Reader Lisa B. asks:
“What do you do to keep your connection and relationship with your spouse strong,
romantic, and all that good stuff?”
First of all, thanks for the question! This is a very important topic that I think a lot of women struggle with. In fact, when I fell pregnant, many, many women told me that my life would change forever. That it’d never just be Maks and I again. And you know what? They were right… though maybe not in the negative way they meant it.
I’m going to get corny here, but Maks is the love of my life. I wake up happy and go to bed happy, in large part, because I have him in my life. He’s my other half and the person I created this amazing little person with.
Before becoming parents, it was just Peta and Maks. We loved going out on dinner dates. We loved socializing with friends. We loved stepping out into the nightlife. We didn’t want to completely lose that – lose that connection with each other – so early on in our pregnancy, we made a promise to each other to put in the work and keep feeding that intimacy.
Although Shai is, without a doubt, our top priority, that doesn’t mean he’s our only priority. Like everything in life, it’s about making time for what matters – and making the most of that time when you have it.
Communication is So, So, So Important
We’re very in tune with each other’s moods and schedules. So, like, when Maks knows I haven’t left the house in a couple of days, he gives me that little push out the door. Sometimes that’s a family walk around our neighborhood or driving around looking at houses, and sometimes it’s a full-fledged date night and a chance to spice things up. Lately, our “Sunday Thing” has been driving to Malibu with Bubby, hitting Geoffrey’s, then a stroll around the Village. Of course, if it’s going to be a late night (I’m talking anything after 10 pm) I have to have double espressos otherwise I will 100% fall asleep.
Physical Intimacy Is Always Fun
I think, as dancers we are very in tune with our bodies. We definitely do not have any problems with the attraction or displaying our affection (probably too much for some people – haha). We also shower together about 5 times a week – which is amazing on an emotional level, as well as the obvious sexual. Even though he SPRAYS ME WITH COLD WATER EVERY TIME I GET IN THERE, it’s time to ourselves, to reconnect and talk about our days.
Spontaneity – eh, Within Reason
While we can’t be as spontaneous now (feedings come first!), we try to keep some elements of spontaneity in our lives. He will bring home flowers or surprise me with concert tickets. I will make reservations at a hot new dinner spot or write him loving notes.
Appreciate the Little Things
I love the way he makes sure I take my vitamins in the morning, the way he makes the bed if I haven’t had time, the way he calls me to tell me he loves. Little things like this don’t go unnoticed. I see everything. And I make sure he knows how much I appreciate everything he does for our family.
Rely on Your Support Network
Grandparents are amazing and the little things they do help probably more than they know. For instance, if Maks and I need a little alone time, his mum or my mum will take Shai for a long walk around the neighborhood. We’re also fortunate enough to have a nanny who can take him for a few to go read books or play. A half an hour here and there really add up.
Anything Can Be Date Night
Attending fundraisers and events are part of being a celebrity. Before Shai, Maks and I used to do two every week. Obviously, we can’t do that many now, but when we do have to attend events or make red carpet appearances, it totally counts as a date night. We’re spending time together, dressing up (which we both love), and doing our job as celebrities. That’s like the ultimate in self-care multitasking.
Keeping a strong relationship with your spouse – especially after a world-changing event like starting a family – is about balance. It’s about knowing that you can be a good mom (or dad!) even if you go out on a movie date night. It’s about recognizing that your partner is going through the same emotional changes as you are. It’s about seeing love as an infinite thing – you can love your child unconditionally and still have copious amounts of love for your spouse. And lastly, it’s about loving yourself unconditionally because finding that balance takes time, work, and even a little trial and error.
Photo Credit: Peta Murgatroyd