I keep waiting for things to settle down over here but they keep getting more complicated and busy. I know we’re not alone. Most couples and families spend their time squeezing in every last event and activity. Then, when they have down time at the end of an exhausting day, the TV goes on for a bit of mind numbing brainless activity.
It’s a vicious cycle, one full of bills, kids’ activities, work responsibilities, and family events. It’s no wonder couples have a hard time relaxing even a little bit. It’s no wonder it’s so hard to keep the romance alive.
It’s Just So… Boring
I went through a bit of a funk a few weeks ago when I just felt like life was so… boring. I mean, every single day seems to be the same for me. I get up, take care of my kids, change a dozen diapers, squeeze work into every crevice of the day that I can, wait for hubs to get home, tag team bath time and bed time, and then as soon as the kids are in bed, I go right back to work.
It definitely got me in a funk. Is this all life is? I wondered. Surely there was something I was missing. Is this just how it’s going to be except that instead of changing diapers I’ll be bringing the kids to ballet and baseball and carpooling and packing lunches? Honestly, it seems boring as hell. It’s no wonder people move to other countries, live on boats, or try to work for themselves.
I realized I was in a funk because I am so focused on keeping the kids happy and my business humming along that I totally forgot about myself, my relationships with friends, and spending time with the hubs.
Hubs and I are both such hard workers and so laser focused on what we’re doing, we often get through the day just tag teaming everything, like a well oiled machine. A lot of people ask me how I “get” the hubs to help so much around the house, but the thing is, I never really expected otherwise. I mean, he’s the Daddy. If he didn’t help, we’d be in way more chaos than we’re already in. With twins, someone has to grab one toddler who is jumping out the tub while the other makes sure the other toddler doesn’t drown as their twin steps on their back to get a leg up. I mean, you can do stuff like bathe twin toddlers by yourself but it’s a lot harder. Much better to work together.
Of course, working together to keep the house and the kids afloat (literally) is all great for team building, but we’re not a corporation. We’re a family. So, in order to keep the romance alive, hubs and I have been going on a lot of outings lately. Sometimes we bring the kids and sometimes we don’t, but I realized that in the chaos of having kids, we’ve forgotten normal things that we used to do all the time like hold hands while walking down the street.
You’d be surprised at how much this improves a relationship if you just take the time to remember to do it, to remember to do anything really that you did while you were dating and not married for five years with little ones running around.
Hubs, being a southern gentleman, opened the car door for me for a solid 8 years of being together. Then, I guess when we each had to put a baby in a car seat each time we went out, that habit slowly faded away. The other day he opened the car door for me and we both just looked at each other like, wow that feels familiar. It’s what he did every single time I got in the car together – thousands of car rides – for years and years before other things, like little babies, took precedence. It’s fun to remember all the things that made you love a person – their good manners, their charm, their kindness.
These are things that become “normal” over time, when once upon a time they were extraordinary, the things that made you marry your person over anyone else.
Back to Basics
So, I’m not going to tell you to keep the romance alive by going on expensive date nights, buying nice gifts, or preaching about your love on Facebook. Instead, I encourage you to go back to basics. Go back and think about what made you fall in love, the funny stories, the special moments.
– The time his old jeep broke down on one of our first dates in the middle of LSU football traffic
– The time we took a class together and he got a half a point higher than I did, only because I signed him in for attendance every time he skipped.
– The time I surprised him in the middle of MCAT studying by packing a picnic lunch, only all the massive caterpillars at LSU crawled all over our blanket like some sick horror film.
– The time he bought me every single new bridal magazine in the plastic so the day he proposed I’d have a brand new stack of them that no one had flipped through.
– The night we landed in Grenada at midnight after buying one way tickets, the way we felt, like we were on the brink of some massive adventure.
– The way he can make hot chocolate out of nothing, even when it seems like we have no food at all in the house.
– The way he chuckled while I cursed the day we found out we were having twins
Keeping the romance alive isn’t about scheduling in time or going away on a trip, although those things certainly help. It’s just about taking the time to remember, to remember what got your romance started before your life became chaos.
Take some time to remember today. Comment and tell me about your romance if you have one or a romance you admire and what keeps it alive.