Keeping the Love Alive

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by Bridgette Blakey

There we were, all dressed up at one of the fanciest restaurants in Seattle. My husband and I had just come from our 20 week ultrasound appointment, and were trembling with excitement. We had just given the waiter a sealed envelope containing the sex of our child. We had requested he reveal to us if we were having a boy or a girl with chocolate sauce on a dessert plate. As the waiter rounded the corner with a cloche covered silver platter, I grabbed my husband’s hand. Tears were already rolling down my cheeks. The waiter lifted the lid to the silver platter to reveal the word that would change our lives forever. ‘Girl.’
Driving home from the restaurant the dust began to settle. We were having a girl, which meant we were really having a baby, which meant there was going to be another person sharing our lives. “I want her to know I love her, but that YOU are the love of my life,” I told my husband.IMG_1597

Keeping the love alive is one of the most important things you can do for your children, for it teaches them how to love. It gives them the most impressionable example of how to behave in a romantic relationship in their own futures. Here are my 5 rules for keeping the love alive:

Rule #1: Date night, sans baby
Remember those days when you would get really dolled up to meet your significant other? It meant showering, putting on a clean pair of clothes and brushing your hair? My heart used to flutter just leaving my house! Do it again- Look hot and go out. Leave the baby at home. Ask a trusted friend or family member to look after them.

Rule #2: In times of high stress, talk sweetly to one another
This includes using derogatory language with one another, so no name calling. There are moments when the baby is crying, the dog is barking, you’re sleep deprived and want to scream. Take a moment and take a deep breath. Remember that you are both doing your best. If there is something you want to express to your partner, try doing it in a loving tone.

Rule #3: Give appreciation
‘Thank you,’ can go a long way when you when you are feeling stressed. It’s easy to fall into the mindset of ‘I am doing everything!’ and it can feel very overwhelming. Try to slow down and take notice of the little things that your partner does. It’s probably more than you realize!

Rule #4: Kiss!
It’s difficult to be affectionate right after having a baby because the exhaustion is all-consuming, and honestly you feel like a hot mess. But taking a moment to kiss releases feel-good chemicals such as dopamine, endorphins, and phenylethylamine, as well as changes neural pathways. It takes you away from the current situation and resets your mind. Grab that handsome face and smooch it! As often as you can.

Rule #5: Play
I am a firm believer that laughter is the greatest medicine, as well as a core part of a relationship. Tickling, making jokes, or even a butt grab will take a weight off your shoulders and light the fire between you and your partner. Take baby swimming and play in the water, or put her in the stroller and go for a family walk together. There are so many ways to play! For tips on prank calling, email me.

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