Work. Cooking. Cleaning. Kids run around, scream and ask questions. The TV is in the loudest volume because of the screaming kids. Bills are waiting to be paid, house issues, headache… and your mother is on the phone!
What do you mean by “couple time”?
Before you ask why I don’t write an article how to survive those evenings mentally (I’m on it actually), let me explain how important the connection with your spouse is.
Do you remember those amazing moments when you were waking up on Saturday morning with the only plan not to have a plan? You had free time for coffee, walk to the park, shopping and delicious dinner with the love of your life… And then THEY came. The most incredible, sweet and loving creatures in your life – your kids. You adore them… most of the time. And they adore you… even when they are trying to put a piece of green playdoh in your mouth (it’s a strawberry pie, Mummy! A green one!).
And when THEY came, everything went into the world of chaos and had never come back. The last couple time was somewhere in the past (probably when you conceived your second child?), and you have some rare moments of looking into your spouse’s eyes and wondering if you will ever get another chance to be together while your bodies are still capable of giving and taking pleasure.
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You are not alone in this.
Almost every couple has those problems and struggles with finding fare solutions for them. It is critical to find the answers for you because the happy parents raise happy children. First family values that children experience are at home, and those values will be the base of their family one day. Respect, support and kindness are the keys to a healthy family, and the first relationship in the family is the one between the parents. Do not forget that the kids are the fruits of that relationship, so keep it going in the right way.
What time do your children go to sleep? If your average time of going to sleep is 11 p.m. or even earlier, your kids should be in bed at least two hours before that. I know that the preparations before the actual moment of putting them in the beds is long and take half of your strength so ask your spouse to help you – saves time and the kids have a chance to enjoy the presence of both parents. Once in the bed, it is going to take them a while to fall asleep, but that will happen. And then you will have at least one hour to spend just the two of you together.
So what to do with that couple time?
If you succeeded with the previous step, don’t think that everything is settled. Usually, this is the moment when we start to talk about.. kids, bills, problems that need to be solved. Forget about all of that. This one or two hours are the free time for you and your partner. Have a glass of wine, watch a movie or just cuddle and feel the other’s warmth. Having those small moments will help you release the stress from the day and will prepare you for relaxing sleep. Even if you don’t have the luck to “create” moments like that every evening, you should have them at least two or three times weekly.
Do not be desperate! Last five times you tried to “steal” those two hours alone with your partner, one of the kids had “monsters under the bed”, and the other was as thirsty as a man in the desert. That shouldn’t discourage you. With the time it will be easier for the children to fall asleep by the time you want them to. Just remember why you need hose evenings and don’t allow something to distract you from the plans to spend time with the love of your life.
Grandparents, Nanny, aunts and uncles, friends
There must be at least one person around you that will agree once a month to spend two or three hours with your kids, while you and your partner go out for a movie or a dinner. If you have friends with kids, it will be even easier to convince them – you just have to promise them you’ll return the favour soon. If you don’t have someone to help you – pay for it. Again – the benefits of finding time for the two of you will be not only for you but for your children as well.
Show the kids that mum and dad love each other. There is nothing more amazing for the kids than finding out that the people they love actually love each other! Do not smile at that. Many couples out there believe that showing affection one to another in front of the kids is wrong. It is normal, and I think – necessary, for daddy to hug mummy, to kiss her hand or cheek. It shows family closeness, love and calms down any negative emotions. Plus – it gives you more seconds of “couple-time” as well.