Parenting and Passion…Not Mutually Exclusive (Part 2)
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You plan everything else in your day—when to get up, take the kids to school, doctor’s appt, hair appt (what’s that?), grocery shopping, cooking, homework time, nap time, sports practices…. Are these all important? You bet!
You also plan family fun activities, like going to the zoo, the park, a movie, play dates, trips, etc. Are these all important? You bet!
But what’s missing??? Actually, two things…time for yourself and time for your mate. Taking care of yourself is extremely important, and will need to be the topic of another blog. For right now, I would like to make suggestions about what you can do with the kids in order to have couple time. “Easier said than done,” you might say. And, you are probably right! Easier to get divorced than remain in a loving relationship? Probably not.
What to do with the kids in order to have couple time:
- Take advantage of nap times.
- Come home for lunch when the kids are in school.
- Send the kids to a night at their grandparents, loving aunt and uncle or distant cousin.
- Swap sitter nights with your friend. You watch their kids one night, they yours another.
- Hire a babysitter to take the kids to the park on the weekend.
- Let your kids spend a night with their friends.
- Shower together.
- Go to bed when the kids do—yes, that might mean leaving the chores go until morning. Either way, you are going to be one of the dwarves in the morning: Happy or Grumpy. You choose…or, better yet, let your family choose.
- Pre-make several dinners on the weekend and freeze; or, when you make dinner, double or triple the recipe so you can have another dinner or two ready for another night. Not having to cook every night will be less tiring, and probably less frustrating.
- Go to bed ½ hour earlier—yes, before the news is over.
- Get up ½ hour earlier—yes, before the news comes on.
- Turn off the TV or better yet, take it out of your bedroom.
- Put on Saturday morning cartoons. Actually, kids will just do that themselves, if you don’t mind cereal on the rug. Have acceptable edibles put out for them.
- Have a video and popcorn night for the kids.
- Go out on a date on a regular basis. Don’t talk about the kids. Don’t let them call you.
- Schedule Sunday afternoon as quiet time, where everyone goes to their rooms for an hour to nap, read, play by themselves.
- Spend a night in a great hotel and order room service.
- Take a long weekend together one or two times a year to rediscover each other and leave the parenting responsibilities and intrusions at home.
- Take a family vacation that has sitter service—and use it!
- Put your kids in childcare at church, gym, etc. and then play hooky and run home for a little while. It’s drastic, I know. However, as long as the kids are looked after…
- Take advantage of mom’s/parent’s day/night out at some of the religious institutions.
- Get your kids out of your bed. Generally, if your kids are sleeping with you, they are serving a purpose…to be a buffer for you to avoid being intimate. How’s that working for your marriage? What message does that give your kids?
- Sleep alone if your spouse is away. Do NOT have the kids sleep in your bed when daddy or mommy has to travel. This sets up a terrible precedent, and can actually lead the kids to believe that it’s better to have their parent gone, because then they get to be with the other.
- Call each other by your first names, or rather some nickname or pet name. If you call each other Mommy and Daddy, there isn’t much room for other identities. Terms of endearment are special and actually give your kids that feeling of security and happiness.
- Show affection in front of your kids. Hugging, kissing, holding hands, arms around each other are all great examples for your kids of what a loving relationship is like.
- Sit next to each other. If you continually sit on opposite ends of the couch, or with the kids in between you, the message is clearly one of separation.
Enjoy your kids…but first enjoy each other!
Happy Valentine’s Day…all year long!