Me & my BFF/Hubby/Partner for Life!!
I think I will tackle the romance question first.
QUESTION: Is it possible to have a romance AND have a houseful of kiddos???
ANSWER: Of course!!
As with pretty much anything else, you make the time for what you see as important! Your relationship with your spouse is:
THE MOST IMPORTANT (earthly)
RELATIONSHIP YOU HAVE!!!
I know, I know...it's awful tempting to say that tending your relationship with your children is the most important thing. It IS important...but it's in 2nd place!
Consider this: When all the kids are grown & move out (as we all pray they will do someday), you will still have your spouse to live with! Even though we will be **COUGH, COUGH**
-->54 & 62 <--
when our youngest graduates high school....we will still have PLENTY of good years left together ...no really, we will!!!
If your relationship with your spouse has been on the back burner til Junior & Suzy Q leave home...what will life be like?
I can honestly say that my hubby is my absolute BEST FRIEND in the whole-WIDE WORLD!!
Now, as for romance....
What do you consider romance to be?
Is it Hollywood's version? If that's the case, then you may have some difficulties fitting in that type of activity as often as they portray it to be necessary to be happy AND still have well-adjusted kids! Just sayin'.......
Again, I recommend reading The 5 Love Languages by Gary Chapman. This book will change how you think about love & how to show it to those you care about. When you know what speaks love to your spouse, you may look at 'romance' in a completely different way.
For me, I feel loved when someone does an Act of Service for me. Ya know, does something for me that I see as important, even if they don't necessarily see the need.
My second love language is Quality Time, and this past weekend, my sweet husband filled my love tank full by whisking me off for 3 days sans kiddos!!! Oh. My. Goodness!!! I NEEDED that time! So badly! (watch for a post about the trip :)
So, right now, I feel very loved....
Yes, the Hollywood Romance is necessary, but it's not the only option available for the harried parents. Maybe just a cup of coffee & conversation-just the two of you-on a weekend morning before the house starts humming is all you can muster.
Leaving a little note for your spouse letting them know you're lovin' them...
A special code for I LOVE YOU sent as a text message.
Romance is very doable, you may just have to change what you think the definition of romance is.
I know this may not be an option if you have really small kids & no dependable sitters, but we also have 'date night'. We have been parents for 17 years, and have only started doing this in the last year! Previously, we just didn't have anyone we could call on any kind of a regular basis. About once a year, we could manage a day or so or maybe even as much as a week out of town thanks to others' generosity, but nothing regular.
When we first started thinking about a regular date, we started with a quick hamburger on a bright, sunny afternoon with the cell phone right at our fingertips.
When we felt ready to move to a night date...we made sure our two oldest were well trained! We sent them to the American Red Cross for "Babysitter Training". They are now both card-carrying babysitters complete with first aid & CPR training! Whew! That really took a load off. (oh, and the fact that Nana & Papa & our good friends were right next door in case of emergency helped too)
Now, we regularly head out for a night of dinner & coffee or Barnes & Noble or shopping....or whatever! Sometimes we just stop by the RedBox machine & pick something cheesy out & watch it on the computer in Lloyd's office! ---Remember, it's about being together---
Yes, we usually have a nice dinner, but I would truly be happy with Whataburger & a $1 movie rental! Oh...and an ice cream cone :)
I remember when my oldest was 9 or 10 & the youngest was 1, I was desperate for some exclusive time with my husband. I counseled with some of my friends who had older children, and their answers were the same...and it just irritated the snot out of me!!
"Before you know it, things will be different & you will have more freedom"
Yes, well, true as that may have been....I needed help NOW!!!!
So....I won't say that.
What I will say is: think about your babysitter options. PRAY about your babysitter options...God gave YOU the responsibility for those wonderful kids, don't just trust them to anybody in order to get out of the house for a few hours! If you find that you don't have any babysitter options....then get creative with your dates.
Put the kids to bed early (don't let 'em nap ) & have him pick up Olive Garden. Light candles. Put on music. ---idea stolen from a creative Mommy friend---
The options are limitless!
This idea is from a blog called Find Joy In the Journey
She had an amazing idea to pre-plan & pre-pay a year's worth of dates for her & her hubby!
What an awesome idea!! She also has some links to other places where she found ideas. I cannot vouch for them, but take a look.
Ok...well, I was a bit more long-winded than I thought I would be on this subject, so I will save "Privacy" till next week...
Let me know some creative ways you've added romance to your marriage (G-rated, please...my kids sometimes read this ;o)