When Baby Makes Three

Best Laid PlansBy Elizabeth Palmer, author of Best Laid Plans

Can romance survive when your twosome becomes a threesome? When the words your partner whispers in the middle of the night aren’t “I want you,” but “the baby’s crying”?

Violet, the heroine of Best Laid Plans, finds baby-daddy Jake most irresistible when he displays his tender side, caring for their three-month old daughter. What’s more heroic than a man who boldly goes where spit-up and poopy diapers are sure to follow?

But Violet and Jake have been apart for the pregnancy. He hasn’t heard her dry-heaving in the bathroom, and she hasn’t had to clean his golden whiskers out of the sink. This is probably not your situation.

It’s possible, however, for a couple that has gone through pregnancy together to rekindle the romantic spark. At times it might seem like just one more chore to add to an endless list, but remember that happy parents are better parents, and good role models. So don’t feel guilty when you hide the dirty onesies in the closet and set a romantic mood with candles—you’re doing it for your child’s well-being!

Here are some tips from veterans:
1. Take 10 seconds in the morning to exchange a real kiss, one that says “I’m still in love with you.”
2. If you’re too tired to do anything but watch TV in the evening, share the sofa and snuggle. In Best Laid Plans, a short, shared nap works wonders for Jake and Violet!
3. Don’t forget compliments, notes, and thoughtful gestures. You know you’re going to check your e-mail sometime during the day, why not send him a quick “missing you” message?
4. The grandparents want to have the little one to themselves—let them. Make wise use of their services. You can tell them you’re going to a movie, then head back home to your own bedroom. You might even have time for a nap.
5. You both have to shower, so why not do it together? It can be a nice start to the day, or, after the baby’s down for the night, it can help facilitate the transition from parents to lovers. If you need more help, a massage is ideal—just don’t spoil the mood by using baby lotion.
6. Mommies and Daddies are people too—spend a few minutes at the end of the day talking about something other than your precious bundle of joy.
7. Be patient. Caring for your baby is hard work, but sharing the load—and seeing each other in your new roles—will make your love even stronger. Before long you’ll be burning up the sheets again!

11 thoughts on “When Baby Makes Three

  1. Inés

    These are very useful tips and new moms especially should listen up! It’s so easy to feel guilty about being apart from them, even for a few hours, in the beginning. But it’s part of staying emotionally healthy. Fun post, too; “spit-up and poopy diapers” really took me back ;-).

  2. Elizabeth Palmer

    My daughter, a new mother of twins, is being good about leaving them with her husband’s parents so they can have a date night. She said the babies inevitably creep into the conversation — but that it’s her husband who brings them up! New dads can have separation issues too . . .

  3. PM Kavanaugh

    I agree with Sharon–even without babies in the house, romance can take a back seat to other life demands, like crazy client deadlines, sick relatives, anxious siblings. I esp. like the tip about “thoughtful gestures” throughout the day. Thanks for the reminders.

    1. Elizabeth Palmer

      It’s so true — there are many times in our lives when our most important relationships fall to the bottom of our “to do” lists. We think they’ll still be there when we have the time to devote to them. Just a small investment of time every day can ensure that they will!

  4. Carol

    Elizabeth, most of the advice you’ve given can apply for couples whose children are grown and flown the nest. One must always make time for romance to keep the relationship healthy.

  5. Pam B Morris

    Such an awesome post. Though baby days are a long ways behind me (and I’m dreaming of grandma days soon to come) these tips on romance are good to remember anytime. Life is as demanding as a baby sometimes… and much less easy to cuddle! Thanks!

  6. Kay

    Congratulations! I’m passing the tips on 🙂
    I feel guilty for taking time for myself and my youngest is 11 yrs old…great tidbits no matter what age our children are 🙂