Balancing Parenthood and Romantic Life

Becoming a parent is one of life's greatest joys. However, it also brings major life changes and can put a strain on romantic relationships if you don't make your partnership a priority too. 

Maintaining intimacy, romance and couple time is crucial for a healthy family dynamic. Here are some tips for balancing your roles as parents and romantic partners.

Prioritize Couple Time

It’s easy for date nights to fall by the wayside when you have young kids demanding time and attention. Make one-on-one couple time non-negotiable by putting a standing date night on the calendar at least once a month, if not more frequently. Even if you’re exhausted, commit to at least a couple hours of dedicated time without kid distraction. Guard that couple time jealously! If you don’t nurture your romantic relationship, it’s easy for resentments to build up and intimacy to fade.

Enlist Trusted Relative Help

Rely on relatives like grandparents who can babysit so you can enjoy regular date nights or even weekends away together to reconnect. Grandparents and family members usually love the chance to bond with grandkids. Offer to return the favor so they can have date time too!

If you don’t have family nearby, look into your budget to hire a reliable babysitter for regular date nights. The investment is well worth it. Trading babysitting time with another couple that has kids is also a great option.

Attempt Daytime Dates

If your kids are very young and evening sitters are tough, get creative about stealing daytime couple time while kids are at preschool. Meet up on lunch breaks for intimate picnics in the park, enjoy weekend morning coffee dates, and wake up before the kids to cuddle and catch up. Early morning and naptime can also present intimate opportunities as well.

Come Up with Kid-Friendly Dates

Weather permitting, do outdoor family activities like hiking, zoo trips or beach days. Focus fun quality time enjoying each other’s company as a whole family. Then once the kids are asleep, open a bottle of wine and reconnect one-on-one. Dining out can also work if you go early before it gets too late for little ones.

Create the Right Environment for Intimacy after Kids

It’s no secret that spontaneous intimacy is tougher post-kids when you’re sandwiched between work and child demands. Make sex and intimacy more of a priority by creating the right environment in your bedroom oasis. 

Invest in black-out curtains, a white noise machine, and a lock on your bedroom door. Ask relatives to watch the kids for a whole night or weekend in a hotel if you can. Schedule sex dates in your calendar and commit to maintaining physical intimacy. Send flirty texts and create anticipation for couple time!

Before couple time, make sure the scene is set perfectly with Taste the Sweet Spot!

Maintain Non-Physical Intimacy

Physical connection is important, but emotional intimacy is just as vital. Bond through daily check-ins, cuddling, kissing, hand-holding, saying “I love you” and really listening to each other. Share your hopes, dreams and worries without judgement. Compliment each other’s parenting styles. Support each other through the ups and downs of parenthood and life to foster fondness and friendship.

Go to Bed Together

Try your best not to pass out separately on the couch after the kids go to bed. Make it a rule to head to bed at the same time, even if you’re bone tired. Cuddle, kiss and chat before you blissfully crash if sex isn’t in the cards that night. Just having that couple bonding time before sleep fosters emotional intimacy.

Schedule Joint Child-Free Getaways

Planmulti-day vacations without your kids to destinations that allow you to focus just on each other and the romance. Explore new places together, indulge in relaxation and adult-centric excursions, and soak up quality time bonding every day. You’ll return refreshed and better connected.

Put Down Your Phones

It’s so easy in this digital age to get distracted by work emails and social media even during dedicated couple time. Make a point of putting away your phones and tablets to be fully present with each other without distraction on date nights and vacations. Truly focus on each other’s words and company.

Accept Imperfect Quality Time

Don’t put too much pressure on yourself that date nights have to involve expensive dinners, concerts or trips out of town. Sometimes ordering takeout and cuddling up to a movie once the kids go to bed can be just what you need. Trade occasional massages. Go for long walks and talk. The activity matters less than the sacred time together.

Acknowledge Challenges

All relationships face ups and downs after kids. Both partners are exhausted from work, child rearing and responsibilities. Discuss out loud the difficulties you face carving out couple time post-kids and strategize how to overcome hurdles together as a team. Share when your needs aren’t being met but do so gently with "I feel..." statements rather than accusations.

Seek Help if Needed

If communications have broken down, intimacy is nonexistent or you’re fighting constantly, don’t be afraid to seek counseling. Therapists can help you reconnect, compromise and revive romance. Be committed to strengthening your foundation.

Embrace Imperfections

No one balances parenthood and partnership perfectly! Do the best you can, communicate openly, make couple time non-negotiable, laugh about the chaos of life together, appreciate the small joys in between, and regularly remind each other: “We’re in this together.”