Life gets busy when you have children.
When they are young they need you all the time which can leave little time for romance with your significant other (SO). We often forget to talk about our needs and focus only on what the kids need. Which I believe is a problem in families.
Yes, kids needs are important, but so are the adult needs. To the point that sometimes adult needs must trump what kids think they need, if only to maintain the adult sanity. I have many feeds on my different feeders that show up with parents, mothers in particular, spouting off about how they don’t get to do anything for themselves.
How can you fully focus on the needs of your children if you have needs that are unfulfilled? Now I am not talking about superficial needs, but needs like space, time, the ability to do something nice for yourself and that time to just space out and not worry about as much as we can not worry about or just think without other noise.
Adult physical contact, conversation and socialization is important to the well-being of a human being. Having kids shouldn’t preclude this type of contact, you just need to get a little more creative in how we do it. Here are some tricks that I use to maintain sanity with a 2.5 and 6.5 year old (both boys).
- Mommy time. Bedtime is 8pm. After this time it’s my time and the Mommy Monster comes out when the kids eat into my time. I have explained this to the kids that I need time to do my things so that they can have my time to do other things and from 8pm until I go to bed is that time. I don’t care if they go to sleep right away, but they are only allowed out of bed to go to the bathroom. Typically they fall asleep within 30 minutes.
- Being clear about what needs to be done before you can play with them. Talk to your kids, explain what you need to do so that you can spend time with them. Sometimes you can make a game out of chores to include them and while this might take longer makes them feel included.
- Find time to talk to your SO. Yes you might need to use different words, but you can usually have a conversation about anything with the kids around. I believe that allowing kids to be involved in household conversations is important to them understanding why decisions are made and even how they are made.
- It’s okay to be affectionate around your children. IN FACT YOU SHOULD ALWAYS HUG YOUR SO AROUND YOUR CHILDREN. The more children see affection is okay the more they will be okay both giving and receiving affection. Yes, we still need to educate about strangers, but family and friends who show appropriate affection should be allowed and encouraged. We are so afraid of inappropriate touching and contact that we have become a hands off society to the detriment of our children who are tactile creatures.
- Adults are also tactile and require affection. This little thing, a hug, can be the greatest gesture in your SO’s day. Endorphin’s are fabulous and need to be released regularly, and this can be done with a simple hug.
- Cuddle while watching the kids TV shows with them. It’s okay to let the dishes sit for an hour or day. They will still be there when you are done getting some of your own affection.
- Lock the bathroom door. From time to time its okay to pull your SO into the shower and lock the door. Excuses can include, I need help washing my back, cleaning the shower, checking for ….well anything really. Kids can go play elsewhere, just make sure they are fed.
- Older children can be responsible for younger ones. This can start at a fairly early age, and it’s okay to ask the 6 year old to entertain and play with the two year old with minimal supervision for a while. Set the rules for this: no hitting, no getting into the stuff they know they shouldn’t be into, and any other normal house rules you have. (Haven’t set any…get on it…it will save your sanity). This also gives responsibly to your children which they need to understand to grow into proper adults.
I still lose my mind sometimes when all I hear is mommy, mommy, mamma, mom, mom, mommy, I just want to show you something, can I show you something, you need to come see this…
But with a little carved out time for me, my SO and letting the house be messy for a while I am able to keep the passion in my life, we take moments to show each other affection and talk about what is going on, what we want to do and how to get there.
Everyone is responsible for how your house functions, kids included. If something isn’t working or you need more of something speak up. No one knows what you are thinking except you. If you want more romance be explicit about what that means. If it means date night once a month, week, etc make a plan. If that just means more hugs from your SO, ASK!
I can’t stress enough that talking, communicating, putting away the electronics and having a conversation is exceptionally important to how you continue in your relationship…kids or no! Find the time… the dishes, laundry, vacuuming, dusting, or what ever can wait, it’s always there anyway, make sure your SO is too.