We always make time for our kids or else we’re bad parents. If we don’t make time for our spouses, what does that make us?
Anyone who’s ever gotten up at 3am to change a diaper knows that kids take a super-human amount of energy to raise. Just when you think you’re out of the woods with the switch from crib to bed, there are suddenly a whole other slew of challenges, like searching for the right school, arranging sleep-overs, shopping for school supplies. Where would you possibly fit in time with your spouse to connect, let alone have a romantic evening or heaven forbid make love!
‘Date night’ is such a ubiquitous phrase that it’s now even the title of a blockbuster movie. But that doesn’t make it any less necessary. Plan on a movie or a play, a comedy show or some live music, and do it now. Get out your calendars and pencil each other in. Otherwise you’ll find weeks go by in endless routine with you and your partner passing like two ships in the night. If you can’t find or afford a babysitter, turn to your friends with kids. Maybe you can switch off with them for another night where you babysit for them?
Many marriage counselors agree that an average of fifteen minutes of ‘talk time’ with your spouse is a healthy daily average for keeping in touch. And keeping in touch means staying connected on an emotional level, which is the foundation of romance. When schedules get crazy, time for parents to connect is the first thing to go, in favor of finding out what happened to Johnny at school today or who’s dance lesson was canceled. We always make time for our kids or else we’re bad parents. If we don’t make time for our spouses, what does that make us?
It’s so tempting to divide tasks between you as a couple. I’ll take Johnny to soccer, you mow the lawn. But sometimes the indulgent carefree exercise of doing things together can really add a dash of romance when you’re feeling stressed. Let the lawn grow and watch your kid’s soccer game together. You might even find your arms around each other sharing a soda.
Don’t wait until the kids are grown to connect with your spouse, because you may find that by the time you decide you have time, it will be too late! And the kids won’t suffer without you during your date nights or alone time, in fact it will make them trust and respect your relationship – values that will help them to have successful adult relationships too.