Romance, Parent Style

By Jen Piwtpitt - 7:30 AM

 Few things tell you how far gone you are into parenthood as an attempt at romance.
1) Your attempt at being romantic starts with, “Are the kids sleeping?” “How long will they nap for?” or, “When is the playdate over?”

2) Forget romantic music. You need to be able to hear little footsteps approaching.

3) When planning to don lingerie, you also plan to keep a blanket handy at all times, so that you can do the Shuffle of Shame to your bedroom when someone unexpectedly shows up in the doorway. “Whatcha doing, Mommy?” “Scarring you for life, Kid. You're welcome.”

4) A night out takes more planning, background checks, reference checks and budgeting than your entire college education. And current job.

5) You checked out your spouse less than you do your babysitter.

6) Leaving the house, you're assaulted by the vision of your child on a therapist's couch, talking about how you abandoned them for your own fun.

7) When you finally escape the house, you spend more time frantically checking your phone, calling home, and looking for text messages than talking to your spouse. And when you're not, he is.

8) Dinner conversation is all about the kids.

9) You realize that you're able to eat your meal without someone else sticking their fingers in it, attempting to float something in your drink, or having to get up and down forty billion times. Glory be, supper is actually HOT when you eat it. Feeling uncomfortable, you contemplate asking your spouse to toss some bread in your water glass, or at least pick his nose at the table, so life can feel normal.

10) You can pick out fellow dinners that also have children at home. They're gulping down their food, barely chewing, learned survival mode, from living with small dictators that seem to target dinner time for their most demanding moments.

11) Going to see a movie that lacks animation, talking animals, or someone bursting into song feels like you're doing something forbidden. And it's good. So. Good.

12) You consider taking out a loan, a second mortgage, or working a second job to be able to afford a sitter more often.

13) You promise each other that you'll make date night a weekly event.

14) In six months to a year, repeat steps 1-13
I'm here to say that it does get easier. Eventually. There may even come a time when *gasp* you leave the kids overnight. As crazy as it is, it's true. You'll even manage to not have a complete breakdown while you're away, and even be able to enjoy yourself, almost guilt free.
Hey, you're a parent. Guilt is standard now.

Bio: Melissa 'The Imp' spends her days Wife-ing to Wolf, Mom-ming to the 5 homeschooled Minions at home, and being alpha wench to Bazinga the Wonder Dog. When not juggling all of that one armed, she blogs at Not A Stepford Life She can also be found on Facebook and Twitter as well as on Huffington Post, xoJane, and anywhere else she can convince folks to let her blather on.

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