A Parent's Valentine: Keeping Romance Alive
On special occasions like Valentine’s Day and my birthday, my husband draws me monsters—goofy, smiling monsters with long snouts, spikes, and polka dots. I’ve been saving these love notes in my underwear drawer for years. Now we’re getting ready to move after almost 10 years in the same house and last week, as I sorted and tossed old nursing bras and ripped stockings, I uncovered monster after monster, some professing simply, “Ericka, I love you,” some going further to remind me of what anniversary, which birthday, and how much love lies between us.
Admittedly, I’ve got a romantic sap for a husband. And yet on Valentine’s Day, instead of hearts and flowers, we’ll probably just smile at each other over our daughter’s happy head as she eats her box of See’s Candy, smearing chocolate over the bright red, bee-stung lips she inherits from Bill’s side of the family.
What’s happened? Just parenthood. Romance for parents happens in the cracks of life, in the in-between moments. It’s rarely the main event.
I don’t worry anymore, but I sure used to. Especially in the early years of parenthood, it’s common to worry about the absence of lust and the diminishment of romance. You’re been running around all day, answering another person’s needs—you’ve got a real fear that if you stopped to relax for a moment you’d simply drop off into a deep, never ending slumber. Not to mention that it’s been eons since you’ve actually had sex. Not to mention that it’s even more eons since you actually wanted sex.
Still, when the season of hearts and flowers comes around, it’s common to wonder. Is it over? Will you ever feel passionate again? Yes. Yes! But while you’re in the throes of new parenthood, it’s hard to believe it.
For most women, it takes at least a year after having a baby, and sometimes more, to feel fully sexy and passionate again. So how do you revive the romance?
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