I got spam today about "keeping the romance alive with a new baby!" It had stuff in it like, "Have a night out - just the two of you!" or "cook him a candlelit dinner!"
Are you fucking kidding me?
Listen, I have a seven week old (which the e-mail knew, since it was for "your baby's 7th week.") And a three year old. I'm not cooking a candlelit dinner unless the damn power goes out. And as for having a night out right now? Spam, I'm exclusively nursing a baby. Going out alone ain't in the cards right now.
There's too much importance on "rekindling the romance!!" after a baby. Let's be honest, first of all - who really wants candlelight and big nights out? It's not the guy, usually. It's the girl. If the guy wants to go out, it's not usually to, like, a showing of Eclipse and a dinner involving soulful gazes over wine. In fact, most guys are probably cool if you resume having sex and regularly shower. Bonus points if you occasionally dress in something other than sweatpants.
And why are we so freaked out about the standard definition of romance anyways? Everything changes with kids. Romance does, too. I'd take Shane cleaning the kitchen because Keira's having a growth spurt and all I do is nurse her over a dozen roses. I'm not saying I never want the hearts and flowers crap again. But right now, I'm too tired for it.
I love Shane a ginormous amount still, but I'm cool with dates right now including our whole family. We're rock steady, and if we wanted our whole lives to be all about us, we wouldn't have had kids. And our children are the fleeting part of our life together. We'll have years when they've grown for long walks on the beach and all that jazz.
I'm not saying to ignore your significant other while you raise your kids, and you should certainly strive for alone time and work on making your love stay strong. But you're just delusional if you think the relationship of two people can ever be the same with kids added. One of the real challenges of relationships is keeping your love strong through all different aspects of life, and saying a candlelit dinner will do that is naive at best. Being realistic about things is much more sensible and leads to way less disappointment.