I counsel a lot of parents who feel guilty or feel that itâ??s selfish to want to spend some â??alone timeâ? with their partners without the kids. I always tell my patients that it is definitely not wrong, and they are not bad parents if they crave some time and space away from the kids.

It is also not abnormal that intimacy in the relationship decreases and their sex lives are affected. Exhaustion is often the cause of this, but there is hope! It just takes each partner putting in a little more effort with the things that are important to them.

In order for children to have a stable home, the relationship between their parents should be stable too.

Common traps that couples experience during the parenting phase:

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Romantic dinners became take-aways, and moms often become self-conscious after gaining weight during pregnancy. On the occasional evening out, parents felt guilty leaving the baby with a baby-sitter, and worry about it the whole night. On weekdays, they felt guilty for leaving the baby at day-care, and worry about not spending enough quality time with it.

As a result, all their â??quality timeâ?? gets spent on the child, and not on each other. And the quality of their relationship can deteriorate to such an extent that they felt like strangers sleeping in the same bed.

Any attempts at romance are rejected due to exhaustion, or headaches or just a general lack of desire. Their sex life becomes almost non-existent and entirely unexciting.

Here is some advice to help ensure the strength of your relationship after having kids:

Find a good babysitter

I would recommend â??word of mouthâ?? to find a reliable babysitter, and one you feel comfortable with. It is not impolite or over-protective if you want to interview the babysitter beforehand. If you have willing in-laws or grannies and grandpaâ??s that will have the little one sleep over, thatâ??s even better!

Plan a romantic evening

Now you have the kids sorted out, plan a romantic evening. Husbands, this is your time to pull out all the stops. Your partners will appreciate your effort, even if you feel that romance is cheesy.

Women grow up with romance ingrained in their hearts. The best way to make her feel loved and special is to treat her like a princess.

Go back to when you â??datedâ??. Remember her smile when she received a love letter? How good the sex was when you bought her flowers?

Make him feel like your Superman

Believe it or not, men have their own insecurities too. As their hair becomes thinner and their abs become flabs they feel age creeping up on them. They worry about retirement, they worry about providing for their families now and their safety. They worry about work and they worry about worrying too much.

It is well known that men have few close friendships where they can share all of these worries. Their partners are usually the only people they confide in, if they share their feelings at all. Ladies, tell him heâ??s your hero. Tell him how much you appreciate everything he does for you and the family. Tell him why you love him.

Men, donâ??t feel embarrassed about opening up to your partner. She is there to support you and love you.

Put worries aside

Make a decision to put all your worries aside for the evening. Look into each otherâ??s eyes and make a promise to focus on each other only. Your precious â??aloneâ?? time is for you two only.

Leave work at work. Turn your cell phones on vibrate â?? so you will still be able to tell if the baby sitterâ??s calling, but can ignore other calls. Turn the TV off. Focus on connecting. Remember those days when you could talk until 3am, and it felt as if only 20 minutes had passed? Or you could just sit on the couch together in silence, without any awkward moments? Try to re-kindle that flame. Take a deep breath. Relax.

Focus on the positive

There is so much that couples can appreciate during the parenting phase. As they take on new roles as â??momâ? and â??dadâ? they can enjoy getting to know each other again in these roles. Parenthood brings out the â??softerâ?? side in many people! Couples can also enjoy bonding with their child together â?? remember special moments like the â??first smileâ?? and laugh at the â??dirty nappyâ?? moments.

Life takes on a new meaning when you have children â?? you canâ??t be selfish anymore. Although it may be difficult at times to put your own needs second, the rewards are absolutely worth it. Just to hear your child laugh, and to see their smile when you walk in the door will make you want to live your whole life for them.