Okay, so now that I have your attention, I’d like to talk about relationships. Specifically, I’d like to speak to the mothers who are reading this, but these ideas apply to all the amazing fathers reading as well as anyone in a relationship regardless of if you have kids or not.
Do you remember your relationship when it was new? Do you remember your relationship before you had a child(ren)? I know you do. Being a parent takes a lot of time, energy, and attention. It takes a lot out of you as a person and gives you very little time to recharge. This is especially true if you have young children (or teens!). You are deprived of sleep. You can’t keep up with proper nutrition/eating schedule. Clothes that were clean 10 seconds ago are now covered in [insert child’s name here]. It is hard to be human much less connect with another human when this is your mode of operation.
Friendships and relationships with family are important and this post is in no way meant to demean them. But I’d like to say, your relationship with your partner needs to be a priority. If it isn’t, then it makes it hard to maintain. So how do you get there again? Maybe not to that first date, perfect outfit, straightened hair, high heels place, but to that deeper connection that led you to love.
I’d like to take it back to basics…
You have to find time, make time, manufacture energy for physical intimacy. Yes, I’m putting it out there, have sex. Physical intimacy is so important in relationships yet it’s one of the first things to go after having kids. I’m not saying get going the week after you bring home baby. Let’s be realistic. But if you have a one year old….five year old….teenager….it’s time. Among everything else in the pro column for this activity, physical intimacy releases positive endorphins to keep you connected.
Make time alone together. I know that sounds a bit convoluted, but hear me out. Whether it’s 25 minutes sitting in bed watching How I Met Your Mother reruns after the kids have crashed or 2 ½ hours out eating a nice meal with a glass of wine, you need to make time together that is just the two of you. No friends. No family. No kids. No phones. Talk to each other, check in, have adult conversation, and just enjoy your spouse’s/partner’s company.
Finally, for those of you who know me (not afraid to make myself exhibit A here), you know I am a huge Razorbacks fan. For those of you who have been paying attention, the Razorbacks are off to a rough start this season. I have friends who graduated with me who have put away their gear for the season and called it a day. Meanwhile, I wear my red every Friday and Saturday. I watch every game….to the end…no matter how bad it gets. And it has gotten bad…ugly. Despite all this, they’re my team, and I cheer them on wherever they give me an opportunity…to the end. My point? Sometimes relationships get ugly. And if you’re a parent, it gets hard to keep up. Things get messy. Things get ugly. Life happens. Find a way to support and cheer on your partner/spouse no matter what. Show them you appreciate them, care about them, and support them despite the messy ups, downs, twists, turns, wins, and losses.
Let’s review. Take it back to basics. Reconnect physically, mentally, and emotionally. And GO!