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16 ways for busy parents to fall in love all over again

10. Plan a vacation together—no kids allowed.  

16 ways for busy parents to fall in love all over again

By: Casey Caston

When my wife Meygan and I got married 13 years ago, I honestly thought our love would never fade. There was so much passion in our relationship that we must have been on some kind of love high.


Remember how sweet and passionate things were when you were first dating? I’m sure those days included a lot of handholding, kissing, cuddling, date nights, surprises, gifts and dreaming together.

Those were the days when you couldn’t get enough of each other and wanted to spend every waking moment in their arms.

I remember one night we talked until sunrise without even realizing it. We would try to top each other with our cheesy love notes and struggled to keep our hands off each other.

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Fast forward past our wedding day, the honeymoon and 13 years of marriage. There are kids, bills, piles of laundry, meetings at work and a never ending to-do list. We’re exhausted.

Maybe you can see yourself in our love story.

Has hand holding been replaced with pointing fingers?

Has conversation been replaced with silence?

Has connection been replaced with loneliness?

We like to geek out about marriage so here are some powerful yet simple ideas to renew that passionate love you had in the beginning. But first, let me explain why this is important.

Dr. John Gottman, the nation’s leading marriage researcher, suggests that couples hoping to spark romance need to turn towards each other even when they don’t feel like it. Yes, even when you’re exhausted or irritated. Friendship is absolutely essential to thriving marriages. In relationships that thrive, partners consistently make and receive bids for positive connection.

Here are 16 practical ways for you to start turning towards each other.

1. Schedule a next date night and keep the plans a surprise.

The anticipation will spark a renewed sense of fun.

2. Practice the daily 60 second blessing.

This is a daily habit of affirming the positive qualities you see in each other. Watch a quick video where we explain what this looks like here.

3. Send flirty texts to each other throughout the day.

Trust me, your partner will appreciate it.

4. Make foreplay a priority.

Make more room in your calendar to make out before sex.

5. Be affectionate and playful with each other in front of others.

It’s not enough to just brag to each other in private, it’s significant to compliment your spouse in public.

6. Start a new hobby together.

Brainstorm some ideas and create a list of shared interests.

7. Show appreciation by saying “Thank you,” and “I appreciate all you do.”

This goes a long way in showing respect to each other.

8. Take a walk hand in hand.

Nothing gets the blood moving and the connection juices flowing like taking a walk around the block.

9. Focus on the positive qualities of each other by writing them down.

Then post them around the house.

10. Plan a vacation together—no kids allowed.

It doesn’t even have to be extravagant, but time alone is so important.

11. Dream together—it helps build security.

Have you created a dream board where you jot down your goals or things you want to do together? Go for it!

12. Pay attention to your spouse more than you pay attention to your phone & TV.

Less screen time, more face time.

13. Reminisce...

about your favorite date nights, wedding day, honeymoon, and travels together by pulling out old photos.

14. Learn something new about your spouse.

Pick up a deck of Love Map cards which contain fun questions to ask each other. Stay thirsty, I mean curious, my friends.

15. Buy a new board game and have a game night together.

Clothing optional. ?

16. Join the Gottman Institute for one of our monthly marriage webcasts.

Learn something new in your marriage.


This article was originally published at The Gottman Institute.

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There is rightfully a lot of emphasis on preparing for the arrival of a new baby. The clothes! The nursery furniture! The gear! But, the thing about a baby registry is, well, your kids will keep on growing. Before you know it, they'll have new needs—and you'll probably have to foot the bill for the products yourself.

Thankfully, you don't have to break the bank when shopping for toddler products. Here are our favorite high-quality, budget-friendly finds to help with everything from meal time to bath time for the toddler set.

Comforts Fruit Crisps Variety Pack

Comforts fruit snacks

If there is one thing to know about toddlers, it is this: They love snacks. Keeping a variety on hand is easy when the pack already comes that way! Plus, we sure do appreciate that freeze-dried fruit is a healthier alternative to fruit snacks.

Comforts Electrolyte Drink

Comforts electrolyte drink

Between running (or toddling!) around all day and potentially developing a pickier palate, many toddlers can use a bit of extra help with replenishing their electrolytes—especially after they've experienced a tummy bug. We suggest keeping an electrolyte drink on hand.

Comforts Training Pants

Comforts training pants

When the time comes to start potty training, it sure helps to have some training pants on hand. If they didn't make it to the potty in time, these can help them learn their body's cues.

Comforts Nite Pants

comforts nite pants

Even when your toddler gets the hang of using the toilet during the day, nighttime training typically takes several months longer than day-time training. In the meantime, nite pants will still help them feel like the growing, big kid they are.

Comforts Baby Lotion

comforts baby lotion

Running, jumping, playing in sand, splashing in water—the daily life of a toddler can definitely irritate their skin! Help put a protective barrier between their delicate skin and the things they come into contact with every day with nourishing lotion.

Another great tip? Shopping the Comforts line on Comfortsforbaby.com to find premium baby products for a fraction of competitors' prices—and follow along on social media to see product releases and news at @comfortsforbaby.

This article was sponsored by The Kroger Co. Thank you for supporting the brands that support Motherly and mamas.

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