Your Marriage

How to Find Time for Romance while Raising Kids

5 Comments 14 February 2012

Beyond the Sling author Mayim Bialik shares how to find intimate time in your relationship when you are raising kids via the attachment parenting methodMore than almost any other aspect of attachment parenting, I’m asked about my relationship with my husband. Nurturing a relationship with your spouse once you have had kids is challenging any way you cut it, but imagine your kids sleeping in your bed (with no other bed to go to) and breastfeeding on demand every 2 hours for the better part of many months and—if your nursling is anything like mine—the better part of YEARS. All night.

Let’s just get this over with: We don’t have sex when our kids are in the bed. Houses come with many rooms (as do most apartments), so we have to be a little bit creative, which is important anyway in a marriage, wouldn’t you agree?

Once I had kids, I simply had to accept that my husband and I could not do the things together that we used to do the same way. We might be able to do versions of those things, but I realized early on that I had to stop trying to make us feel like a childless couple. We’re simply not and that’s OK! This is a phase of life. It won’t last forever, and the moments you get to share now with your children, you will long for soon enough.

Romance has shifted a lot in our marriage, and it sometimes means allowing my partner the space to be alone, sleep late, or go out with friends while I handle bedtime solo (and vice versa). That’s a far cry from fancy ridiculous lingerie, rose petals in a bathtub (something we actually never did), or a fancy French dinner with a good game of footsie, but what often ignites passion for a spouse is when they show compassion and understanding of our stresses and struggles to stay sane amid chaos. And it turns out that that can be pretty appealing and attractive.

As for carving out time “for us,” as attachment parents, we have chosen to not have weekends away, dates, and a lot of time “for us” right now. It has made us dig very deep in our emotional well and we have come up with buckets full of surprises amidst all of the challenges and doubts. We get to be parents together, which is one of the reasons we chose to get married, and we get to love each other in a whole other way now—with the combinations of our genetic codes and all of our hard work and love cracking us up as they run around the house at full speed (naked) growling like wild boars. Isn’t that what a relationship should look like? Right now, we’re pretty sure the answer is yes.

Beyond the Sling: A Real-Life Guide to Raising Confident, Loving Children the Attachment Parenting Way

Beyond the Sling: A Real-Life Guide to Raising Confident, Loving Children the Attachment Parenting Way

Mayim Bialik

Author

Mayim Bialik, Ph.D., is perhaps best known for her lead role as Blossom Russo in the 1990s television sitcom Blossom, and she currently appears on the top-rated comedy The Big Bang Theory. Bialik earned a B.S. from UCLA in 2000 in neuroscience and Hebrew and Jewish studies, and a Ph.D. in neuroscience from UCLA in 2007. She designed a neuroscience curriculum for homeschoolers in Southern California, where she also teaches middle and high school students. Married to her college sweetheart with two young sons, Bialik is also a Certified Lactation Education Counselor. Visit her at MayimBialik.net.

Your Comments

5 Comments so far

  1. Dionysius says:

    I do agree with Mayim that life has definitely changed since our 2 little rascals came into our lives. Many activities are centered around them. My spouse and I hardly had a conversation without them as a key topic. Be it their education, clothing, health, behavior, etc. We sometimes steal a late night date to the movies and a light desert to put sparks back to our marriage. But I guess it all comes as a package and I do enjoy every moment of it with them.

  2. kojala says:

    Thanks for sharing what works for you! It always takes effort and it sounds like you are doing great.

  3. Jay says:

    It is vitally important that couples have time together. Abandoning dates is detrimental to any relationship! The title of the article says “Finding Time for Romance while Raising Kids” and then you don’t give any options for true romance. You effectively say we’ll get back to romance when the kids grow up…

  4. Kayla S. says:

    This article helped me so much!

    Since the birth of our daughter 9 months ago, we have practiced attatchment parenting since birth. My 100% natural birth that I experianced with my daughter and husband was so amazing, that I knew a natural instinctual style of parenting was the way to go. Which lead to me choice of attatchment parenting.

    Of course, as any couple we soon relized that alone time was limited now. I totally agree with the finding ways to be creative in the many rooms of the house! ha. Our struggle lately has been the fact that my daughter not only co-sleeps at night, but she takes majority of her naps during the day in our ergo front pack still so we not only have to be creative with where.. but when… when she is not in the front pack.

    But more than just romance, what I thought was really amazing about this short but enough said article, was the digging deep emotional part… It takes a strong couple to understand that when you have young babies your life (romance) is not what it was when you were child-less couple, and that is not a negative thing. I don’t agree at all with the comment from Jay that states; “Abandoning dates are detrimental to any relationship.” Honestly if the only glue holding a couple together is date nights and sex like it was before children… than yes those relationship bonds are easily broken. The tips and advice that Mayim is trying to give here, is first EXCEPT: That yes life especially in the first year or so of attatchment parenting will be different, but different is not bad. And it is a small price to pay for the foundation you are creating for your child/children. And she is not saying “we’ll get it back when the kids are grown.” She is saying, dig deeper, find ways to be more spontaneous in the mean time. As she said, this may in turn boost a relationship first physically, because its not just the same old “oh its bedtime lets have sex” routine and because it pushes a couple to dig deeper emotional, which you will find in any good relationship is what is most important.

    The part that really helped me was the digging deep in the emotional well of the marriage, and the suprise of all that you can bring up when you dig deeper… This is so true. My husband and I are closer than ever since the birth of our daughter, even though we have had less alone time. We appreciate EVERY single moment of alone time more than we ever did. We have now found so much more that is holding us together and as Mayim put, raising children together is one of the main reasons we wanted to get married. We are confidant that at the end of the first years we will not only come out on top with well rounded, emotional balanced children with a strong foundation but our strong relationship and marriage that we wont ever for a second look back an think; Oh those four years of raising little babies was terrible. Instead it will be a fond memory of our young family, and the bond that we formed together!

    Thanks so very much for your articles and book Mayim. I write about a natural and instinctual style of parenting on my blog site daily, and it is so wonderful to have it confirmed by other mothers, more importantly from an amazing professional and mother like yourself!

  5. kojala says:

    Fantastic comment, Kayla. We really appreciate hearing your thoughts and learnings from your first few months of attachment parenting. Great job on your hard work, and we look forward to reading your blog!


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