The fear is always there after bringing a baby into the home...How will he or she affect the marriage? Will mom and dad still have quality time together? Will the romance peter out in a slow and difficult way? We have good news when it comes to that and we're here to tell the world that it doesn't have to. Parents have done that hard work to bring a beautiful life into this world, and the romantic aspect of their marriage shouldn't be yet another thing to worry about.
There are so many little ways that parents can keep those sparks alive in their relationship and many of them don't take any effort at all. It's important to remember that mom and her partner are in this together and it's not "everyone for themselves" once a baby comes home. Mom and dad are a team, they've built a life together, and their new bundle of joy is just another chapter and another challenge that will make the two of them stronger. Having a child together doesn't kill the romance and we've got fun some ways to show that it can actually make it better. After all, it only takes a few remaining sparks to ignite a fire, right?
20 Simply Saying "I Love You"
This seems like the most obvious and minor gesture that you can make towards your partner but in reality, it's one of the biggest first steps you can take towards keeping that connection alive. Most relationships begin with those words, and by simply saying them at random, you can make your partner feel confident, comfortable, and reassured. Those three words may bring back memories of the first time you said "I love you" or even their favorite time that you've said it.
There's a powerful meaning behind such simple words and timing is everything. Saying it at completely random times can help reduce stress and even break the tension that's often associated with having a new baby in the home.
Amidst the chaos, telling your partner that you love them can drastically improve a situation because it's basically like saying, "I know we're both stressed out, but I just want you to know that I still love you just as much as I did the first time I said those words." That's a beautiful thing and can bring the two of you closer when there's no time for physical reassurance or if you're both simply exhausted. Taking the time and remembering to tell another person that you love them can sometimes be crucial to maintaining that unbreakable bond.
19 Candles Instantly Make Things Romantic
No, we don't mean baby's first birthday candles. We mean romantic tea lights and mood-setting red tapered candles to turn your baby-proof bedroom into a space that's just yours and your partner's for the night. It's amazing what a quick atmosphere change can do to help a couple feel like they can actually get away from everything for a bit and be full in-tune with each other.
Even if all you do is relax with them amongst a dresser top filled with simple white tea lights, it's those few extra moments that will really bring the two of you closer, even if it's only temporary.
Candles can be an inexpensive and effortless way to set the mood when the two of you aren't necessarily feeling like the other has any time, and at night after your kids go to sleep, they can mark the beginning of your own bedtime routine. As cheesy as it sounds, once your bedroom is silhouetted by candlelight, it'll be hard to focus on anything but your partner. It's just a fun way to get things started and initiate a moment of intimacy between the two of you quickly and without any fuss. Throw in some rose petals and satin sheets and the two of you are well on your way to upping the romance factor already.
18 It's Okay To Play Hooky
We live in a world where money controls everything. The need to work, and work as much as you can, is one that unfortunately most of us are very familiar with. That doesn't mean that you can't play hooky once in awhile, though...And sometimes you definitely need it. This is a great way for parents of children who are either in daycare or school to feel connected and get that much-needed alone time.
Playing hooky can mean a full day out, just the two of you, maybe to grab breakfast or lunch, do some shopping, or even hit the beach or a museum.
It's a great way to reconnect and bond over things that you both love without worrying about making time separately (which, let's be honest, there isn't enough of) from your normal routine. Even if it's only a half a day for the two of you, it can also be fun to stay home and do absolutely nothing. Rent some movies or cuddle up by the fireplace, order take-out or make a huge brunch and eat it in bed. Playing hooky should be reserved for those special days where the two of you desperately need some time together with nothing to worry about for awhile.
17 Housework Can Be Quality Time
It's odd and unusual, and even borderline cruel and unusual, to consider housework to be a bonding experience. For those weekends that become weighed down by it, though, this is a good opportunity to make things more fun. Take the chance while you're up early to do things together like cleaning out the garage, going through old clothes, or doing that postponed Spring cleaning that all of us secretly hate doing.
If it's nice outside, work on the gardens or the yard together. Make it fun and set aside an hour to make lunch and then a half hour to picnic outside or actually sit down at the kitchen table and talk.
Housework is something your kids can be involved in as well, but it's also a good chance for them to head to a friend's house or to grandma and grandpa's for a little bit. If not, then include them! Set up a rewards system: For each chore done, that's a point. If you all hit a total number of points, go do something fun together or grab some junk food and have a movie night! This rewards system can work double for just you and your partner as well; simply tally everything up and by the end of the day, whoever wins gets a special something later that night. It's fun and motivational!
16 The Written Word Is Still Romantic
Letters will never be a thing of the past because the writing itself will never be outdated. As long as schools are still teaching kids how to handwrite, letters will still be relevant. They can be relevant to your relationship, too! For super busy couples who just feel like they're always missing each other or can't find the time to talk, letters and notes can be a good way to remind each other that you still care.
Understandably, you may not have time to write out an entire love letter...And that's okay. A simple "Hey, I love you, you looked stunning today" is just as perfect of a reminder as a three-page letter professing your undying devotion.
It's even more special when slipped into the other's dresser drawer, stuck in a shirt pocket, or left on the bedside table. Even if it's a post-it stuck to the coffee maker (fun colors always help), it's a little extra something to say, "hey, I was thinking about you". If you want to be really romantic, go ahead and write that three-page letter. Make it even more special by including your favorite picture of the two of you. Put it in an envelope and "mail" it to your partner! Of course, it won't actually be mailed out, but by slipping it in the mailbox with the rest of your mail from the day's delivery, it'll be a nice little surprise that your partner definitely will not be expecting.
15 Date Nights In
This one might be pretty obvious, but of course, dates don't always mean going out to a fancy place and spending hours outside of the house. It's something that parents truly miss doing once a baby arrives, but there are other ways to go about having fun date nights without ever even leaving the comfort of your home. It's as easy as picking out a Friday night.
Take-out was invented for people who are low on time and want to relax, and it's definitely something to take advantage of. Take the living room hostage after your kids go to sleep, spread out a blanket or big towel, order take-out and sit on the floor.
Crack open a bottle of wine or grab a six-pack, light some candles, and we promise it'll be just like you're at your favorite restaurant -- Well, maybe not just like it, but close enough. It's a minimal amount of effort, gives the two of you the "date" you may feel like you can't have and ensures that you have alone time to just be the two of you without crying or screaming in the background. This is also a great time for a movie night or to just enjoy each other's company and catch up the best part? There's barely any clean-up necessary by the end of the night and you don't have to tip anyone except the delivery driver.
14 Cooking Is Fun
Cooking is making a massive comeback, guys. With the emergence of the healthy food movements and things such as vegetarianism and veganism, more people are opting to cook at home rather than go out and pay someone else to do it for them.
Exhaustion can be a major factor for you and your partner but we assure you, food can be an even bigger motivator to counteract that.
Pick a night and go through a cookbook or recipe blog, find a recipe that you both love (something new and interesting!), and use that as one of your bonding activities. Cooking can bring people closer not only because there's food involved which we all love, but it can create fun memories and even help you get to know each other all over again. Many couples are turning to cooking together as one of their favorite routine weekly activities and there's a reason for that. While someone is dipping their finger in the sauce you just made, you'll be on the other side of the kitchen practicing your saute flip while your partner laughs at you...This is how good nights begin and also how good nights even with some even better food.
13 Games Bring Back The Fun
We're not talking about board games.
It's hectic to find time to do anything when you've got kids at home and a busy work and home life, but we've got some simple ideas that will keep the two of you entertained with such minimal effort, you won't even think twice about trying to fit it into your schedule. Thanks to smartphones, apps are all over the place. Some of these apps even include games like "Adult Truth or Dare" and "Dice" that can help spice up your love life behind closed doors, and all it takes is, literally, the press of a button. Many of the apps are free and can be played with no limit between you and your partner, making for a fun and spontaneous night in. It may even give you a laugh or two and bring back the carefree aspect of your relationship that is often taken over by insecurity after a baby is born. If you're even more ambitious, look around online! Many of them are relatively cheap and can be played repeatedly which is well worth the cost if it'll benefit your relationship. If time is your issue, find a game that suits you and your partner as far as comfortability goes and speed if you're trying to speed things up...Or slow them down!
12 Texting Is Better
Phone calls have somewhat become a thing of the past, however, we applaud those who still pick up the phone to call their family and friends. If you and your partner seem to be falling out of touch with each other, it's common sense that texting can be a big part of the solution to that problem. Many people think that texting is a cold and impersonal way of communication, but for a busy family, it can be a life-saver...And a relationship-saver!
You can use texting to communicate about everyday things and let your partner know that you're thinking about them, sure. But texting can also be used as a quick way to get them fired up for the next time the two of you are alone and have some time together.
Since it's not face-to-face or over the phone, texting is a good way to stay promiscuous with your partner without feeling too insecure or unsure about how full-on you're being. Most of the time, they'll welcome a lively text from you, especially if you're going through a bit of a dry spout. Just imagine the surprise on your partner's face when he or she gets a text after a work meeting! Even better, imagine their reaction the next time the two of you are alone...You've done half the work already.
11 Take Selfies
Chances are if your partner married you, then they love who you are any time of day, in whatever outfit, with or without makeup, etc. After having a baby, many women are worried about what their husbands will think about them and if they'll still be seen as attractive. Ladies, childbirth is beautiful. Having a child and bearing that baby for nine full months, and then going through the pain of childbirth, is pure strength.
That child-bearing strength is wildly attractive, and if you're feeling self-conscious, taking some selfies might be exactly what you need to not only prove to yourself but show your partner that you're still confident and attractive.
It sounds really silly, and obviously, a single picture isn't going to secure a spot in the bedroom immediately, but sending a happy, confident picture of yourself to your partner randomly can both remind them that you care, and show them that you're ready to get back on the playing field. It doesn't even need to be something super adult, just a picture of yourself smiling or even blowing a kiss with the caption "thinking of you" is enough to get you both into a better mindset. It's a cute way of telling them you've still got it!
10 Surprises Are Big, No Matter How Small
You don't need to make a huge gesture to remind your partner that they're always on your mind. While old standbys like flowers and chocolate are tried and true (and especially good for those post-pregnancy cravings), we've got a few more ideas for small surprises. If you want to step it up a notch, consider your partner's favorite hobbies -- What have they had to give up since becoming a mom or dad? Perhaps they no longer have time to read, in which case a new book they've been meaning to read or a gift card to their favorite bookstore is in order. Maybe they can't play video games anymore, in which case their favorite video game and an hour away from the kids is exactly what they need. If it's gardening season, maybe their favorite flower bulbs or seeds are a good surprise. Just because the romance factor is dipping a little low in your relationship doesn't mean they don't feel intimate with you.
Sometimes a little surprise to get them smiling again and an hour of alone time to do their favorite thing is a great reset for restoring that missed connection.
It's a great way to getting your intimacy back on the right track and expressing how much you care and how well you know them.
9 Just Talk
This one seems simple enough and you'd think that it's an easy thing to do. On the contrary, it's really difficult for some people, especially those who have a house full of kids or a newborn. Talking is often a luxury when taking care of a new baby which is why communication suffers the most from marriages. The simplest way to get this back on track is to set aside times to talk, whether it's on the phone, through texts or emails, or at night after you've already put your kids to sleep.
This doesn't mean you need to spend hours talking, even a simple ten or 15 minutes of catching up could be enough to make the two of you feel like you're back on the same page. One way to make this easy is by finding time to talk during routine things.
After dinner, make sure to initiate a conversation while the two of you are cleaning up and doing the dishes. If it's a nice day outside, take your baby for a walk together and talk the entire time...It doesn't even need to be about anything specific, just anything that comes to mind. You could even call each other on lunch breaks; five minutes can make a world of a difference when there's comfort in just hearing your partner's voice.
8 Schedule Time Together
Scheduling is the worst. Time is something that many of us simply don't have enough of, and after kids are born it seems like there's not enough time to do anything. While a baby does, and should, take up most of your time, it's really important to be able to set aside a bit of time for your partner as well.
Even if it's only an hour each week to sit down and relax with them during your baby's naptime or playtime. More importantly, what you do during this time is nearly as important as initiating it.
A great thing for both of you might be giving each other backrubs, grabbing some take-out and sitting down together to eat, or just having a glass of wine and kicking back. While it's usually easier said than done, relationships are still a commitment and really need to be treated as such. This means that it can be initially difficult to forget about everything else for an hour and focus on your partner, but in the end, it'll be time worth spent when you both walk away stronger together. That hour could be the difference between breaking down tension and setting a relaxing tone for the rest of the week, or not communicating and living in a constant state of stress. You guys are in this together and time spent between the two of you is so important.
7 Naptime And Cartoons Means Time For You
Some parents are against cartoons and too much television for their children. That is absolutely their right and no one can tell a parent how to raise their children, but it's one of the things you could consider if you desperately need time with your partner.
Cartoons don't need to be a solid case against laziness and turning your kids into couch potatoes. Just as it's a reward for you and your partner, if done in moderation, it can also be a reward for your child, as well.
The more they see television and movies as a reward, the more likely they are to sit for the entire thing and give the two of you a much-needed break. It's mutually beneficial especially for those times when you're just getting home from work after a really rough day, and you and your partner just need time to de-stress. The television is not a substitute for a babysitter by any means, but it can be a reprieve from the stress that comes with parenting. The same goes for napping -- If they're sleeping, you get a chance to sit back and breathe, too. This is the perfect opportunity for you and your partner to sit back and relax or even take a nap yourselves!
6 Chores Don't Have To Be Boring
While we've already mentioned something to this effect, chores can be more than just a rewards system by the end of the day. In fact, they can be a really fun way to tease your partner! Pick a day when your child is going over a friend's house or to spend time with a family member, and spend the entire day doing "chores" around the house that need to get done.
This is a great time for you and your partner to be active while getting things done, and at the same time, can be a fun game of cat-and-mouse to set the tone.
It's just a fun way to get things going without actually engaging in anything, and sure, that's half the fun, but it will also remind the two of you how exciting and fun it still is to act like teenagers and not be self-conscious or worrying about waking up your baby. There's nothing more attractive than watching your partner get handy with their tools or watching them repaint something. It can even be ideal if they're fixing something in the bedroom...Especially when it becomes a keen opportunity for them to make play eyes or give you a playful "come hither" nudge!
5 Do Something Crazy Once A Month
This goes hand-in-hand with your hooky day and can really jazz up your relationship and bring the two of you closer together. Often, after a new baby comes into a marriage, things get routine and somewhat boring. Not boring in the sense that having a child and raising them is boring, but between you and your partner, things may just not be as exciting as they once were. A major way to combat this is by finding a way to do something new once a month.
This doesn't have to be something insane like skydiving (unless that's really your thing), but it can be something as simple as trying a new restaurant or taking a cooking class. Even going shopping for outfits that are only for your partner's eyes or signing up to take a pottery class together.
The more personal, the better. Anything new is bound to bring the two of you closer, simply because you're taking comfort in doing it together. Finding a new place changes the environment you're normally exposed to, which brings an element of surprise and awe into the relationship that you may have been missing previously. Doing this once a month can keep your relationship on track and give you something to look forward to that's not just your typical night out at a well-loved Italian restaurant.
4 Social Media Doesn't Have To Be Drama
Hear us out on this one. A major reason that most people hate social media is because of all the drama and miscommunication that comes with it. However, if used correctly, it doesn't have to be this way at all. Social media can be a powerful tool to communicate with your partner if you're not always together and can help bring the two of you closer in the sense that you're sharing your likes and dislikes.
With the addition of "tagging", you can easily bring your partner's attention to something without even telling them in person about it. This can bring about a conversation starter for later on, but also give them a heads up by saying, "Hey! I saw this and thought of you, take a look".
With all the new pages on social media, it's easy to tag them in something that will brighten their mood or get them excited for a night out, whether it's a new movie trailer or a Netflix show that's coming soon. It can also just be a cute way to let them know you're thinking of them; writing on people's walls and tagging them in statuses is still very much a thing, and might be just what they need to feel secure in your relationship.
3 Let Snapchat Help
Much like the social media aspect of helping relationships grow after having a baby, Snapchat can do wonders in the way of making the two of you feel closer without even being in the same room.
We're not even talking about adult chats (which is totally okay if that's what you're comfortable with), but with all of the crazy outrageous filters and effects now, you can send your sweetie a hilarious message that will both make them smile and reassure them that they're never far from your mind.
It can be a great way to make them feel included, especially if one of you is the stay-at-home and one of you is at work every day. With the video feature, you can easily send a video to them and add fun effects or text, or even narrate a funny scenario -- And the best part? The app is completely free. You don't even need to have an entire friend list to have Snapchat, you can download it to your phone and keep it between the two of you for the sake of privacy and intimacy. It's a quick and easy way to send a cute message and doesn't require the commitment that FaceTime or Skype might if you want to see them face-to-face. They can open the message when they have time (especially if it's NSFW) and respond on their own time, and the two of you will always have an open line of fun and quirky communication.
2 Turn-Down Service
Knock knock! Is that a French maid or your partner? That's right, role-playing can be a key factor in keeping things not only romantic but alive, in your relationship.
It doesn't have to be insane and totally out-there, but the small gesture of doing something unfamiliar and new with each other will help to bring the two of you closer.
You'll learn to rediscover your partner and vice versa, and maybe even get a laugh or two out of it. You could go as far as "running into each other" in a public place before your final destination of home, or you could simply just start by sending a lively text that implies that you could be someone you're not. Imaginative play isn't only for kids, and once you get over the hump that comes in the form of trying something new, there are no limits to how much fun you and your partner can have. It's a cool way to surprise them and let him or her know that intimacy is still very much a part of your relationship, regardless of how often you get to act on it. It's okay to be daring and your partner is the safe space in which you can do that, spicing up your love life will seriously bring that heat back!
1 It's The Little Things
Last but not least...Don't stress it! The last thing you need to do when it comes to restoring your intimacy after having a baby is stress out over it and cause even more tension. Taking ten minutes together just to sit down and talk can be amazing, but not if it's full of headbutting and nerves. It's important to remember that the two of you are a team and no matter what comes your way, you'll never be alone in overcoming it. That's the beautiful thing about being in a marriage; it takes two but it also rewards two. Having a baby can be stressful and take away a lot of time that you were previously used to devote to each other, but now you get to devote it to someone that you've created together. It will bring you together while also pushing you to your limits, and keeping an open line of communication and learning when to say "I need help" is key to balancing and restoring that trust and love. From simply saying "I love you" to taking a chance and signing up for a hip-hop dance class together, there's always something the two of you can do to strengthen your relationship. Sometimes all it takes is a look that says, "You're strong, I love you, you're not alone" to make them feel better and like you've not forgotten about the importance of intimacy...Sometimes it's the little things that will always make the biggest difference.