You work all day, come home, get dinner together, put your kid to bed, eat dinner yourself, often in front of the TV, all the while exchanging a few words here and there with your spouse. It’s not until you’ve both decompressed, which is usually about bedtime, that you can turn to each other and mean it when you say: “How are you?” But before your partner can finish the answer, you’ve drifted off to sleep.
Couples with kids and demanding jobs have it hard. You get so caught up in the day-to-day that it becomes a chore to try to stay connected. You know you need to have Date Nights but then there’s getting the babysitter, finding time in your schedule, staying awake, spending the money… All of that. I get it, believe me. It’s tough, we just have to be tougher.
BC (Before Child) hubby and I used go and to all kinds of interesting things, now… not so much. Though simply because we’re parents doesn’t mean our life as a couple is over, we just have to work harder to attain it. We used to have Kid Free time by going out with other couples or to parties, then slowly realized even though we had Kid Free time it wasn’t Our Time. We weren’t reconnecting because we were always surrounded by other people.
What we started doing is having our Date Night sometime during the week. Twice a month on a Tuesday or a Wednesday and it’s just a few hours. Not the usual dinner and a movie, I fall asleep before the opening credits are over. But just a quiet dinner where we talk about our day. And each time, it sounds hokey, but I fall in love with him just a little bit more. When we’re just chit-chatting over pasta I see that charming boy who wooed me in college instead of the man who forgot to take out the trash. It’s good stuff.
I know it’s hard to carve out time for each other, but I encourage you to do so because you owe it to yourselves. Also when mommy and daddy are on the same page and happy, it makes a happy home. I never want to be one of those couples who wake up after their kids leave the nest and wonder who is this stranger they’re living with.
Connecting with your spouse, we all need to do it. Here’s a few ideas to help make the magic happen:
- After the kids are down sit out on the porch with a glass of wine, a beer, light a candle and just talk. Not about anything on a To Do list, just shoot the breeze.
- Find a mommy friend who can come over and look after your kids while you have Date Night, then do the same for her.
- Make it a priority. Schedule a date one month from now and treat it as a doctor appointment that cannot be rescheduled.
- Change it up. There’s a lot you can do in two hours, dinner, bowling, a long walk, shoot, even a high-school syle smooch fest.
- Just do it.