One of the facets of our lives that changes once our kids are born is romance. It’s sad but true. There are enormous obligations on our time and energy, and in many cases, our romantic life takes a backseat to sleep or our never-ending to-do list.

It doesn’t have to be that way, of course. But it takes creativity, planning, and cooperation with your spouse to improve the situation. This list is for working dads who are trying to thread the needle between work, sleep, and romance with their wife.

1. Forget the Ads

Don’t be fooled into thinking that you can set up a couple of old school bathtubs on the side of a mountain somewhere and with the assistance of pharmacology, rekindle your romance. Life is not a 30-second television advertisement. The first step is to realize there are no gimmicks that will help foster a more lasting romantic relationship with your mate.

2. Be Nice

Okay, this may sound silly, but it’s true. During the crazy and hectic days of our lives, we often forget to do the sweet and thoughtful things that we used to do for one another. We also become so comfortable with each other that our words and tone can sometimes be less than kind. When you wake up each morning, take a moment and vow to speak more kindly to your partner. It will be noticed and appreciated.

3. Create a Schedule

It’s important to build in “together” time. This can be time for the two of you to sit on the couch and talk, take a long walk or share a meal. The important thing is to make it a priority and, if necessary, schedule it.

4. Romance Can Be Non-Sexual

You don’t need to jump into bed to be romantic. Change things up by romancing her mind, spirit, and funny bone. You can play cards, do improv games or read books together. By taking things out of the bedroom, it might open up new avenues for you to connect as a couple and make things more romantic as a result.

5. Go Back in Time

Ask yourself, what was it that made you and your wife connect in the first place? Was it sports? Cooking? Church? Yoga? Think about ways that you can incorporate those things back into your life today, and that might go a long way towards rekindling some romance in your life.

6. Don’t Be Tired

This might be a stretch, but at the end of a long day when all you want to do is crash for seven hours, try to devote some quality time to your spouse. Build in 15-20 minutes to ask her about her day, her feelings, and her goals. Taking that time to re-establish a connection will help to cement the foundation of your relationship.

7. Build New Memories

Creating a romantic culture in your marriage takes time, effort, and commitment. Remember, you had it once and can get it again. However, it will take work and won’t happen overnight. You can take some trips alone together and increase the number of date nights. Those steps will help foster new memories for you as a couple and not just as parents.