Managing the balance between children and married life can feel like a constant struggle. You used to daydream about the next time you would see your future spouse. Then the kids came along and now you daydream about a quiet day when nothing is damaged or destroyed. Find your balance between married life and raising kids so you can have the best of both worlds.
Plan Date Nights With Your Spouse
There was a time when date nights meant pretty dresses, fixing your hair and an evening out on the town.
Now those nights have turned into you wearing sweatpants, hair in a ponytail and the two of you in separate rooms.
Don't feel guilty. You're not alone.
Raising a family is exhausting. You want to spend time together but you're both so burned out from the day that it's much easier to do nothing.
Aim for at least one night a month when you and your husband get out of the house for an old-fashioned date night. Plan an activity together days in advance so you can both look forward to your date.
You can always go to dinner and a movie but try to schedule something different for each date. An outdoor concert, a moonlit picnic or ice skating give you a variety of experiences to share together.
Have Lunch Together
Lunch doesn't have to come with a child's toy. Spice up your marriage by meeting your husband for a private lunch date.
Bring food from home and sit in your husband's conference room or in the park to save money.
It doesn't matter what you eat. It only matters that you're spending quality time together.
Take a Weekend Off
For some people, it's hard to imagine being away from the kids for more than a few hours. Then there are those who jet off to the other coast for a week's vacation without a second thought.
Start with a weekend off from the kids to see what works for you.
You may actually enjoy the alone time with your spouse even more than you did before you had children.
You don't have to leave the house for a weekend off. Make the kids leave instead. Send them to a friend or family member's home for their own weekend getaway.
Just be sure you tell the person who's watching the children not to interrupt your weekend unless there's blood or vomiting. No dropping by the house to get the pink pajamas instead of the purple ones either.
Your weekend without the kids should be just as if you were spending a weekend out of town. No getting on the computer to check Email. Skip TV time unless you're watching a romantic movie. The weekend needs to be all about your marriage and will keep that spark alive.
Spend Time Together After the Kids Are in Bed
One last glass of water. Five more minutes in front of the television.
We know the tactics children use to delay "lights out." We used them plenty of times ourselves.
It's tempting to give in to prevent bedtime struggles but you and your spouse need time together just as much as your kids need sleep. Set a bedtime for your children. Stick to it.
That way, you can "meet" your husband for a secret rendezvous in the living room.
Elaborate plans aren't needed. This is just your time to be together without wondering what your children are doing.
Talk Every Day
Daddy can tell the kids how his day was around the dinner table. He can also save some of the details so you can talk more when the two of you are alone.
Read the newspaper. Laugh together. Watch funny videos. Say a lyric and see if your husband can guess the song title. Make a point every day to interact with each other, even if it's to talk about your marriage.
Talk, listen and make time for each other. Even with you both being dedicated to your children, your family's happiness depends on the health of your marriage.