Having a strong marriage means that you connect with each other on a regular basis. This includes dating. When my kids were younger, having regular date nights was difficult, at best. More often than not, it just didn’t happen for us. Over time, we came up with some tips and tricks that helped us have that much needed alone time without having to worry about finding or paying for a babysitter.
Hot Dog Night
We would talk about “hot dog night” all week. We made it seem like a really big deal to our kids, and when the night finally came, they were so excited! We made hot dogs, roasted Brussels sprouts, and even ate ice cream on the finest china I had, with the best flatware and napkins. The kids ate their dinner at 5 and didn’t even notice that they went to bed an hour and 1/2 earlier that night. Once they were in bed, hubby and I would sit down to a nice, quiet casserole or other dinner that was just for us. We would have candles, soft music, and be able to just talk to our hearts’ content.
On the opposite spectrum, waking up earlier than our kids (easier said than done most days!) was important to us. We would have 1/2 hour or so of just us time, with a cup of hot coffee or tea to sip on while we planned our day or week. We would especially do this when we had some projects to accomplish and needed uninterrupted planning time. This isn’t easy all the time with small kids, but we aimed for at least once a month.
Hubby and I love to garden, and not just for the fresh veggies. We would love that relaxing time outside in the early evenings when we could weed and harvest together. Most of the time, we didn’t talk; we just spent the time together quietly. We would get our kids to help us when they were really little, and somehow, even then, it was still “just us” time.
Cooking Dinner and Cleaning Together
Many times, I will cook dinner and clean up by myself. That is when Dad spends time with the kids, playing a board game, reading a book, or helping them with their school work. But, at least once a week, he will be in the kitchen with me, helping me with dinner preparations and the cleanup afterwards. That is the perfect time for us to “download” our days events to each other and talk and laugh. For some reason, having your hands in hot soapy water while your man dries the dishes is very bonding. Almost as much as watching him chop onions and garlic.
Grocery Shopping Together
We consider going grocery shopping a date. Simply because our kids are at Taekwondo when we do it, and we are alone. We can plan our week’s meals together, including what he wants for lunches, and I stay on budget when he is with me. Most of the time, anyway. The old saying of “never go grocery shopping when you are hungry” includes hungry spouses who have a sweet tooth and an affection for Little Debbie Oatmeal Creme pies.
What do you do to spend time alone with your significant other?