Back-to-School Basics for Mom: Recharge Your Relationships

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Keeping Up Appearances

Hitting the salon is a good idea not just to escape your everyday routine, but for keeping yourself well-maintained for your own self-confidence and so that your partner still finds you attractive after three hours of soccer practice in the rain. Sure, economic times are tough, but you can always find time to paint your nails and toes and touch up your makeup (even just a little lipstick and mascara is better than nothing at all, even if you ARE Megan Fox). If you look good, you feel good. So lose the sweatpants and ponytail at the end of the day. If you both only have limited time at night, and the kids are everywhere, try to have some together time after the children are in bed. Invest in some pretty pajamas and cozy up on the couch to talk about your day while watching your favorite television show.

Make Time for Playtime with Your Partner

Liz Ramey, 41, of Mobile, Alabama, says that unlike the times she played hooky from high school as a teenager, "the only way I can get my place to myself is to call in sick and have a whole day of what I call 'Nooky Hooky.' It is not recommended to take this approach too often, but hey, swine flu is going around.... Couples may also consider planning a lunchtime rendezvous. Spice it up by meeting in a hotel room and surprise him with sexy lingerie and maybe some bold new moves. You'll feel like you're getting away with something sneaky, even if you meet at home. And you won't have to "keep it down" because of the kids. Remember, it's easy to fall into a sexual rut, particularly for busy couples who have been together for a long time. (Besides money, sex is the top reason for divorce in the U.S.) Toni Shirley, 43, of Temple, Georgia, says you have to literally "steal" time to be together. Since her husband works from 4 p.m. to midnight, the two enjoy making time for each other over breakfast. When the kids sleep over with friends on the weekend, they plan a special date night. "If it's important to spend time together, you will find a way. Because our time alone is limited, it just makes it more special when the opportunity arises."

Get Away from It All

Penny Surrett, 42, of Newnan, Georgia, plans an annual getaway with her husband without their two boys. "Since we've been married almost 20 years things can sometimes get a little boring, but we always take a trip alone together each year without the kids so that we can do whatever we want whenever we want." Penny also sets boundaries within her home. She provides a separate living area upstairs for her children to entertain themselves, complete with a mini-fridge to eliminate those constant visits to the kitchen for drinks and snacks.

Originally published on, September 2009.


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