by Dr Becky Spelman, We-Vibe’s Relationship Expert

Dr Becky Spelman writes for Female First

Dr Becky Spelman writes for Female First

The back to school season is often one of very mixed emotions. Kids are excited to be returning to their friends, but also fed up at the thought of having to put on a uniform and settle down to doing their homework every evening. Parents often miss the relaxed evenings they have spent together as a family all summer long, but also (sometimes with a degree of guilt) look forward with anticipation to not having to care for their children or scramble to arrange summer camps. Getting the kids back to school can also be very expensive, with new uniforms, books, and sports kits to purchase.

Amid the stresses and strains of this time of year, young parents with children can find that their relationship is taking a back seat. There may be less money to go around, so date night gets put off time and again. Little ones starting school, or older children moving up to secondary school, may need a lot of emotional support and time, and the pressure of having to get up early, get packed lunches ready, and have meals on the table at regular intervals—rather than the more relaxed summer routine—can all mean that Mum and Dad are distracted all the time and have little emotional space for one another.

Is it really possible to keep the romance alive when there is so much else going on? The answer is definitely “yes”. Establishing a routine for the whole family, with meals consumed, homework done, and winding down for the night carried out at predictable intervals makes it easier for busy parents to ensure that they carve out some precious time for one another. Funds may be tight, but date night doesn’t have to mean going out for a meal or to the cinema; it’s all about spending the evening devoted to one another and to your relationship. This can involve something as simple as leaving the ironing in the clean laundry basket, getting the kids to bed, and then enjoying a movie on Netflix together while having a cuddle on the sofa.

The tone for the whole family is set by the mood and behaviour of Mum and Dad, so investing time in one another is not just good for you and your relationship, but for your little ones as well.