Being the parent of two small children can pose a challenge on the romance department. Usually the boys wake us up at 6:00 and the rush starts to get off to school and work. When we arrive home, they are ready for an outing to the park, dinner, bath and bed. Alain and I get to spend a lot of time together with the children, but the connection we make is more about the children and about communicating essentials such as “did you remember to call AT&T about the outrageous bill?”
By the time things settle down and we have some quiet time, we lay in a comma on the couch watching a little TV and unwinding. Last week over coffee with my girlfriends, I got a couple of tips on how to squeeze in some quality time to keep the relationship healthy:
- Schedule it: it may not sound exciting and spontaneous, but it is necessary or it never happens. One new mom shared how she sets aside dinner time as adult time every so often and she lets her husband know in advance so he does not plan to fix a bike or catch up on emails. It allows them to sit down and have a grown up conversation while their baby sleeps.
- Be flexible: another friend who has two toddlers says the best time for her and her husband is lunch time while one of the children is away at school and the other takes a nap. They take a break together to eat, chat and just be a couple. The time at which this happens depends on how the day is going, but they make it a priority and it works for them.
- Get back-up: even if it’s just once a month, having a trusted person to care for your children while you and your partner go off on a date can make a world of difference. “It’s such a treat that we feel like teenagers again” said one mom. It’s also nice to change the scenery and be outside of the house doing something you both love to do.
- Burn the midnight oil: although we are very tired by the end of the day, Alain and I sometimes stay up just to spend time with each other. Sure, we could benefit from getting some much needed sleep, but those precious moments when we get to talk without interruption, or give each other a foot rub, really help to keep us healthy as a couple.
Whatever the method for squeezing in some time for you as a couple, making it a priority is a must. Any tips you want to share?