Would you marry yourself now? How to keep the love alive.

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Now that you have this gargantuan task of raising a human, everything else seems to be not as significant, including your significant other. You’re too tired from late night feedings, playing referee with who gets what toy next, and meal prepping for a family that you really don’t want to entertain anyone or anything besides your bed come nighttime. The ends of hectic days can take a toll on the way you feel about yourself and how you think your partner perceives you.
I speak all too familiarly from experience because if anyone would ask me how I rate myself as a mom, I would confidently give myself 5 stars on Yelp. If someone asked me what I rated myself as a spouse, I would give myself 1 star, for making eye contact once that day. My child is my life, my world, my everything, but I did not create her by myself. There was a time where her Mom & Dad laughed together, played pranks on each other and loved like a newlywed couple. Here are some ways I was able to spark that love back in my life after baby:
• Get a sitter. Seems simple enough, right? Don’t only get one for a date night, get one for yourself to walk around Target and try on clothes, get a pedicure, have brunch with a friend, or go to the beach and read a book. Don’t feel guilty about it because once you feel good, you will be more inclined to look good (put on makeup, wear your “outside clothes”, etc)
• In the chance, getting a sitter is not in your comfort zone yet, or you don’t have family nearby, watch a movie, sitcom or indie film together (Netflix and Chill). Don’t sit on opposite ends of the couch while randomly checking your social media accounts on your phone. Have distraction-free physical contact. This can be holding hands, touching feet, or lying next to each other. Remember what it was like when you truly enjoyed each other before baby.
• Show appreciation. If hubby comes home from work stressed, try not to win the battle of who had the worst day. A friend gave me this advice because I was so wrapped up in how hectic my day was that I didn’t acknowledge he was working long hours to meet deadlines, dealing with south florida traffic and was not getting any acknowledgement whatsoever.
• Get moving. Aim for 30 mins of light to moderate exercise a day. Ever notice how good you feel after a workout? Those endorphins contribute to the feel good receptors in your brain. And remember when you feel good, you look good. You walk a bit more confidently and may even have the courage to wear something a bit more flattering.
• Keep it simple for date night. I was stuck on where are we going to get reservations, what I have to wear and how soon I can get a hair appointment. Then another smart friend of mine suggested we have a picnic at the park or the beach. Keep it casual. Before baby, every date was not at a swanky restaurant, why should it be any different now? Choose a place that is relaxing enough for you both where you can really connect.
Now of course, these are baby steps. You were once an affectionate adult in a loving and physical relationship. How do I know this? You have a baby and there is some practice in creating them. Show yourself some love, appreciate your spouse (they thrive off acknowledgement) and you will not only be rekindling a marriage, but you will also be setting the example for your child on what a loving relationship looks like.

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