A happy couple is something to celebrate and while everybody must work to keep the spark alive in a romance, you may wonder, “How can I juggle my kids and my romance?” Having a family can make all of the challenges between you and your partner even more of an obstacle but you can conquer them together!

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Here are just 5 tips to juggling children, work and your intimate relationship:

1. Keep Date Night

Do you remember when you and your partner were just a twosome? You may have enjoyed all types of activities together like strolling through an outdoor flea market, seeing a movie or having a decadent dinner as a couple. However, many regular date night routines can fade from your schedule as children enter the picture. So, if you want to successfully balance a romance while also keeping your children happy, carve out at least a date night in your weekly schedule to keep the spark alive. "Date nights are so important. In fact they are critical," psychologist and relationship expert Melanie Schilling told The Huffington Post Australia.

2. Create Kid-Free Zones

You may love your children to the moon and back but that doesn’t mean that their behavior isn’t a roadblock to romance. Don’t hide from it! Embrace your children within your relationship by creating kid-free zones in your everyday routine. You may find these adult-only zones in your home, out on the town, on date night or even within social communities like potlucks or other events.

Find a kid-free zone any place you and your partner had fun before you started a family. This may be at a movie theatre, arcade, concert, gallery, gym or in nature. Wherever your romance took you before kids – go there and call it your “kid-free space.”

3. Cut Back Work Hours

When the alarm clock rings on Monday morning and you start the workweek it may be exhilarating but Friday things can start to feel tiring and you may show signs of fatigue. This can include that of mental stressors, physical stress or even a loss of libido. If you notice these red flags it could be a sign to cut back on your work hours. You may not realize just how much a strenuous, stressful workweek can take a toll on your libido.

The negative impact of long office hours can include a loss of overall happiness between partners. Authors of a recent study explain that, "Conventional wisdom and research seem to suggest that partners in dual career-couples have to decide whether they would rather risk their careers or their romantic relationship [...] Our research questions the assumption that working longer hours is hazardous for all romantic relationships."

Additionally, while workplace stress may harm your health and relationship studies have shown that keeping your work life in balance with other priorities at home like your children and partner may even increase your life expectancy. So, you can see that it’s no laughing matter to put your family first.

4. Kick it into Overdrive!

Making the proper food choices can mean more to your sex life than you realize. In fact, making healthy choices in the kitchen that include raw foods like fresh fruits, vegetables, herbs, leafy greens, along with seeds, nuts and whole grains has been shown in clinical trials as an effective way to boost your sex drive. And remember to discuss a balanced healthy diet with your doctor to pinpoint the best way to optimize your sex drive. There are tons of ways natural foods can become part of your everyday strategy for more intimacy at home. So, integrate only the most delicious foods and talk to your doctor about creating a libido-boosting menu you can use at home.

5. Make Your Kids Happy

When you start a family you may not see the children are the cornerstone of the relationship – but they are! In clinical studies, the overall happiness of children in a long-term relationship was shown to have a significant impact on the happiness of their parents. In the study, adult participants were not only shown to experience less physical stress but emotional improvements were also noted. Go ahead and focus extra attention on the children if you want to benefit the health of your relationship with your partner. It has been shown as a way to improve the wellbeing of parents, too!

Talking to a Counselor About Your Family Relationships

A trained relationship family counselor is the best person to talk to about how to boost intimacy at home. But you may not have time this week to call and set up an appointment to talk about your family with a qualified, experienced professional. So, try using these 5 tips to help balance children, work and your intimate relationship. Then, jot down the results and share them with a counselor (and ultimately) your partner to spark up your love life again - without disturbing the balance of your kids or workplace. It can be done!  

For more information or to schedule appointment online, visit our couples counseling page or call 919-647-4600.

References:

1. Dana Unger, Sabine Sonnentag. The longer your work hours, the worse your relationship? The role of selective optimization with compensation in the associations of working time with relationship satisfaction and self-disclosure in dual-career couples. Human Relations. Vol 68, Issue 12, 2015.

2. Parent–child relationships and health problems in adulthood in three UK national birth cohort studies. The European Journal of Public Health, 15, 640–646.

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