Romance is a hard thing to squeeze in around kids. And romance is my day job, so that’s saying quite a lot if I, who spends hours a day contemplating shirtless rakes and blistering love scenes, suffer from the same romance BLERGH that every parent feels.
Granted, my job helps with that. I have excuses to focus on love, and why the relationship between you and that one special person is something to be treasured.
But even romance writers get the THERE ARE CHILDREN EVERYWHERE blues. My husband and I haven’t been on a date since The Hobbit came out. Before that it was in July. I know Robyn was blogging about this the other day. I share her pain. Time alone is a luxury. And we have out special needs boy, which compounds the problem of us being able to find someone to watch our children so we can escape for a bit.
Of course, my husband and I are also both home during the day which means we DO see each other a lot, but in passing. And if he comes into the office TOO many times during an afternoon I start to get that cranky, resentful hunch at my keyboard, which lasts through out the day and is like a big neon DON’T TOUCH ME sign, I am sure.
But we all know what the obstacles are. Dirty diapers, shrieking kids, opposing schedules, etc. But what about how to combat them? I think I’m the ‘newlywed’ of the blog group, at a shy seven years (no itch, shockingly), but we’ve been through a lot of rapid life changes and challenges and we’ve always managed to come through it clinging tighter to each other.
Plus, I write romance. Trust me.
This is my Maisey List of Things That Have Helped My Marriage Stay Romantic:
1. I read romance. Really, that does help. I discovered romance novels while pregnant with our 2nd child. In addition to them being sexy, that didn’t hurt, they also reminded me of why romance is so great. They made me truly appreciative of what I had in my husband, and that was a very helpful thing.
2. We laugh. About stupid things. Last night we were awake at 1:30 in the morning, cracking up over my incredibly immature jokes.
3. We are honest. He knows what’s up with me, I know what’s up with him. He knows me, more than anyone else on earth knows me. And I know him.
4. Without TMIing…we don’t let intimacy slip. We don’t do the scheduling per se, though I think that’s a great idea, but we have rules. And we follow them.
5. We get mad at each other. This took a while. We both used to hold it in because we didn’t want to have any waves or admit that we’d FAILED and disagreed. Now we just let it out and I think we’re much healthier for it. And it’s sort of a part of…
6. We share things. Bless my husband he shares technical details of music engineering that I do not understand, and I bless my heart, I will summarize a romance novel for him. Or read him an excerpt. I know neither of us REALLY get it. But we share it. And the other one at least tries to pay attention.
7. My husband is awesome.
8. We do things together. *awkward segue*
Oh look, we did this together! We combined his music (he wrote the music, the lyrics, did the recording, the engineering and played all the instruments) and a little of mine (I showed up and sang into a mic) and my romance novels and made something that I’m really proud of. One way we stay in harmony (ha) and your husband writing you a song really does help keep things romantic.
I hope you enjoy the song! And I would so appreciate if you would share your tips on how you keep things romantic in the comments.
Edit to include book info: Unbuttoned is the first book in my Silver Creek series, and it’s a novella with Berkley’s new InterMix imprint! It’s out June 18th and here is the cover blurb:
Carly Denton has learned to keep her buttons and emotions firmly fastened. Her parents’ constant drama, and an unrequited crush on her brother’s best friend, taught her to keep her passion beneath the surface. But she can no longer avoid the one man with the ability to bring that passion to a boil…
Lucas remembers Carly as a freckle-faced tomboy—not a frosty woman who treats him like a burr under her saddle. But when they have to work together on a charity project, Lucas is shocked to find their bickering melt into some serious mutual attraction. He’s determined to show Carly that he’s the man for her, if only she’d learn to let loose.
Lucas is the last man on earth Carly should give in to. The freedom she finds in his arms has her feeling happier than ever, but is it enough to make her realize that the greatest risk isn’t losing your heart, but losing the chance at happiness?