Keep the Fires Burning

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The toys are put away, homework's done and the kids are in bed. The lunches are made and the dishwasher is on. You wash your face, brush your teeth, choose clothes for tomorrow and then collapse into bed beside your spouse. You lean over give your mate a perfunctory kiss and casually comment that your sex life "sure isn't what it used to be before kids"-and instantly fall asleep.

It's a familiar scenario that finds its way into jokes and television sit-coms. Nurturing love, intimacy and romance can often drop to the bottom of the list for working parents. It is easy to understand how this happens. Leaving your love life to the last may not intentional-it may just be the result of a jam-packed existence. In a working parent's world there is always some event, commitment or task that you or your partner feel you must attend to before taking time for your romantic relationship.

Keeping the fires burning in your relationship calls for courage. Though this may, at first, seem like an odd statement to make, I draw attention to it because you have risked your love life by introducing new people into the family mix. It's easier to revel in the unquestioning need your children have for you than risk re-establishing your relationship with your partner on new terms. Regenerating passion, deepening intimacy and growing together in the ever-changing dynamic of working parenthood is not necessarily easy but it can be done.

Communicate lovingly

Speak your truth?tactfully. Studies show the number one deterrent to intimacy is lack of communication. The foundation of a satisfying intimate relationship is in knowing and understanding each other's desires and dreams. It is better to speak your truth honestly and gracefully, though you may feel like you're risking rejection, than to harbor anger and/or resentment towards your partner.

Create space for intimacy

Make space in your schedule for intimacy. I know it doesn't sound very romantic or spontaneous. But if you are like most North American working women today, if you don't "pencil in" some romance time, you might find it just doesn't happen. You'll find that when a "date night" is in your calendar, you start to look forward to it and that can become a turn-on. And scheduling time to connect with your partner at a deeper level than "what's for dinner" and "who's picking up the kids?" will boost your intimacy quotient.

Remember "me time"

Before there is "us" time, there needs to be "me" time. In other words, take an interest in your personal needs and give yourself permission to take care of you first. This is an essential building block for an intimate and giving relationship with someone else. When you are feeling valued, relaxed, healthy, and worry-free, you'll have more of yourself to share with someone special.

To get your intimate life where you want it to be, it's important to know what you want. Consider the following questions: What does romance mean to me? What does intimacy mean to me? Is it the same or different than romance? Do I want more romance in my life? Using your answers as a guide, commit to one thing you will do this week to keep your fires burning.

About the Author

Lisa Martin, PCC (Professional Certified Coach), is the author of Briefcase Moms: 10 Proven Practices to Balance Working Mothers' Lives. She lives what she writes and talks about. A working mother with 20 years of corporate and entrepreneurial experience, she is the founder and president of Briefcase Moms?, an international coaching and personal development company with a mission to "make it easier for working mothers to live balanced and successful lives." She helps professionals, executives and entrepreneurs succeed in all areas of their lives- career, family and personal fulfillment. Subscribe to her free newsletter at:

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