OK, parents, hand on your heart, how often do you do something romantic with your partner? Come on, don’t be shy, it’s all right. How often do you have a romantic dinner, go out dancing together or take time off just the two of you?
I bet your mind just filled with thoughts of “the children”, “my work commitments”, “that project I have to finish”, “how hard it is to get a babysitter nowadays” and various other seemingly-appropriate reasons for your romantic situation being what it is and why you should not be feeling too horrible about it. Besides, is this not what everyone experiences when they turn from a couple into parents?
Yes, they do, and yes, they all feel just as horrible as you do about it, but does that make it better?
The natural progression of our life seems to be that we get really excited about finding a partner that turns us on and can be out friend at the same time. We dedicate much of our time and nearly all of our brainpower to finding that person. We embark on a journey of mutual exploration, during which we are typically so fascinated with the other person, they need to do something truly awful to turn us off.
Once we have found our body-and-soul mate, we go through what is commonly known as “settling down” (is this an ugly expression or what?), which includes some or all of the following: moving in together, getting married, joining finances, buying a home, getting a very large debt together (the mortgage) and, of course, having children. These steps seem to extract the interest and variety out of our life and replace them with certainty to the point of routine and with responsibility to the point of stress.
Read more about how to be romantic as parents…