Valentine's Day

Romance isn't dead when you have kids, it's just hiding (maybe under the bed)

Feb. 14, 2013 at 9:29 AM ET

Ahhh, love is in the air...but so is the smell of dirty diapers. Let’s just say celebrating Valentine’s Day feels a bit different when you're a parent. But then again, so does just about everything.

Before my husband and I had kids, I loved Valentine’s Day! I was always searching for something new and sexy to surprise him with – like a matching bra and underwear set, which would inevitably end up on the floor at the end of the night. These days I’m just happy if I have two matching shoes on. And what does end up on the floor is ME, ultimately searching under the bed for the match to one of the kid’s socks!

I talk to my girlfriends about my efforts to “spice up” our sex life; awing them with stories of us trying out different places in the house OR our “afternoon delights” (when the kids are napping or out of the house, of course). What I don’t tell them is that most nights, after working a full day, giving the kids baths, getting them off to bed, washing the dishes, sorting the laundry, and straightening up, I AM EXHAUSTED. By the time I get into bed, the last thing on my mind is sex. So if I didn’t try these “new” places or “random” times of day, my husband and I would probably never have sex again! (Not for his lack of trying – A for effort, honey.)

Red-hot romance may be harder to come by when you're a parent, but there are other benefits, like adorable Valentines made by little hands.
Courtesy Kim Grabina-Como
Red-hot romance may be harder to come by when you're a parent, but there are other benefits, like adorable Valentines made by little hands.

As the mother of two little boys, ages 2 and 3, I have yet to find that balance between being a mom, a wife, and a working woman. I keep asking myself, do I have to put one on hold to “perfect” the other two? While there is no true right answer, I have found that by treating them as three separate people, with three separate needs, I can start to divide and conquer. (Or maybe I’ll just end up in treatment for multiple personalities.)

The one thing I know for sure is that we have to try harder at us now that kids are in the picture. Steal a few quick kisses here and there. Make more of an effort to plan adult-only “play dates” with friends, one-on-one "date nights," and weekend getaways. They are equally as important as the things we do for and with the kids. These things allow us to “recharge our batteries” (no pun intended) and ultimately make us better parents and partners.

I don't foresee a crazy night swinging from the chandeliers this Valentine's Day, but I will gladly trade that in for the handmade cards from my little guys and kisses from all three of them (I do love being the only woman in the house -- a princess among her princes).

And maybe, just maybe, I’ll try dusting off one of those matching "undie" sets – I think they might be under the bed with all of my kids' missing socks.

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