A couple with their daughter


Being A Parent During A Pandemic Means There’s Little Time For Romance

Aug 24, 2020

The pandemic is definitely making romance a little more complicated. I'm spending week after week, day after day and hour after hour with the same person in the same space. And even though you love the person you're with, you begin to wonder what it is about them you like (now that I'm privy to every phone call, every distraction and every sound their body makes).

It’s very challenging trying to be romantic when you know what the other person has had for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Conversations can be a struggle because there's less to talk about when you’re with each other all the time.

Cohabitation confinement is real. We're all with our families and partners more than we have ever been. Usually, I had the opportunity of going to an office, grabbing lunch with a colleague or making dinner plans with friends. But now all of those things are grouped together and my partner has become my gym buddy, officemate and roommate.

So how does one maintain an amorous connection with their partner instead of being constantly annoyed with them, when you are never more than a room away from each other?

This couple decided to set a regular date for sex in their pandemic schedule so they have time for just the two of them. Read about how they made Monday their fun day here.

At the beginning of the pandemic, it was hard doing anything. It was cold, unsettling and all hope for a regular routine was lost. It was hard to figure out where I belonged, let alone how time for passion with my partner could be scheduled. We tried to stay zen as feelings were heightened and to figure out what to do and how we could adapt under the circumstances. But it became hard to find solitude to reflect on the day, let alone spend time together — especially when our attention wasn’t focused on the kid.

"... if we’re not completely exhausted by the end of the day after working, parenting and caregiving, we can attempt to add romance to the list."

Feeling attractive is also harder when your wardrobe has shifted from skinny jeans to jogging pants, and you haven’t been to the salon, aesthetician or gym in six months. Gone are the days of calling up a babysitter to come over and watch the kid, while we go to dinner, a movie or to the theatre. Now sleepovers at grandparents’ houses only exist if they're in your bubble.

Daily romance can seem like a chore when we’re constantly together as a family. There aren’t a lot of reasons to dress up, get your hair done or wear lipstick anymore unless it’s for a Zoom meeting, but I know people who are still trying. I have some friends that wake up early to go for a walk in a park together, make delicious candlelit dinners or take long scenic drives to a waterfall. But I'm a parent, so I have to be OK with my kid getting tired from walking for hours in the great outdoors or wishing the intricate pasta dish I made was just plain noodles with butter.

Spontaneity and extreme excitement over things may have dwindled because priorities have shifted, so I need to be more strategic with what little time we may have. If we finish work early, we can’t necessarily go out for an impromptu drink, bike ride or afternoon romp while daycare is in. Trying to schedule a couple of hours in the week for just my partner and myself to get close while getting activities in for each other is key. This way, if we’re not completely exhausted by the end of the day after working, parenting and caregiving, we can attempt to add romance to the list.

It's OK to have privilege, says Vanessa Magic, it just matters what you do with it. Read her story here.

These days date night is sitting close, holding hands and watching a movie, or building a challenging puzzle with a nice bottle of wine or ordering takeout food from our favourite restaurant (but we still have to do the dishes). It's also waking up early and having a coffee and a cuddle together, or cooking a meal side by side in matching aprons or giving each other small gifts from the once-a-week grocery shop. Sometimes we just makeout in another room after bedtime's done.

At the end of the day our batteries are low and trying to recharge has been more challenging than ever. I wish there was a place to plug myself in so I could have more energy for myself and my partner. But for now we need to be the constants in each other’s lives — even though it’s more constant than we ever thought we would have to be.

Now, romance is about gentle touches, finding time at the end of the day to be with each other and being able to share feelings openly and honestly — especially in these times of uncertainty. At this point, having even a few moments of deep focused connection is the best way to be romantic together.

Article Author Vanessa Magic
Vanessa Magic

Vanessa Magic is a writer, award-winning costume designer and musician. She loves making up magical stories and singing songs to her adorable four-year-old son. When she is not in mama mode, she facilitates workshops with Inclusive Stylist Toronto, an initiative she co-founded that encourages inclusivity within the film industry for costume design and wardrobe styling. Currently, she is a participant in the BIPOC Film and TV Kids writing workshop where she is developing an afro-futurist science-based show.

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