Remember when you were childless? Ok, that didn’t come out right. Let me start over; I love my son and motherhood is, without a doubt, the best thing that ever happened to me. I didn’t know what life was until my son entered this world and I mean that with every ounce of earnestness. What I meant to say was, remember when you were childless in the context of your relationship with your significant other. In particular, think about how often you went on dates, did something romantic or had a deep conversation with them?
Now, if you can sincerely tell me that those types of activities occur just as frequently NOW as they did pre-kids, PLEASE PLEASE contact me and tell me your secret. Heck, you’re doing something VERY unique. Capitalize on it! Write a book! Make a vlog! Teach me! The truth is, having children can be super tough on a relationship especially in this day and age. We (men and women) are working harder than ever. In 1960 20% of mothers worked. Now, about 70% of families have dual working parents. Further, and true for both men and women, most of us work more than 40 hours per week (1). Additionally, we are parenting harder than ever. This article from the NYT’s says it all in the title alone: The Relentlessness of Modern Parenting.
In other words, we have a TON of pull on our attention and it’s so easy to overlook how necessary it is to prioritize our relationship with our significant other.
After time, this leads to feeling disconnected from the most important person in your life, to the person you chose to partner with for life. Further, there will come a time when your children are adults and you find yourself alone in a big house with that person you chose all those years ago. Hopefully, this person is not a stranger.
As a result, I have created a super fun 28 day romance challenge.
The challenge will formally start on February 1 (but feel free to start it anytime). Each day, you and your partner will be challenged with a quick task that is designed to help you reconnect and eventually re-prioritize your relationship altogether.
I hope you enjoy this challenge! ThriveDaddy and I will be participating right alongside you (Full Disclosure: We are due to have a baby this month so we’re going to participate alongside you as much as humanly possible)!
Connect with me on Instagram and post with the hashtag #ThriveRomance to tell me how it’s going!
February 1: First, print a picture of the two of you pre-children that you love and that brings you immediate joy when you see it. Next, tape this picture somewhere where it will be visible first thing in the morning. My recommendation is a bathroom mirror. The hope is that, for the rest of the challenge, this will serve as a daily reminder of the person you chose to partner with. Don’t have access to a printer? Change your phone background to the picture you had in mind. It will serve the same purpose.
February 2: Valentine’s Day falls on a Thursday this year (not great for working parents). Discuss your plans together. If you want to celebrate on February 14, make arrangements for a babysitter and make reservations (like yesterday). If you aren’t going to celebrate on February 14 (or at all), at least you are both on the same page and have now avoided any disappointment or hurt feelings.
February 3: Stepping off the PG train right now. Schedule some intimate time together (Don’t worry, I’m blushing too). I know — scheduling sex is inherently NOT sexy but physical intimacy in a relationship is really easy to overlook and SUPER important to the overall health of a relationship. Your goal is to schedule one sexy time a week for the remainder of the challenge. If this is too easy, pick a number and stretch to that. Hopefully some of these challenges will lead to some sexy time naturally! This is a safety net just in case!
February 4: Your task on February 23rd is to go on a proper date night. This date is totally flexible but it’s the last Saturday in our challenge. Get your ducks in a row today! One of you line up a sitter. One of you make dinner reservations, book movie tickets, figure out plans! Make this date day/night whatever you want it to be! The only requirement is that you spend at least 2 kid free hours together! Talk about what you’d like to do and get excited!
February 5: Sit and talk to your partner. Use these prompts or come up with your own!
- What would constitute a perfect day for you?
- For what in your life do you feel most grateful?
- Alternate sharing something you consider a positive characteristic of your partner. Share a total of five items
February 6: Send a sexy text message to your spouse in the middle of the day today. (OMG blushing again). It can be as racy and descriptive as you’re comfortable with!
February 7: Write your spouse a love letter (handwrite it!). It’s OK if you aren’t Shakespeare. Just write from the heart. Writer’s block? This link includes 42 Love Letter Prompts you can use. You’re going to deliver this letter to your spouse on Valentine’s Day so you have a week to perfect it!
Enjoy connecting with your partner this week! See below for links to weeks 2-4.