A Little Romance
Here's the truth: Maintaining your romance postbaby depends, in large part, on broadening your definition of what's romantic. Lingering in bed till noon on the weekends is no longer a workable definition. Lying in until the decadent hour of 7 a.m. with your chubby tot between you is. It's not less, it's different.
"What I consider romantic now actually includes Hannah," says Kim Casalena, a new mom in Belmont, Massachusetts. "After coming home from the hospital, we had a photo session with the digital camera. Dominick was running back and forth to the camera, trying to set up the self-timer so we could get a picture of the three of us. It took so long to get a good shot, but the snuggles on the couch and the way we laughed were totally worth it."
I remember those giddy days of new parenthood. But even now when I watch my husband let our 7-year-old give him a hairdo, I tend to tear up as I laugh. Look at what this man is willing to do to make his little girl happy, I think, and that gentleness makes him very attractive to me.
For my friend Kitty O'Callaghan, a mom of three in White Plains, New York, romance beckons when her husband helps with chores without being asked. "It's like that episode of Everybody Loves Raymond, when Ray buys a super-vacuum and is loving all the gadgetry. The wife walks in and Ray is vacuuming the curtains, and she says, 'I've never been more attracted to you than I am right now.' My husband helping like that increases the chance of romance later, because if all I'm thinking about is how I didn't get XYZ done, it's probably not going to happen," she says.
As we broaden our definition of romance, we can think of it this way: There's G-rated romance (family tickle-fests), which can include the kids but is still between the two of you. There's mom and dad PG-13 romance in front of the kids (kissing at the sink, grabbing each other in the hallway). And there's husband and wife R- and sometimes X-rated romance. A couple would be wise to cultivate all of them.