Tuesday, November 21, 2006

The Many Faces of Romance

Remember those first few years of courtship. Everything was new. Every look and touch was special. Every night, you went to sleep with a small smile on your lips and in your heart – thinking about that one moment that he did something that made your heart beat just a little faster. You got out of bed each morning with a spring in your step, waiting to meet him again. What a wonderful time that was…

And then romance met the daily monotony of married life. Life changed, if not dramatically atleast noticeably. You’d wake up in the morning and rush about your morning routine, in a hurry to get a jumpstart on the day. And the last words you’d exchange at night would probably be something like “Did you remember to switch on the washing machine?” Things that were cute and attractive in the pre-marriage days now became irritants. What was admired as ‘attention to detail’ got re-branded as ‘control freak’ and what was endearing as ‘easygoing’, now translated into ‘lazy and careless.’

But life went on and you fell in love again with the person your spouse really was and not the polished, best-foot-forward side that you got to see when you were both still trying to impress each other. You began to see the romance in little, everyday moments of thoughtfulness rather than the grand gestures of the past. You looked for little ways to create small moments that would lift life beyond being ordinary. And it really helped that you still had loads of that valuable commodity – time. Evenings, weekends, holidays – they were all opportunities ensure that romance did not die an untimely death.

But then that valuable community got seriously depleted by the arrival of THE BABY. All free time is now invested in him – evenings mean trips to the park, weekends mean quality time with Ayaan and holidays (as I have previously said) shouldn’t really be called holidays any more! Romance takes yet another beating but still manages to squeeze into the cramped spaces left between work, sleep and Ayaan time. It often takes forms that non-parents might find really mundane – it could be something as seemingly ordinary as letting your spouse sleep in even when you yourself are sleep-deprived or baby-sitting a cranky toddler to allow your spouse a much-deserved break to catch the cricket match or squeeze in the much-postponed trip to the beauty parlour.

So take heart all you to-be spouses and parents, romance does stand a chance even in the face of the dual battering rams of marriage and parenthood. You just have to learn to recognise and appreciate it in its different avatars.

While on the topic of romance, I was also thinking about the romance that a mother shares with her child. This is quite different from love or bonding because these are of a more enduring and consistent nature. This romance is about brief moments of magic – they may not make your heart beat faster like the other kind of romance but they still do have the power to turn your insides to mush. Here are some illustrations of the ‘romantic’ moments that I share with Ayaan:

  • When he’s resting his head on my shoulder and suddenly lifts his head, looks into my eyes and gives me a gentle, contented smile.
  • When he’s busy playing with his toys and then suddenly looks up at me and says ‘Mama’ and then goes back to playing.
  • When I come back home, he runs towards me with his arms outstretched – it’s a moment that’s comparable to any Bollywood movie reunion scene.
  • When he’s sitting in my lap and he holds my hand and lovingly caresses it, finger by finger.
  • When he’s eating something that he really loves (like plain corn flakes) and he offers me a bite.
  • When he gives me a ‘flying kiss’ when I put him into his cot at night.

These are the moments that sustain me in my time away from him. Whenever I am feeling low, I only need to bring Ayaan's face to my mind, smiling with utter devotion and saying ‘Mama’…


  1. that was quite awesome really. but really, they say marriage is all that and the romance and the sweet nothings vanish when the two r living under the same roof.

    Its a bit of a freaky thought i think- that one! but the bit about the baby, thats wonderful! glad i stumbled upon ur blog.


  2. you do know how to put it nicely :)

  3. that was so sensibly put...without romanticising all the difficulties....Ayaan truly has a good mother in you.

    as for Romance...i feel it too... the first few stages...then the next...im at the "responsibility" stage now...but yes our pastor has told us to take time out in a day and go do something fun, even if its not something all that exciting.

  4. and that's a post that nearly made me wish I could get pregnant like five minutes ago!

  5. awww... so cute.. very well written.. I think its our kids who really complete us not hubby:-)

  6. wow! iam all mush now. sigh! wonderfully written. u must've written this with a huge smile on ur face! :)

  7. It must be nice to have a child with someone you really love a lot. You do a nice job of accurately describing your feelings.

  8. Great write up and it's so true.There is no love like a child's love for his/her mother:))

    Enjoy all those moments and cherish it!

  9. Very nice post. And so true. Romance before and after marriage/and after baby. After baby really it's a whole different deal - I also find it in those moments when both of us revel in the joy of some little thing that the child does - the one common bond that is sure to bring joy to both of us. Yes allowing the other person to sleep in a little longer is truly romantic after baby arrives! :)

  10. [Itchingtowrite] Thanks :)

    [Rt]Sweet nothings may vanish but romance certainly does not have to...

    [Sudha] Thanks :)

    [Grafx] In your case, the long distance aspect must be still keeping things from becoming routine, no?

    [Beks] I guess I compensated for the effect that my last post had on you then...

    [Mommyof2] I agree because marriage doesn't change you much as a person but motherhood does and it makes you into the person that you are going to be for the rest of your life...

    [Sneha] A wistful smile though - since I was travelling for the day and asway from Ayaan when I wrote it...

    [Peter] Hi. Thanks for dropping by. Having a child with someone is the only way to do it, in my opinion.

    [Asha] I do, especially since I know it's pretty shortlived. Soon he will be no longer be a baby but will be a boy who is embarassed to have his mom hug or kiss him in public.

    [Noon] But try telling that to a non-baby person, and they will think that your concept of romance is really lame...

  11. Nice post. one of most romantic moments were when i was haviny my first baby and the stupid epidural made me naseus, my dh got me th bin to throw and held my hair back and rubbed my back!
    Also when he spends time with the girls doing a craft or kicking a ball with Neil or burping Samar after i feed him(and i dont even need to ask him), just melts mt heart!

  12. Absolutely right. But I sometimes feel I am more mushy now than I was pre-marriage. It seemed really uncool to hang on his arm then. Motherhood has made me shameless. Its also made me realise how time flies... so now I hang on his arm...hold his hand even while he's driving and hug him while he shaves ...extra mushy? i dont know.. i think i've fallen in love with him more since we had the baby... got to see a gentle compassionate side that is beautiful. as for the goodnight kiss being replaced by have you turned on the washig machine... one reason why i am delaying going back to work is that i enjoy finishing up chores during the day and giving our relationship time... its rare that i get him to do anything unless it invovles lifting something heavy...

    as for the baby bit... ditto ditto ditto..

  13. Aw shoot... just when I'd decided both the 'men' in my life amounted to nothing, too!

    You owe me one bad bout of grumbling, remember.

  14. [Sraikh] See what I mean. Try telling a young 20-something that holding back hair and patting back during a puke session is romantic...

    [Mad Momma] I agree on giving the relationship time. One of the reasons why I put Ayaan to bed by 9 p.m. is so that we can atleast have some time in the day when we are not being parents...

    [Sue] Bring it on :)

  15. Re the babies bit - inspiring to say the very least.

    Re: the romance - so so true, the colour of romance changes with time as do expectations and the ways of being giving.

  16. [30in2005] It is inspiring to be loved that way too - I don't think anyone else ever does - and this too lasts for such a short while.

  17. Very well written post.

    Unless we find time for romance in life, life becomes so boring. Most people think romance is a big thing that needs a lot of time. To me romance is the unexpected kiss, a small surprise gift, unannounced lunch date... small things... things to remind each other that we are still trying to impress each other.

    About the kid and the romance, as Mad Momma said, ditto :)

  18. You brought back the memories of the post I made year-and half back. Check it out.

  19. Forgot to mention in my previous comment...if it isn't apparent...

    I didn't write that myself.

  20. Very well said. And very true too. Wonder where romance went - post baby. Or like hubby says - now I have a new lover - my sonny, who many a times pushes aside hubby - when he thinks hubby is hogging too much of "mommy-time". But I luv both the men in my life - only difference being - the little one gets more demonstration. I wonder why? Hmmmmm....must give hubby some lovey too....

  21. may be this comments section will begin and end with the same thing, like some movies do: cute.

  22. [Twisted DNA] Completely agree...

    [Ambuj] Thanks for dropping by. And yes it was fairly obvious :)

    [Somethingtosay] Ayaan does that too. If he's clinging to me, he objects to Jai coming within 5 feet of us!!

    [Nandhu] :)

  23. lovely post Rohini... set me thinking too :)

  24. [Sapna] Thanks :)

  25. Rohini, that was so awesome. And so true. Thanks for giving me something to smile about as I go to bed.

    And I finally did your tag.

  26. [Talena] Thanks :)

  27. nice rohini- it is really falling in love again when one has a baby and the moments of reward are awesome

  28. [Artnavy] Agree. It kind of expands your capacity to love another human being

  29. Hi Rohini,

    It is a deep and swoony love that these little people bring out in us, you are too right and you have described the feelings well.