How on earth could he expect anyone to feel remotely amorous when Bob The Builder’s theme tune has become the soundtrack to their life? While there’s no doubt that making the switch from mother to lover and back again can be extremely tricky, it’s still important to make time for a little passion away from the chaos and clutter of family life. And what better excuse than a naughty Valentine’s weekend break? “Getting away is well worth the effort and a great way to get out of ‘mummy mode’,” says Cathy O’Neill, co-author of Baby-Proofing Your Marriage (Collins, £10.99)
According to O’Neill, it’s not just your sex life that can suffer when a baby arrives. “Both men and women told us they missed the small gestures of intimacy, such as hugging and kissing,” she says. So, being affectionate every day, preferably in front of your children, will leave the whole family feeling secure and emotionally connected.
If making come-hither eyes other over a pile of discarded Lego bricks doesn’t float your boat, aim to designate one night each week to spend together without any distractions – even if it’s just sharing a bottle of wine on the sofa when the children are in bed. And don’t forget to talk. No, not about whose turn it is to sterilise the bottles, buy the nappies or pick up the children from nursery, but about life beyond your baby. “Try to have conversations about something other than your child,” says O’Neill. “It’s vital for parents to pay adequate attention to their relationship, no matter how strong the pull of parenthood,”
That’s not to say you should exclude your child from this year’s Valentine’s festivities. Whilst most boys over five will probably sneer at all the yukky love stuff, little girls will relish making their daddy a home-made card or heart-shaped cookies.
And, finally, give yourself ample time to get in the mood. Replace Bob with Barry White, light a few candles and banish all talk of children... well, just for tonight, anyway
This article previously appeared in Junior magazine as a print article