Becoming a mom makes you better at lots of things; parenting, diapering, not caring when there’s applesauce on your clothes, solving calculus problems, and (sometimes surprisingly, thanks to social stereotypes our culture has arbitarily attached to parenthood) motherhood makes you a better romantic partner, too. I know, I know; mothers are supposed to "sacrifice everything," up to and including their romantic relationships, for the betterment of their children if they want to be considered "good mothers." Turns out, that's a hard "nope." So much nope.
“But, Dena,” you say, “what do you mean? One would think parenting and being romantical are mutually exclusive, like fangirling over the Backstreet Boys or *NSync, liking LaCroix or not liking LaCroix, or being Team Kimye or Team Taylor.” I hear you, friends. Believe me, I do. However, I firmly believe one can be both a great mom and a great romantic partner. The same person is well equipped not only be both, but to be great at both.
Conveniently, the life skills I’ve acquired as a mom, if we can go so far as call them "life skills," are very transferable, and I suspect this phenomenon isn’t unique to my specific situation. If anything, parenting has also made me appreciate my partner even more, so I’m even more inclined to love the crap out of him in a plethora of different ways and in various different love languages. Not to toot my own horn, but this ultimately translates to being an even better romantic partner than I was before I became a mother. I’ve compiled just a few key examples below.
Sleep? Who Needs Sleep?
I’m not sure about you guys, but I really like engaging with my romantic partner when he’s awake. So, when one forgoes sleep, as parents tend to do, our romantic partner's (or partners') stock increases by, like, three hundred percent because our waking hours have increased.
We Are Very Efficient With Time
You only have 75 minutes to squeeze in some couple time? Have no fear, we will figure out a way to watch a movie, eat dinner, take a walk, enjoy some sexy times, and scroll through our phones independently of one another; in other words, enjoy all the best things about being in a couple. Just go with it.
We’re Pretty Considerate When It Comes To Feelings
Did the contents of your ice cream cone fall onto the hot cement? Did you get stuck in traffic? Did your team lose? We will never, ever laugh about it because we understand how tragedy and feelings work.
We Have Snacks In Our Purses
My mood increases exponentially when I’m in the presence of snacks, so I can only imagine it’s the same for every other human out there. So, I suspect that becoming a mom and toting around Goldfish and those fruit puree pouches (seriously, they’re not bad) has made me much more desirable to my partner than I ever imagined I could be.
We Are So Excited For Adult Conversation That Everything You Say Sounds Awesome
Exceptions are, of course: anything racist, sexist, classist or ending with any other undesirable “ists.” Otherwise, any adult topics are fair game, and we'll be so enraptured by the conversation that you'll feel like the best conversationalist that has ever existed.
We Really, Really Appreciate The Opportunity To Dress Up And Have A Night Out And Will Never, Ever Take It For Granted
Please forgive me for playing into a specific stereotype on this one, but seriously; before kids I thought a jaunt to dinner and a movie was a nice Tuesday evening. Now? That’s a special occasion worthy of lipstick and mascara.
We Notice (And Appreciate) Everything You Do To Help, Because Then We Don’t Have To Do It
Did you help with laundry? Put away the dishes? Change a diaper or two? You're the hero I want, but not that I deserve.
We Are Creative With How We Offer Affection Because We Don't Want To Show Too Much In Front Of The Kids
No, that’s not the dog nosing at your inner knee. It’s my elbow. You’re welcome.
We Know What We Want, And We Will Ask For It
Usually, it’s like, coffee and a pastry, but still. There’s much less room for miscommunication when we’re clear and direct. We don’t have time to not be.
We Know How To Love And Support Someone. Boom.
Of course, non-parents can know these things, too. It's not like you need to procreate in order to know how to care for, cherish, appreciate, support and love another human being. Child-free people do that all the time, you guys.
However, let the record show that I’m doing these things much more now that I’m a mom than I ever did before, so I’ve got some fresh skills that I’m ready to apply in my romantic relationship (just as soon as I can make time for that 75-minute date).