love language is critical to doing any sort of gesture of love.
For example, if you express love physically then a hug would mean something to YOU. Meanwhile your partner might consider acts of service as her love language so the hug wouldn’t mean quite as much as you doing the dishes or putting the hoover around. On the flip side, your partner might feel like she’s expressing her love daily by doing household chores, but all you wanted was physical touch.
In essence, without having an understanding of each others love language you could find yourself speaking to each other in completely different languages.
5. Seek External Support for Personal Time
Every now and then, it's okay to seek help with the kids. Whether it’s asking family members to babysit or hiring a trusted caregiver, having that time away from parental duties is vital. Use this time to focus on each other, be it going out for a meal or simply enjoying a quiet evening together.
I’ll be honest, this one has always been tough for us. Usually having time away from the kids means we can finally work up the unit together without any interruptions. So quite often we still forget to prioritise our relationship and instead put the business first. It’s one of the many challenges of having your own business: It never actually stops.
Parenthood is a journey that you embark on together
Look, you’re in this thing together, and maintaining the romance is an integral part of it. With a little effort and creativity, you can continue to nurture your relationship amidst the beautiful chaos of family life. Heck, if you’re really lucky you might even find that your love life improves as parents.
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