Oh God, what a challenging phase in any relationship. As Esther Perel puts it: “When three threatens two”.
No matter when this cute little thing arrives –nine months into the marriage, or six years later– it turns your life around one way or another, positively or negatively, for the simplest fact that their survival depends on you. You find your priorities shifting and it is no longer about you, your spouse, work, the house, your social life or that annoying person you were all hormonal over during your pregnancy. The next thing you know is that the most fragile part of your relationship is lost: the romance.
Good news though it is lost, but not gone. So we just need to find it.
First of all, you have to accept this phase in your life until your child gains some independence before you go looking for it. If you try to find it too soon, you are bound to fail. That tiny creature has great powers, do not underestimate it. You can, however, remain conscious about the issue, but don’t stress over it.
Second, find romance in the new little things. Your child’s first smile, first steps, first words can create a lot of romance between you and your partner, when you learn to perceive them as the result of your ‘shared’ nurturing.
Third, train your child to respect ‘mommy and daddy time’. This includes putting them to sleep in a separate room, taking a few hours away to go for a quick dinner together, or the movies or the supermarket or even just watching television at home. This step will be critical to regaining your romance later.
Fourth, as your child grows older don’t shy away from some public display of affection. Hug often, and exchange kisses in front of the kids. This is actually healthy for them, because it creates a loving environment, and influences their emotional programming, which is necessary for their well-being, and refreshes the romance in your marriage.
Fifth, look in the right places for that romance. Every couple has a different definition of romance. For some, it is a candle-lit dinner, and a rich conversation; for others it is a crazy adventure in the middle of nowhere. Make the effort to enjoy what brought you together in the first place.
Sixth, you might also be feeling out of love with or growing apart from your spouse at any stage of your marriage, not just post maternity. To regain that romance, get out of your comfort zone and try something new together. A new shared activity in your life can bring a whole new level of romance into that marriage. Do not be afraid to venture out and explore. Travel, travel, travel together. Do not take your partner for granted or assume they are still the same person they were pre-maternity or five years ago. You have probably changed just like your spouse did, so enjoy getting to know the new each other. Remember the first time you did and all those feelings you felt? You might get to relive them again.