Having children is of course one of the biggest blessings in a relationship, but as rewarding and fulfilling as it is - it can also be difficult to find the time to dedicate to keeping that spark going between you!
Of course it's important to relish your roles as Mummy or Daddy and throw yourselves into them wholeheartedly, and any parent knows that their child can quickly become their whole world - but keeping the passion going between you as a couple is important and time should always spared for that too.
So how do you keep that fire burning when everyday life threatens to overtake all?
Here are my top tips:
1) Set aside some Couples Time
It may seem pretty obvious but so many of us find that our time together as a couple comes last on our list of priorities once children come along and before you know it, months may have passed before you realise you haven't actually spent a proper evening together doing something for just the two of you.
Try to agree on a regular Date Night - it doesn't have to be weekly, monthly would suffice but try to make sure you keep it regular as it will help to have it to look forward to.
And when that Date Night rolls around, do something for just the two of you - if you have access to childcare then that's your best option so there are no risks of interruption - do something you both enjoy and try to make it something new every so often to keep things fresh - try a new restaurant, see a movie, go mini golfing - whatever you will both have fun doing! Just have some time away from being just Mummy or Daddy for the evening, and just enjoy each others company.
If babysitters aren't available then all is not lost, ok there may be some interruptions but try your best to have a fun evening at home - cook a romantic meal, have a game night, or just snuggle down with Netflix - time together can still be enjoyed at home.
2) Make time for yourselves as individuals too!
As important as it is to dedicate some time to each other, it's just as important to allow yourselves time alone too. It's healthy for couples to have separate hobbies and interests, and as cosy as it might be to live in each others pockets you'll soon find yourselves running out of things to talk about if everything you ever do is together.
Try to spend some time doing something that's just about YOU - for me that's blogging, for my partner it's his own painting & gaming hobby - when we come together after spending time partaking in our individual hobbies we'll often sit and chat about what each other has been up to, and both of us feel more relaxed!
3) Spice it up!
It's easy for things to become very routine-like in the bedroom area once you become parents, but try to think back to how things used to be when you first got together - what kind of things did you like experimenting with back then? Do you have any particularly fond memories of favourite sexy nights together? Why not re-live them?!
Another great way to do this is to try something new - for example a new service I've recently discovered is Fantasy Box, which is a website offering either one off themed boxes or a subscription service containing adult boxes designed to make things in the bedroom department that bit more fun!
I was sent the Classic Box to try, which included the following items:
A sexy black babydoll (Lovely high quality too!) and a G string, an eye mask, a soy candle, some lubricant, and an intimate massager (batteries included!) along with some role playing cards. Everything was discreetly packaged in a stylish red box and in brown cardboard packaging so the postman will be none the wiser!
This box is all about communication with your partner and advises you to plan your evening around two parts - a romantic dinner and a role playing game.
Inside the box is a survery for you each to complete to help you discuss your innermost desires and fantasies so it's really great for encouraging couples to really open up and take new steps.
As well as one off boxes such as this, you can also buy 3, 6 or 12 month subscriptions which would make a lovely Valentines or "Just Because" gift!
I was very impressed with the quality of the boxes contents and I think that at £49 it's very decent value for money, particularly when compared to the equivalent pricing in high street stores - and the added convenience of ordering online and having it discreetly delivered too!
To find out more, please visit www.thefantasybox.com
4) It's good to talk
It almost goes without saying that things will inevitably change once you have children, but the most important thing is to talk to each other about how these changes are effecting you.
If you're struggling with how you feel about post-baby body hang ups, talk to your partner about it rather than trying to hide it away. If you're worried about the lessening time spent together, hash it out and discuss what you both feel you can do to help each other through.
As well as discussing how you're feeling and talking through any problems you're having, it's also important to just keep the channels of communication open in a more everyday way - it's so common for parents to end up only ever talking about their kids, but try to take some time to talk about other things too - whether it's 5 minutes spent chatting about your day or an hour spent debating current affairs, it's so healthy to keep that conversation flowing.
Often life as parents can be overwhelming - there's always so much to do and finding time for anything else can seem impossible. Wherever possible, don't be afraid to delegate responsibilities and ease some of that pressure.
If you're feeling particularly snowed under with the housework and it's causing arguments between you as a couple, look at other options - can you perhaps afford to take on a cleaner to help out for a couple of hours per week? Or maybe you can come up with a cleaning schedule you can both get involved in to make the tasks seem a little less daunting?
Do whatever you can do to ease some of that pressure!
What are your own top tips for keeping the magic in your relationship after children?
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