Romance and Parents: An Oxymoron?
Once upon a time there lived a girl who met a boy. This boy wasn’t like the other boys. He marched to a different drum; no one told him what to do or when to do it. He was a little bit of a bad boy and the girl liked it.
Then the boy and girl got to know each other outside of their circle of friends and the girl learned that the boy had a romantic side, one that people didn’t know about and so their long distance love affair began. He would call her from his military base and they would talk for hours on end, he would write her letters that made her blush and gush to her girlfriends. He would write her poetry. This was romance. Eventually the boy and girl moved in together and they spent long nights sharing pints of ice cream and talking about their dreams, the family they would have and the home they would live in together. Romance was alive and well.
Then the boy and the girl had children. Four children. Four very active children and the romance dwindled. Romance had to be scheduled between feedings, work, and house work. Romance was put on the back burner and life took over.
Sound familiar? This is life, it’s what happens when two people get together and look at each other all starry eyed and plan a perfect world with only the two of them in it. We plan for everything except the one thing that attracts us to each other, the one thing that makes a bad day better, the one thing that puts butterflies in your belly even after 15 years of marriage.
I remember the first time romance was really planned out after we had kids. Bug was four years old and Bebe was only six months old. Our anniversary had arrived and Brian knew of a swanky hotel in a nearby city overlooking the lake. It was to be our first night without children since Bebe was born. Only he didn’t clue me in on the fact that we were going to be away from home all night. In fact, he didn't clue me in on anything. I was only told that I needed a bathing suit… He left out that we wouldn’t be coming home until the next morning and that I might want to bring along the breast pump since I was nursing Bebe at the time. Important details right? Right. The romance of the night wasn’t exactly ruined until about six in the morning the next day when I suddenly felt like someone had stuffed rocks, sharp jagged rocks in my bra and was forcing me to wear said bra with no hope of removing it.
It was that event that convinced my husband to never spring another surprise romance on me again.
I think that if you want romance, you have to make it (take that however you will). For us, simple romance is getting everyone in bed on time and snuggling in with movies, snacks and catching up on the day or the week. Big romance is a night away or even a weekend (whoo hoo!!). For parents romance doesn’t just happen; there’s a better chance of a child getting something stuck up their nose or a goldfish dying than there is of romance “just happening”. There’s also a vast difference between romance BC (before children) and after children (see said fairy tale above).
It can be a struggle and even a delicate balancing act to work romance into your daily routine, but so worth it if you can find a way to make it happen.
How do you keep the romance going with your parenting partner?