Do You Believe in Romance After Kids?

Romance after kids: Is it possible?

I’m not going to lie: romance after kids is hard. After having my third child, romance fell to the bottom of my priority list. Between diaper changes (and EC life), caring for two toddlers while breastfeeding and getting used to a newborn, keeping up a house and cooking, there wasn’t much time left for anything else. By the end of the day, I was completely exhausted, and I just wanted to sleep. And many moms of young children feel the same way. But it doesn’t have to be like this. Keeping the romance alive in your marriage is not only possible, it’s an important part of a thriving relationship.

do you believe in romance after kids? www.marianamcdougall.com, woman and man's hands holding each other,  Photo by Brooke Cagle on Unsplash

 

It’s a sad statistic that 13% of marriages end within 5 years of a child being born. But it’s also not difficult to see why. You’re adding a whole new person to your life, after all, and priorities certainly shift when this happens. A baby needs their parents 24/7, and there’s often resentment on the primary caregiver’s part when their partner isn’t as involved as they should be.

There’s also the sheer exhaustion of interrupted and low quality sleep, because babies don’t care how tired you are. While dealing with all of this, it’s no surprise that some (or a lot) of stress is added to your marriage. But there are some things you can do to make romance after baby a reality. Here are some tips.

1. Adapt.

Before any tips will work, it’s important to remember that when you have young children, the ability to adapt is paramount. So maybe you can’t leave your newborn, breastfeeding baby for three days while you go on a romantic vacation, but you can certainly still have a few romantic moments. For example, you could get a baby carrier and take a stroll holding your partner’s hand. It’s not a honeymoon in the Bahamas, but it’s something.

2. Make date nights at home a regular thing.

Sometimes, moms and dads alike are way too tired to get out of the house after caring for baby. When that’s the case, a romantic date night at home makes sense. You can have dinner by candlelight with baby nearby, watch a movie or an episode of a TV show while sharing a drink (yes, breastfeeding mothers can drink in moderation), or look at old photos together. The options are limitless; you just have to be a little creative.

3. Show your partner your appreciation.

Whether it’s thanking them for doing their part in the hard job of parenting, telling them you love them on a frequent basis, or committing to giving them a passionate kiss everyday, show your partner you love them and appreciate them, despite your shifted priorities.

4. Remember: the days are long, but the years are short.

Believe it or not, there’ll come a time when you have fond memories of the difficulties  of parenting. My kids are still pretty young, and I still remember how hard things were when they were newborns. Yet, sometimes I miss it when they were babies and dependent on me for everything (and didn’t have the words to talk back…) 

Don’t let the stress of parenting take away from the love that made you a parent in the first place. Sometimes, when we’re exhausted, it’s easy to only see the negatives. Remember to see the positives, too—chances are, your partner is also exhausted and you both need each other’s support. And if you really feel like you’re taking the brunt of the parenting tasks, it’s time to ask for help.

5. Communicate clearly about your needs.

If you’re exhausted and feel that you need more help, simply ask. Many women complain that their partners aren’t involved enough in household and parenting duties; yet, they have never spoken to their spouse about their frustration. Your partner can’t read your mind, so it’s important that you simply ask for the help you need. Tell your partner lovingly and specifically what kind of help you require. You will probably get the help you need, and save yourself a lot of resentment and friction in your marriage.

Remember to keep communicating, set aside at least one day a week when you spend some one-on-one time with your spouse (even if it’s with baby in tow), and remember the love that made you parents in the first place.

How do you keep romance alive in your marriage?

Travel Makes Me Happy

A long time ago, I had decided I’d write a quick post about something I was thankful for each day. Reality is that publishing this post every day just didn’t happen. But I do want to try this again, so I’m going to try and see if I can at least publish one post per week about the things I’m thankful for. And what better day to do it than on #ThankfulThursday? 

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The Best Exercise

What is the best exercise everyone should be doing?

The best kind of exercise isn’t one single activity.

Anyone who’s known me since my personal training days knows that I don’t fit into the all-or-nothing thinking that plagues the industry. We all know that bodies are so diverse that there simply isn’t one diet that could work for every body on the planet, and the same goes for exercise. But there is one type of exercise that everyone should definitely be doing. Ready for it?

The Best Exercise Everyone Should Be Doing, www.marianamcdougall.com, person walking in black shoes, Photo by Marcus Wallis on Unsplash
The best exercise everyone should be doing is the one they enjoy and that works best for them. -click to tweet

Whether ultra marathons make you happy, or HIIT exercise floats your boat, whether lifting heavy things puts a smile on your face  (and leaves your spine intact), or yoga centers you, the trick is to find the exercise that you enjoy (and therefore will stick to).

Exercise shouldn’t feel like a chore; it should make you happy and have you feeling strong. Try different kinds of exercise and find the one that works for you. And remember to discuss any new exercise program with a doctor, registered kinesiologist, or certified physiologist, especially if you have health conditions that can be impacted by exercise.

What’s your favourite type of exercise?

Exploring Canada’s National Parks & Historic Sites!

Our time in New Brunswick was short, but really memorable.

Back in Quebec, we decided to purchase a Discovery Pass, and I’m really glad we did. The Discovery Pass grants you entry to all of Canada’s National Parks and several historic sites, so it’s totally worth it if you plan on visiting more than 2 or 3 of these places in a year. The pass is for 12 months, so it’ll last us until next year, which is great.

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Joy in the small moments: a parenting journey

I know, I know. sometimes it’s hard to see find joy in the small moments. Especially when those small moments include tantrums, or repeating yourself for the 5th time because your kids didn’t hear you the first, second, third, or fourth time. Sometimes the best parents get frustrated, and sometimes we don’t deal well with that frustration.

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Gratitude & Self-Care: An Intimate Connection

If you’re trying to develop a gratitude habit, remembering your self-care is important. Although these two things may seem completely unrelated, they’re really not: self-care is a way of showing gratitude for your body. 

Your body is the only thing you’ll know you’ll have for the rest of your life. Whether you have an amazing body that does everything the way you want it to, or a bruised, battered body, or a body that doesn’t always act the way it should, your body is yours. It carries you through this life and allows you to experience everything our earth has to offer. 

Developing a gratitude habit sometimes takes effort, but if you start with your own self-care and being grateful for your body, it can become a little easier.

It can be hard to make time for self-care. That’s why I’ve written a simple document with 50 self-care ideas that take 10 minutes or less.

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Why I rarely write about my health conditions

I enjoy writing about a variety of things, as seen by my varied articles and blog posts across the web. This website alone is a great example of the types of things I enjoy writing about, and my website encouraging MultiTalented writers to start and grow a multi-niche writing career is another. But there’s one thing I rarely write about: my health conditions.

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