More Romance, Please!
Romance Roadblock #5
Your "dating dollars" are paying for schools, activities and half
of Toys "R" Us.
Nights out and new lingerie can keep a marriage hot, but who has the cash
after shelling out for art lessons, American Girl dolls and the designer
sneakers your son absolutely has to have? Don't worry, you don't have to empty
the bank: For the price of a baby-sitter, you can fill your life with love
adventures. "My husband and I take day trips to the mountains that are
within an hour's drive," says LuAnn Wilkins, 33, of Fairlawn, New Jersey.
"We hike the deserted trails, complete with waterfalls -- all for the cost
of gas and tolls."
There are tons of inexpensive outings for two. If it takes a little black
dress (and a little red wine) to put you in the mood, get yourself on the
invitation lists of local art galleries. "We go to gallery openings,"
says Andrea Brown, 33, of Seattle. "They usually serve complimentary wine
and cheese, and they take place in the evening, so you can dress up." Not
an art aficionado? Check local listings for free concerts in the park. If you
live near vineyards, take a winery tour or attend a wine tasting. Many public
schools offer ballroom-dance lessons at low prices. Even an impulsive midnight
picnic under the stars can add a sexy twist to an ordinary weeknight. While
you're cuddling in the moonlight, try this love game: Take turns sharing five
things you absolutely adore about each other, says Carter-Scott.
Romance Roadblock #6
Your kids' schedules are eating your weekends alive.
Do you need a cruise director to keep track of all your kids' weekend
activities? To ensure that your coupledom doesn't take a backseat to tae kwon
do, you need to be somewhat crafty. First rule: If you have more than one
child, make sure their lessons overlap. That way you and your husband can have
uninterrupted time, even if it's spent just grabbing a bagel and coffee
In fact, it can be a major parenting mistake to let the kids' activities
rule your life. So before signing them up, you and your mate should scope out
your own schedule and plan your children's activities around that, says William
Doherty, Ph.D., author of Take Back Your Marriage. If Saturday is the only day
you two can spend together, sign your kids up for a soccer league that plays on
Romance Roadblock #7
Every vacation's a family vacation.
You once cruised hand in hand down a canal in Venice; now you're taking
turns waiting on three-hour lines at Disney. But even if your lifestyle has
changed since your pre-baby days, you can still sneak in an adults-only
getaway, says Carter-Scott. Recruit relatives to baby-sit so you can spend an
amazing night or two at a local bed-and-breakfast. "To keep your marriage
as hot as possible, sometimes you need an uninterrupted span of time when
nobody's calling out for Mommy," she says. If a B&B is not in the
budget right now, send your kids off to a fun-filled weekend at their
grandparents' house and turn your own place into a cozy love cottage. During
the day let your errands slide and play tourist in your hometown or the nearest
city. At night collapse in bed (or on the kitchen floor) and make all the noise
you want, knowing that the kids are loving life -- and out of earshot -- at