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Challenge: Romance After Kids

Passion After Kids? This Is What It REALLY Looks Like

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I could feel the ache in my back as I finally shut the door of the nursery. The last of our kids had fallen asleep and we finally had a few moments to ourselves. My husband had already taken his place on the couch, he raised his hands up into the air, fist pumping as he realized that we were actually alone.

I smiled and did a victory dance resembling something from the '90s; it involved booty shaking and imaginary rear smacking.

I’ve got mad moves, I know.

As I began to walk over to him, my eyes caught notice of the sink full of dishes. I stopped my mom-dance, sighed, and walked into the kitchen. I realized our relaxing evening together was, again, put on hold, and I picked up a dish towel and began to scrub.

“This isn’t what it used to look like,” I thought to myself. “We weren’t always this tired; we didn’t always have this much to do.”

Not long after I had finished rinsing the first pot, I heard his footsteps coming up behind me. He pulled me in close, slid his hands around my baby-stretched waist, resting them on my hips. He brushed my hair back off of my shoulder and kissed the side of my neck; I could feel his chest buried into my back.

“It’s been a long day for both of us hasn’t it, babe,” he whispered.

I dropped the dish towel back into the hot water, grabbed onto his strong arms, and stared out the window. “Yeah, it has. Actually, it’s been a long week. It’s like I’ve got the weight of the world on my shoulders and there’s nothing I can do about it, you know?”

“Well, I know something we could do about it…” I could hear the smirk in his voice.

I paused for a moment before responding. I knew exactly the “something” he was talking about. And I knew he wanted it, needed it. And honestly as tired as I was, I knew that I wanted and needed it, too.

We needed to be together.

And with that, I made a choice. I turned around, slid into his arms, and off to the bedroom we went.

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Sex before kids used to be different; it was spontaneous and exciting, full of passion and romance. And this passion in our marriage was often dictated by the dates we would go on or the lack of stress or distractions we were both experiencing on any given day.

But these days the passion is different. On and off since having kids, and especially since having postpartum depression, we've struggled in the bedroom. More like I've struggled and he has patiently walked alongside of me. Insecurities about my post-baby body, my medication side effects, hormones, being so dang tired, and being interrupted by little voices calling out into the evening for a glass of water. It hasn't been easy, but we've found the secret to a healthy sex life: We choose to take that first step forward. I choose a moment of passion over a week of exhaustion. I choose a moment of physical intimacy over a days worth of being mauled touched by my children. I choose a moment of pure desire that makes me remember the wholeness we both feel when I’m close to him.

AND I CHOOSE A MOMENT OF THROWING CAUTION TO THE WIND, ALLOWING MYSELF TO BE COMPLETELY CAPTIVATED BY MY HUSBAND AND EVERYTHING THAT MADE ME FALL IN LOVE WITH HIM IN THE FIRST PLACE. AND AFTER I CHOOSE THAT FIRST MOMENT, A FAMILIAR WARMTH COMES RUSHING BACK AND I’M LOST IN THE DEPTHS OF MY HUSBAND’S LOVE ALL OVER AGAIN.

I long for passion. I was created for it. But some days, I have to choose it.

So yes, these days passion begins with a choice. It isn’t the same as it was on that warm summer day in June, 8 years and 3 kids ago. But it is deeper and more necessary now than it ever was back then. And by choosing a moment of passion today, I give my marriage the chance to look back into the past we miss, and look forward to the future together we can’t even begin to imagine.

This article was originally posted at From Blacktop to Dirt Road.

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