Thursday, March 5, 2015

Getting Back to Romance

As a new mom, I have found one of the hardest things to do is get back to the romance my husband and I shared before pregnancy and the birth of our baby girl. We have found it harder to find time to be together and nurture our relationship as a couple. Over the last 8 ½ months, we have had to work to reconnect. Reconnecting became even harder when I went back to work, as this meant even less time together. Finding small ways to reconnect and reestablish intimacy became even more important, and our time together even more precious.

One thing we do every day is to have a conversation about our day. Whether it is face to face or over the phone, we set aside the time to really talk to one another and check in with each other. We always share stories about different things that happened at work or about our daughter. We also check in with each other about how we're feeling about our relationship as a married couple. Sharing our feelings about how things are going romantically between us hasn't always been easy, but we are getting better at it. We always end our phone conversations with "I love you" and a kiss. This has been something we started doing before we got married, and lived in two different states. This particular ending to our phone conversations is a true comfort for me. It doesn't matter who initiates the "I love you", and it definitely makes us both feel connected to one another. There are some conversations that last only 15-20 minutes, and others that may last over an hour (or even longer), but we always end them the same: "I love you" and a kiss. I guess it's the way we reaffirm our feelings for one another and cement our bond as a couple.

Another thing we do is to do our best to have at least one meal together. Most days this meal happens in the middle of the day. Our schedules run opposite of each other, so we try to cherish and make the most of the time we do have together. I try to cook a delicious meal we can share. Often times, this meal time coincides with our daughter's afternoon nap, so we are really able to sit down and reconnect. Sharing a meal is an excellent time to reconnect with your honey and share a conversation about the day, check in with each other, and reestablish the intimacy of the relationship. On particularly hectic days, we often only get to share a cup of coffee in the morning, but we try to make the most of it, and really work on connecting as a couple.

On the rare days we get to spend a significant amount of time together (mostly on Saturdays), we put aside the grind of housework, and really concentrate on being a family, and a couple. We work on reestablishing the intimacy of our relationship and work together on being the best parents we can be to our beautiful daughter.

These things have come about most recently in the last 3 or 4 months. In the first few months after the birth of our daughter, I was struggling with feelings of inadequacy as both a wife and a mother. I felt overwhelmed and completely not prepared. One thing my husband did to help me through these feelings was to just be there. To hold me when I was sad, to lend a helping hand when I was feeling overwhelmed, to lend an ear when I needed someone to talk to about what I was feeling. He is definitely my rock.

Just recently, in fact, just this week, I was reading an article about writing love letters to your spouse. I felt extremely moved by this idea, so I wrote my husband a love letter. One thing we did while we were dating was to write love letters/poems to each other. I'm not sure why we stopped doing this once we got married. I guess we could just chalk it up to all the craziness going on at the time. I had had a miscarriage earlier that year and was still dealing with those emotions. Three days before our wedding, my husband tripped at work and tore his knee up, so he was on crutches for our wedding. We got married in July, and by October, we found out we were pregnant again. My doctor put me on hormone therapy to make sure the pregnancy would be supported and "stick". There was a lot going on at work for me. Plus, my husband was out of work for 7 months due to his knee. Just craziness. I decided this week, we needed to get back to love letters/poems. So, I sat down the other day, and wrote a love letter to my husband. I wanted him to know how I felt about him, how much I love and appreciate him, how much he means to me. The next day, when I got home from work, I found a poem he had written for me. Needless to say, it brought a tear to my. He's such a sweet man. I love him so very much. I can't imagine what my life would be like without him.

So, if you find yourself floating through your relationship, just going day to day, feeling inadequate and alone, maybe it's time to reestablish the intimacy. Sit down and evaluate your feelings for your sweetheart. Then, write them a love letter. Let them know how much they mean to you. Tell them you love them and need them. Let them know you appreciate the little things they do for you (taking out the garbage, fixing dinner one night a week, watching the baby so you can take a quick nap, cleaning the kitchen when they get home because you were too tired to do it before you went to bed, etc.). I guarantee, they'll appreciate it and be moved.