The rules of romance (for parents).

Romance. It used to mean flowers and chocolates but that all changes when you have kids. Now your flowers are pulled out of vases to be used as swords and you have to hide alone in the laundry and scoff your chocolates.

But romance ain’t dead, baby. It just found in places you wouldn’t expect once you’ve had children.

Like the bathroom.

Forget love notes written in lipstick on the mirror, the romance I’m talking about involves shoving 205 Octonauts bath toys out of the way so you can both cram into a tiny cubicle together. It’s your only option for sexy times because the baby is asleep in your bed and the dog pissed on the ottoman. Nothing says I love you more than stale canine urine, and don’t let anyone tell you otherwise.

love drugs

"You might not have the time to be cutting out heart shaped cards, just draw a dick on the back of the shopping list. Love." Image via iStock.

People these days talk about love languages. You know, the idea that different people express their emotions in different ways. As a parent there is only one love language you need to know about. Sleep. Letting your partner have the weekend sleep-in is the ultimate way of expressing your love and if there's enough sleep in 'the bank' you might just be in with a chance for some *wink wink, nudge nudge*.   After you move the Octonauts, of course. It's just weird getting frisky with Captain Barnacles staring back at you.

Romance can be small, it doesn't have to take a big gesture to tell your partner that you love them. Next time you're spending yet another Saturday night sitting next to each other staring at your phones, take the time to put yourself in a position where you won't drool on each other when inevitably you both fall asleep. Love.

Advertisement

I've been with my husband for a long time and to me, he's still the foxiest fox in the pen. I don't tell him nearly as much as I should. People need to know these things, it makes us feel special. I find the best way to convey your emotions is a quick bum pinch in Coles as you're battling screaming toddlers, over tired babies and people staring, silently pondering whether you planned all of the children, or whether you've learned your lesson.

You might not have the time to be cutting out heart shaped cards to fill with soppy messages, just draw a dick on the back of the shopping list to let him know you care.

It's important not to let yourself go when you have children. Putting effort in to your appearance shows that you still care. When he walks through the door at night take the time to wipe avocado, tomato sauce and possibly human excrement off your face before he kisses you hello. Or don't. He's seen you at your best. This is where things are at now, at least until they can wipe their own arses.

It's the little things that keep the romance alive. 

Raising young children can change your relationship and intimacy becomes hard. But it is important to remain close. I like to do this by putting my icy feet on to my husband's legs when I climb back in to bed for the hundredth time after attending to various kid night problems. Sure, he may have proven once again his uncanny ability to ignore a baby crying but letting him share my experience of hypothermia allows us to grow closer as a couple. It's a nice way of reminding him that we're in this together.

If for some chance an opportunity presents itself for a child free date night, run with that chance like a dog who's just discovered that it's owners left the gate open. In the week leading up to the date, pin all of your hopes and dreams on some time out of the circus that is your life. Don't think twice about giving your children a dinner that has the same nutritional content as cardboard and spend some time choosing an outfit that hasn't been vomited on. Throw some vague instructions and a phone number at the poor bastard who's been stupid enough to look after your offspring. Book a restaurant that doesn't offer kids meals, work your way through the cocktail menu and enjoy the time away from the kids no doubt, talking about nothing but the kids.

Despite the fact that you've completely forgotten what you used to talk about before you had mini humans you'll be reminded of why you chose that guy to have them with in the first place. Before kids you had all the time in the world to go out to dinner but romance now is treasuring the few and far between moments of togetherness. Now sneak back home and try and hide the fact that you're pissed from the babysitter.

Confessions: The time I felt like a terrible mother.

JOIN THE CONVERSATION