It can be difficult to feel romantic after spending all day with the kids. You’re often worn out by the time your husband gets home, and there are probably still the dinner dishes to be done and the kids to get ready for bed. It’s often no wonder romance falls by the wayside for stay at home moms.
We can’t all have the grand romance of a Disney princess or Gomez and Morticia Addams. What we can do is find ways to add bits of romance into our lives. It takes effort, of course, from both of you.
Why Are You Too Tired For Romance?
Many stay at home moms are simply exhausted by all of the things they have to get done every day. This is especially true when you’re chasing after babies and toddlers, although older kids can be exhausting too.
If sheer exhaustion is a part of the problem, make sure your husband understands that. And then tell him if you need more help when he’s at home. His job has definite hours. Yours does too if you consider 24/7/365 definite. Make sure these things are well balanced.
That doesn’t mean hand your husband a long list of chores the minute he walks in the door, of course. But things like doing the dishes together and putting the kids to bed together are quite reasonable to ask.
Make Time For Touch
Take the time for touch in your relationship. It doesn’t all have to be overtly sexual – holding hands or just leaning on each other counts. It’s a little reminder of the closeness the two of you share.
But when you have the energy and the kids are in bed, haul out the massage oils and take turns massaging one another. Even if you’re too tired for more than massage, you will both feel better for it.
Of course, if you’re not up for touch because you’re all touched out, make sure you express that feeling too. There are times when the kids will leave you too tired of physical contact to really enjoy massage. Don’t put pressure on yourself to do things you really aren’t up for.
Try not to neglect the sexual aspect of your marriage too much. If you’re not interested in sex often, you need to have a talk with your spouse and possibly your doctor. Depression and hormone issues are real possibilities when your sex drive drops.
Remember The Everyday Romance
Romance in a relationship isn’t all about big dates nights. It’s in the little things too.
If you pack his lunch, leave little love notes in it. If he doesn’t, how about sneaking a note into his pocket or wallet. Just a little something to make him smile, nothing that would embarrass either of you should a coworker get a glance.
Don’t forget to kiss each other every day. Really kiss, not just a peck on the cheek. And tell each other “I love you” every time you think of it.
Don’t be embarrassed about showing your affection for each other in front of your kids – appropriately, of course. They should see that it’s normal and healthy to be physically affectionate with your spouse.
It can be tough keeping those romantic feelings going when you have children, rougher when you spend your entire day caring for them and just feel wiped out. But romance does not need to disappear from your marriage just because of that. Take the time and show your husband that a stay at home mom still knows her romance. You’re not only a mom, after all – you’re a wife too.
Romance Doesn’t Have To Mean Going Out
Date nights are tough to come by when the kids are little. You’re tired, the budget is tight, and it’s just hard to find the right time to do things together.
But you can make it easier if you take away the pressure to go OUT for date night. Staying in is a perfectly valid option.
If you can get the kids out of the house, plan a special dinner for just the two of you. Haul out the good china you got for your wedding but rarely use. Make something special for dinner. Light candles. Dress for it. Try to have everything ready before he gets home. And try to have most of the cooking mess cleaned up. You don’t want dirty dishes to ruin the mood.
If you can’t get the kids out, make dessert special after they’re in bed. Make or buy something just for the two of you.
If you have a fireplace, take advantage of it. Light up a fire and cuddle up together in front of it. No TV, no interruptions. Chocolate covered strawberries are a nice touch for this one, and super easy to make so long as strawberries are in season.
On the other hand, the right movie makes for a great date night at home too. Find something you both really want to see. Depending on the streaming services you subscribe to, you may even be able to get this for free. If not, Amazon Prime has lots of movies available to rent or buy on their streaming service.
Love to dance? Put on some music and dance together at home. Enjoy each other’s company.
Going Out Can Be Cheap
Going out on a date night with your spouse can be quite affordable. You can get out without the kids for cheap if you know how.
Childcare is often the most expensive part of date night when the kids are little. Sitters don’t come cheap. If you have friends or family who are willing to trade date night babysitting, however, you can cut this cost right out.
Look for free and cheap things to do in your local area together. My town has a market night on Friday nights during the summer. There’s live music too. It’s pretty small, but it’s an excuse to get out for a little.
The free summer movies in the park are fun too. Yes, they’re geared mostly toward the kids, but we get there early, send the kids off to the playground and have some time together.
If you’re short of ideas, ebooks such as 300 Creative Dates can help you come up with fun and interesting ideas for dates.
Sometimes it’s easy to forget to have fun in your daily life when you have kids. Being fun is one of the ways stay at home moms can keep romance alive in their marriages.
Make jokes together. Tease each other – nicely, of course! Flirt.
This takes communication, to make sure that what is a joke to one person isn’t hurtful to the other. There’s nothing romantic about hurting your spouse’s feelings.
You can also have fun just talking. If you can’t think of what to talk about, 1000 Questions for Couples may be a help.
Talk Your Problems Out
When you have a problem with your spouse, talk it out! Don’t let the problems fester. Ignoring problems and letting them fester is a sure romance killer.
Sometimes this means asking for what you need. It’s not fun when you have to ask, but it can be necessary. Odds are that you did not marry a mind reader.
If you need more help around the house, ask for it. Household chores are not yours alone just because you’re a stay at home mom. It’s too easy to make being a SAHM a 24/7 job if you don’t plan out an appropriate division of household labor.
I don’t mean have a gripe fest of all the problems you’re having, or all the faults your spouse has. That’s not helpful to either of you.
Instead, work on having an adult conversation about the problems you see and what you would like done about them. You should both be able to acknowledge the hard work each of you puts into the family, as well as the weak points you may each have.
Ideally, of course, you don’t want one parent taking on all the mental and emotional labor of keeping your family running. If you’ve fallen into the habit of handling everything of that sort, it will take time to make a change, but nothing will ever change if you don’t point out the problem and work together on fixing it. Once again, figure out an appropriate division of labor.
You may find out that your spouse is dealing with things you weren’t aware of. Working outside the home has its own stresses, and while it doesn’t excuse anyone from helping out at home, there are times when work stress means you need to let them have a little more relaxation time for a while. Just make sure you don’t overstress yourself in the process.
Consider reading books such as 50 Secrets of Blissful Relationships to get more ideas on how to improve your marriage. It rarely hurts to get advice from someone who has a lot of ideas on how to keep a marriage happier.