With Valentines fast approaching, its that time when we start to feel we should be more romantic and start to evaluate our relationships, but when do we ever have the time?

Busy day at work, house is a mess so need to have a quick tidy up before I tackle tea, trying to show interest in the kids but mind is elsewhere as busy, busy, busy, husband comes in from work, he takes over entertaining the kids whilst I finish tea…had tea now its homework then bed time, clean up after tea…and this goes on, gosh I am tired even writing this! Is it a surprise we sometimes feel that romance and intimacy comes second to our busy lives!

Why is this? Is it because we are so busy and as a result so tired? Is it since you had kids that your time is not your own? Well in a way yes I am sure it is, but what it really boils down to is that your own needs are lower down the long endless list. Any parent would say ‘the kids come first’ and yes of course they do but YOU also need to be put first at least some of the time, and in actual fact the more the better! Is this selfish? NO, in fact it is a much healthier environment for your children to see how important it is to put yourself first and also get your own needs met, as you are your children’s main role model. Also lets give our kids more credit as they sense our stress, and if we put ourselves first more often, and as a result felt more satisfied and relaxed, they too would benefit from this.

We all know that communication is key to a successful relationship, but I still suspect that even those couples that communicate well will sensor some of the discussions and avoid certain subjects, especially intimacy and dare I say it ‘sex!’ Psychologically we all have different needs in this area, it’s about understanding each other’s needs, respecting those and compromising where necessary. Which comes first? Do you need the intimacy and closeness in order to want and enjoy sex, or do you need the sex in order to feel then that you want to be close and romantic with your partner? The chances are you and your partner may have a different answer to this question so where do you meet? This is where communication, openness and discussion is key so you both understand each others needs!
I was prompted to write this article as Valentines Day is coming up, but actually we should consider and think about our relationships all year round not just when we are prompted by the media or society.

Some small ways in which you can keep your closeness with your partner whilst juggling your busy family life…

  • If watching TV or reading or doing anything in the same room, sit closer together on the sofa or wherever you are so you actually have physical contact and closeness whilst getting on with what you are doing…
  • Give some extra meaning to the words ‘I love you’. If you say to your partner (and this also applies to your children) that you love them make it really count and tell them why. ‘I love it when you…’ ‘I really do love you because….’
  • Do something different to what you normally do, leave your partner a note, send them an unexpected text or email…not asking what do they want for tea and have they paid the council tax, but something personal and loving.
  • I know people talk about going on ‘date nights’ or spending time alone without the kids and this is also crucial. Make this feel even more special and meet them at the venue so it’s like a real date, like the old days, rather than two parents leaving the house in a rush to go for a bite to eat.
  • If you struggle practically to get out due to lack of babysitter and so on then have a date at home. One of you put the children to bed whilst the other prepares a meal or makes the lounge a relaxing space to watch a film together.