After baby arrives, it is often difficult to find time to spend alone together. It seems that every time baby gets to sleep, you have to get caught up on laundry, or you are so exhausted that you just want to sleep, too. There are some simple (and cheap!) ways to keep the romance going after your little bundle gets here.
First, you should make an effort to spend at least one evening a week together. You may not be able to do that until baby goes to sleep, but set the date anyway. That means that neither of you catches up on household chores, watches Sports Center, or does office work at home. Have the time to spend together, even if you just spend it sitting on the couch together.
You also should work to make one great meal - or order one - a week for yourselves. Many new parents fall into the trap of tossing something together because they are so busy that they do not have the time to make something for themselves. If you want to feel more like an adult, treat yourself like one. Have shrimp scampi or roast beef or some other suitable adult fare that it good for you. Look through cookbooks for any recipes that may be easy to whip up and will allow you to have a good time together.
Make everyday work a little fun, too. My husband and I loved to go to Cincinnati's Findlay Market when we lived there. It is an amazing outdoor market where you can buy freshly butchered meat, gourmet cheeses, and great veggies. We would go and look at the little craft booths there, buy our food, and walk around holding hands. It is wonderful to make an everyday event something special.
Plan late-night dates. One night when you have had a rough week, go out and pick up some bread, cheese, and a bottle of wine. Once the baby is out, you can spread a tablecloth, light some candles, and have an enjoyable evening in your living room for very little money.
Don’t be afraid to hire a babysitter either. Many new parents are very reluctant to let their little ones stay with a stranger. Start with a family member or close friend if you can. When you first go out, make it for an hour. Sit and have coffee together. Go for a long, leisurely walk. One hour is not long for your baby to stay alone, and it will give the two of you the chance to rejuvenate your relationship.
Be creative. Find ways to make play time with your baby full of romance, too. It may sound corny but telling baby a story about how Mommy and Daddy met can help you soothe your little one to sleep and can help the two of you feel better about each other. You should play you're your baby at the same time, too, to make you feel as if this new person takes a joint effort. Take time for your relationship; it is valuable to your baby, too.
By Julia Mercer