Wifey Wednesday: Make Room for Quick Dates
Every married couple with children knows that your relationship with each other changes once you have kids. The definition and rules of your relationship change, and it is different for each couple. Your alone time is limited and may be filled with different activities than before you had kids.
The important thing to remember is that your marriage is not about children, it is about the two of you! Marriage and family are two independent things that just happen to go together. Your family includes your children, and it needs a strong center. Mom and Dad are the center of the family, the strong core, the anchor. However, if you don’t have a strong marriage, or relationship between husband and wife, you cannot and will not have a strong family. Period. If your children don’t see a center to their family that is love and romance and understanding and shared mission, the way they view family will change. They will see two separate parents who fill two separate functions and are like employees in a business, each performing their own jobs, not a strong unit working towards a common goal.
Remember that you and your husband made these children out of the power of your love for each other! You have children because of your love, your connection, your marriage, and that marriage is the most important part of your family. Therefore, you must remember to have your own time and activities as a couple, apart from your children, to keep that love alive!
We’re always reading in magazines the advice to hire a babysitter once a week, to have a regular date night, to spend time together. Many parents know deep down that they should, but it falls to the bottom of the priority list. There are things to do which are more pressing, urgent, and time-sensitive. There are the times when you are finally alone and all you want to do is sleep. Some days the stress of the day means romance is far from your mind! Then there are those of us who counter that hiring a babysitter is just not in the budget for legitimate financial reasons. For couples who work opposite schedules to eliminate day care, finding time together can be difficult.
How Can You Find the Time for Quick Dates?
We all want strong marriages and deep connection with our spouses, but with all the possible obstacles, how can we make it work? How do you find time for dates when the time, money, or privacy are not there?
My husband and I sneak in dates that no one else would consider a date. Sometimes when the kids are asleep at night, we’ll take a 2 minute walk down to the garage to get the laundry together. Of course, it only really takes one of us to do the chore! However, going for a little walk together, holding hands, without the kids, allows us to connect with each other at the end of the day. We walk out to the mailbox together (it is 63 steps there, and 63 steps back) and stand outside for a little chat while the kids are snoozing. After dropping off our daughter at Tae Kwon Do, we once took a drive to the gas station together (baby asleep in the back). Not a very glamorous date, I’ll admit, but we could talk about our day without having distractions or chores to do or other things coming up that were “urgent”.
So our dates have been downgraded to laundry, checking the mail, and getting fuel?! No! Occasionally we have a traditional “date” where the kids have a babysitter and we go do some activity. Nevertheless, the little dates- the quick 5 minute dates that we sneak into our daily lives – allow us to keep our connection strong on a regular basis. They allow us to be together without the kids, to hold hands or hug or sit on the stairs right outside our front door and just drink a cup of coffee. Quick dates don’t kill the budget, don’t take a lot of time, and don’t take lots of planning. Start looking for opportunities for quick dates in your day, and you’ll start to see them popping up all over!
Some ideas: Getting the laundry, getting the mail, taking out the trash, dropping/picking up kids, at the park, early bedtime for the grownups, hide in the pantry for a quick smooch after a long day, make a meal together, get up 15 minutes before the kids and have coffee together. The possibilities are endless!
Sneak in quick dates as often as possible to keep your relationship strong!