It’s nearly impossible to think romantically with Veggie Tales blaring in the background.
I know this because I want to talk to you about romance after kids, but I am having a hard time focusing because I used to be romantic with my husband, we have small children as a result, and now neither of us can think straight. The irony is almost too much. Parenthood is so not romantic.
I read so many articles and books before I had kids about how people lose their spark or even struggle to stay in love once kids enter the picture. I remember looking at my husband – so handsome – and I thought, “That will never be us.” Three kids later, it’s really hard to find time for each other. I LOVE THAT MAN. But I also want to RIP HIS FACE OFF. I’m sure you understand what I mean.
I’d like to be the same person I used to be, back before I became a mother. I miss her. But the truth is, motherhood irrevocably changes us, and even if we somehow managed to look and act the same as we did pre-kids … we will never, ever truly be the same. And honestly, that’s how it should be.
Does parenthood change men that deeply? I don’t think it does, which presents the old cliche of the man who continues to act the same as he always has after his children arrive, yet wonders why his wife is always nagging him and never wants him to grope her. It’s not because she doesn’t love him; it’s because she always has someone grabbing or pinching her. What she wants more than anything in this world is for him to take the kids, tell her to go take a bubble bath by herself, and remind her that he still sees her. He thinks she’s beautiful.
(Cooking dinner would be a bonus.)
My husband and I let nearly 18 months slip by without taking a night away from our busy life together. Things just kept roadblocking our plans, and it didn’t seem important enough to make it a huge priority. We had two babies back-to-back … need I go on? We are living in a season of insanity.
Anyway, last month his birthday rolled around, and we had the opportunity to get away for the night – to a hotel where no one whined for bananas or threw food on the floor. No one woke us up at toddler o’clock. For 24 hours, it was just us, the way it used to be. We held hands and walked in a leisurely fashion – I even wore heels – and we talked about WHATEVER WE FELT LIKE TALKING ABOUT.
I came away from it remembering not only why I fell in love with him in the first place, but why he fell in love with me. It’s good to be reminded. And then we came home and were met by three children who wedged their tiny bodies between us, happy as clams to be part of what our oldest calls a family hug.
As unromantic as raising children can be, I have to say … watching my husband be a father to them is super hot. So we’re just going to work with that for now.