For me, romance changed drastically the moment our son burst into our little loved up bubble, red-faced and screaming. I knew things would change, of course, but I wasn’t prepared for how drastic the changes would be. That’s not to say that our relationship worsened in any way, shape or form – there was a seismic shift in our dynamic. It is no wonder why so many couples break up when a baby comes into the picture – it’s such a tumultuous time that hidden cracks in the foundation of what seems to be the strongest relationship can begin to show, and crumble.
On the flip side, parenthood can bring a whole new beautiful, unexpected dimension to your romance. Either way, through good and bad, the changes are pretty staggering so it’s always good to be prepared… Here are the ways in which becoming a mum taught me about romance.
Sex is important, but not THAT important.
I’ll always be steadfast in my belief that sex is a really important element of any successful relationship. However, it can absolutely afford to be knocked a few pegs down the priority pecking order when your bundle of joy arrives! You can still enjoy sex when you’re both in the mood, but it DOES NOT MATTER if you go from doing the dirty daily to a weekly fumble when the little one is finally asleep. It is no reflection of your relationship, it doesn’t mean it’s going downhill in any way, it doesn’t mean that your partner isn’t attracted to you as much. Exhaustion, time spent parenting, and a whole manner of parenting-related things can be to blame for not having as much sex.
You learn to love your partner in a whole new way.
When you look at your soulmate before you become parents, you feel that lovely warmth in your chest, butterflies in your tummy, and generalised contentment when you gaze at them, right? WELL. Nothing quite prepares you for that feeling in your veins when you watch your partner and child bonding. It’s honestly one of the most beautiful feelings I’ve ever experienced.
Date nights out aren’t all they’re cracked up to be.
Ok, unpopular opinion here but hear me out! I used to be a total diva about getting a weekly date night… wined, dined and then… yeah. I felt that it was fundamental for romance and that we had to go and do something as a couple followed by an expensive meal somewhere nice. I was wrong. A nice meal at home, cooked by me or ordered in (usually ordered in…) with a film or even a session of gaming with our super snazzy Virtual Reality headset is just as fun, and allows for family time as well as saving funds that would previously have been spent on steak and fine wine. Nights out as a couple are still fun, but not quite the same without our wee one in tow. Obviously we still enjoy trips out, but mostly as a family because family time is so precious.
We don’t have to be in each other’s pockets 24/7.
We were always THAT annoying couple, glued together, joined at the hip… add in a very demanding toddler, and you have two emotionally exhausted people who are deeply in love but who need to divide their time a little more harshly to ensure they get a well-deserved breather because parenting is honestly the most tiring thing we’ve ever experienced.
We don’t have to be in the same room every hour of the day. Spending a few hours alone when Max is in bed isn’t a negative thing, as I once perceived it to be. Toby wanting to game on his PC alone doesn’t mean he doesn’t love me or want to spend time with me… it means he’s a tired dad who has worked a 40 hour week and needs some respite. I enjoy my ‘me-time’ on a Friday night with wine and Netflix, or out with friends if I’m lucky. It gives us something to talk about and means that we cherish our time together that little bit more.
Romance is good for children – not what it sounds like, carry on reading!
We all know the importance of positive role models in a child’s life, right? It’s really good to be openly loving with your significant other (I’m not talking sexually), as it shows them that it is ok to be emotionally available and to shower a loved one with cuddles, kisses, and kindness. Our Max is such a loving child, and I feel that it helps having two parents who clearly worship and respect each other.
Time is fleeting – make the most of every spare second.
Time flies, especially after starting a family, so cherish every moment. Becoming a mum has taught me that I don’t have as much time to show affection to my husband-to-be, so we steal every spare second that we can for a peck, a hug, a conversation, romantic murmurings… two minutes when I’m cooking dinner, ten seconds before he goes to work, it all adds up and means just as much as our hours of romantic interludes as newly loved up young adults.
What did becoming a parent teach YOU about romance? Tell us in the comments!
Love from Katie. Xx