14 February 2012

Relationship advice for tired (but well-intentioned) parents

In: All Ages

Amazon: To Raise Happy Kids, Put Your Marriage FirstRemember what Valentine's Day was about before you had kids? Romance, a nice dinner...and perhaps a little after-hours entertainment?

Or does the whole idea of a romantic Valentine's Day make you tired?

I'm not here to perpetuate stereotypes about what Valentine's Day should be like -- for some, the perfect romantic evening includes the classic flowers-and-chocolates, and for others it's Downton Abbey and fuzzy slippers.

But I think we can all agree that parenthood and romance are strange bedfellows. As fun as Valentine's Day is for the kids, you and your partner deserve a few relationship hacks of your own. 

Take a moment to notice and appreciate -- and express -- your partner's specialness. If there's no partner in the picture, today's the day to focus on self-care.

For inspiration, here are some of our best "marriage and relationship" hacks:

What's your best tip for keeping your relationship strong in the midst of parenting? Got any book recommendations or links to share?

Email me with the subject line RELATIONSHIP and I'll fast-track the best tips. Let's spread the love!

Romance + parenthood is worthy of serious attention, but a little comedy helps, too. In their hilarious video series He Said/She Said, listen to what Monica and Serge have to say about their sex life before and after parenthood.

Your comments

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Anyone who tells you that having kids won't change your relationship is lying to you ... and that's a good things because having kids should change your relationship; but that doesn't mean it has to keep you from having fun and enjoying each other. Our son, now 2 and 1/2 is sleeping in his toddler bed in the corner of our bedroom because that is the only way for any of us to get a solid night's sleep; at first we were worried that this would make it difficult to be intimate with each other but it has added a little spark back into our relationship! With the bed no longer an option, we have to be creative and are being more playful than we have been in a long LONG time; the fact that we aren't laying down at the end of what are long and exhausting days helps us to focus on each other and to have a little fun without thinking about how good it will be to close our eyes and sleep!

Just wrote about this exact thing, actually:

http://www.etsy.com/blog/en/2012/cultivating-romance/

You have to take time for yourself, and set aside time just for you and your partner. If you can't afford a babysitter, trade babysitting with other parents. You aren't just keeping your relationship strong, you are role modeling a healthy relationship for your child. Show him the kind of partnership he deserves to have one day.

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