Finding Time for Romance When You Have Young Children
Caroline Manzo puts the real in The Real Housewives of New Jersey, and her fans relate to the reality star's no-nonsense attitude, focus on family and, above all, abundant common sense. Check back at Glo every Monday as Caroline helps solve your most pressing dilemmas.
The Dilemma: I am a mom of two young kids, ages 8 and 3. My husband and I both work, and between ours and the kids' schedules, my husband and I have very limited time together. I sometimes worry that our relationship is not as big a priority as it should be. How did you and Albert make your relationship a priority when your kids were young? —Stacy
Caroline's Ruling: Great question, Stacy. I have a feeling you're not alone in your dilemma. It seems that raising a family today and finding the right blend of work and play is becoming more and more of a challenge.
First and foremost, you need to dismiss the feeling of guilt. Both you and your husband have committed yourselves to working in order to provide your family with a stable environment. I respect and admire your dedication. Unfortunately, the juggling act is not easy. Just remember one thing: You're not Wonder Woman. Take the time you need for yourself and your husband. And that time can be four hours or it can be four minutes. The simplest gestures or thoughts can go such a long way.
Here are a few examples: Before he starts his day, leave a note for him on the bathroom counter telling him you'll be thinking about him throughout the day. Or leave a “lipstick” kiss on the mirror, call or text him to say I love you, I miss you. Go food shopping together, and stop for a cup of coffee while you're out. When you go to your kid's games or events, try to go together. Hold hands, laugh. Al and I will send each other a silly e-card now and again, and it makes us both smile; even something that little means so much.
Just enjoy the time you have with each other for what it is. Make it count, and be happy to have each other for those precious few moments, whenever they are. If you don't have time for a date night as often as you'd like, then it's not the end of the world. You can have a “date” in the middle of the kitchen while you're making dinner, just by spending time together and talking. The kids are going to grow sooner rather than later, and before your know it, you'll have more time than you know what do with! Trust me, this I know for sure!
The one thing you need to understand is that both marriage and parenting involve sacrifice and commitment. Once you accept that, you'll gradually find a way to wear your many hats. When you do, remember to wear them with a huge smile on your face — the world will smile right back at you!
Do you have a question for Caroline? Send it to CarolineRulesOnGlo@gmail.com and it may be selected for an upcoming column!
From marriage dilemmas to family issues, Caroline's got the answers!Photo by Michael T. Greco
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