It’s hard to find time for intimacy when kids are home 24/7. Trust me, I get it! Plus, you’re both exhausted with juggling work, and remote schooling, and just the complete mayhem of life in a pandemic. Frankly, it’s just not the most romantic setting.
Becoming parents is an experience fraught with anxiety and overwhelm. With most of your time and energy dedicated towards raising children, it can be all too easy for romance and intimacy with your partner to fall by the wayside. Unfortunately, sometimes this can have awful long-term effects on your bond.
Prioritising romance after having kids is an effort. Believe me, I know it can be tough to find ways to keep the romance alive. But I’ve found there are really simple things you can do every day to put that spark into your relationship, and still be romantic even while being parents.
If you’re struggling to connect and be intimate with your partner after having kids, here are some hot tips for you.
Why it’s important to keep the romance alive after having kids
- To make life more enjoyable
It’s always more fun when you get along well with your partner and you still have that spark when you’re together! Creating and developing a loving relationship makes for a joyful and happy atmosphere in your household, and that’s great for everyone.
- To feel connected and avoid loneliness
Parenting is beyond exhausting, and it can sometimes make you feel terribly lonely. Having a loving relationship with your partner is the key to feeling supported and loved, and avoiding the feeling of disconnect that some of us experience when we become parents.
- To set a healthy example for your kids
Your children will naturally do as you do, not as you say. You can set them up for realistic expectations for their own future relationships by showing them what a loving and healthy relationship is, and raising them in a joyful household full of love and affection!
- To set a foundation to stay in love even when the kids have left
This is something my mother always reminds me. Your children will be with you for around 20 years, but your partners will (hopefully) be with you much longer than that. Empty nest marriages are a thing, and it’s not always a bed of roses, apparently. So you need to future-proof your marriage by building that strong and loving foundation first.
How to keep romance alive after having kids
These are things that I’ve personally found to be really helpful in remaining intimate with my partner, despite raising our three children together. Bear in mind that we’ve both worked from home long before COVID-19 happened, so being together 24/7 had been our thing long before lockdown!
The only difference, of course, is that now the kids are with us all day too. It’s been especially challenging to find time for romance through the day when we have literally no alone time, but we still make it work.
So here’s a list of the things we have done to stay connected and intimate, even after kids, and even during a lockdown!
1. Take up a new hobby together
Dan and I decided to start doing yoga together when COVID hit and the gym had to shut down. I’m actually pretty proud to say we’ve been really good about committing to morning yoga together.
The reason it’s so fun to do something new together is because you’re both starting from square one. Being a beginner at something will always make you feel a little vulnerable and insecure, so having each other for support can be invaluable.
Plus, the excitement of trying new things feels a lot like all the warm fuzzy feelings that you felt in the honeymoon period of your relationship. Especially when the hobby feels like joint self-care.
It doesn’t have to be yoga or anything physical, mind you. Here are a few other hobbies you can do together to keep the romance alive:
- Painting or pottery
- Learning a new language
- Cook new recipes together
All I ask is that you please re-enact this iconic scene from Ghost if you take up pottery.
2. Make memories
It’s too easy to just do the same thing day in and day out. Break out of the monotony by creating new memories with each other (and the kids). It doesn’t have to be complex or time-consuming!
Think of tweaking your daily activities in little ways to make it just a little bit different from normal.
Here are some ways you can do that:
- Have a picnic in your yard instead of eating at the dining table
- Have a full movie night at home, with a ticket kiosk and popcorn stand
- This one’s just for you and your partner after the kids are in bed: wear something unexpectedly sexy to bed instead of your usual pyjamas. Keep it a surprise – let your partner discover it for themselves when they hop into bed with you. Talk about keeping the romance alive, right?
3. Mix it up
Try some non-bedroom locations. Heck, you don’t even need to be horizontal! You could also sneak away during the day for a quickie.
There’s always something really sexy about spontaneity, so try to inject a little bit of the unexpected into your intimate moments.
Even the act of intimacy can be spiced up a little bit. As long as you’re both into it, and you both have a sense of humour about it, adding a little kinkiness to your sex life can be so invigorating for your relationship. It’s all about letting loose, having fun, and reconnecting!
4. Tease each other through the day
A cheeky bum rub as you walk past, a lingering kiss on the neck, and even giving your partner “that look” from across the room can turn the heat up slowly but surely.
Don’t just wait till 5 minutes before sex to start foreplay. When you’ve been doing it subtly all day, it will make things that much more explosive when you finally do it!
Don’t forget to use technology to your advantage too. Even when we were in lockdown, we would send sexy messages to each other through the day, sometimes just across the couch from each other. I’m sure the kids would’ve been mortified if they knew, but the sneakiness really added to the fun.
5. Be realistic
As parents, your time and energy is limited, so do what you can. You don’t have to be intimate every single day, just find a balance and compromise on what makes you both feel loved and content.
If one or both of you feel like the frequency of sex just isn’t what you expected – whether it’s happening too often or not enough – then you need to have a conversation about it, away from the bedroom.
Have a talk with each other about it, and come to a compromise. It’s so important that no one feels neglected or burned out. And, frankly, nothing’s a bigger turn-on than making your partner happy, right?
6. Make time for each other
Even when you can’t leave the house, you need to schedule your date nights. Dan and I keep this up even during lockdown. Just because you’re together at home all day, doesn’t mean that it’s 24/7 quality time! So focus on getting a few hours a week completely dedicated to each other.
Much like the other ideas on this list, this doesn’t have to be overly grand or complex. While candles and soft music would be nice, if it’s going to take too much time and effort, and cause anxiety…it’s just not that romantic!
What’s better is just sitting with each other and cuddling. Or maybe share a pint of ice cream together. Perhaps give each other foot rubs while talking about your day. Think of something that requires little effort but can still be enjoyed by both of you.
7. Stay consciously connected
Keep talking to each other, keep that line of communication open. We love the prompts on the Get Paired app for this, it’s a good way to start up a conversation when we’re too bushed you come up with something!
Here’s another tip: Try to avoid talking about the kids. A lot of parents are guilty of this, but after a few years, you’re going to forget how to talk to each other about something other than your children!
Keep that fire going
When you think about how long you and your partner will be sharing a life together, it makes sense to invest into your relationship.
That’s why it’s important to make sure your connection to your partner remains strong and steady. It’s the foundation that you can count on (and build upon) no matter what life throws your way.
Have you got some tips on how to keep the romance alive after having kids? I’d love to hear from you! Also, if you’d like to get fortnightly tips from me about self-care and personal development, you can sign up to my newsletter using the form below: