Making Time for Connecting with Your Partner
I don't know of a single parenting couple around that doesn't struggle with finding time for connecting with each other every now and then. It's a real challenge! There's a reason why you hear of those empty-nesters who decide to divorce after the kids leave the house because they realize they don't really know each other anymore. After kids come along, it's inevitable that we won't quite get the same amount of time together as we did when it was just us two. But, that doesn't mean that we can't maintain a deep and meaningful connection together. It can be done in less time than you think.
Check out this video where I talk about why this is so important and how we can make sure that special time together makes it into our schedules. Then, be sure to watch my follow-up video, where I show you how to actually manage it all in Google Calendars.
And, there’s a special bonus!
Scroll down to download my free list of easy date night ideas!
(If you’re in the middle of rocking a sleeping baby or are otherwise unable to watch/listen, scroll down to find the transcript.)
One of the biggest concerns I hear from couples that call my office (either before they have their baby, or most certainly after they bring their baby home, and well into toddler years and beyond) is: How do they find time to spend together as a couple with everything else they have to do in a day?
Hi, I’m Catherine O’Brien, Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist and Founder of HappyWithBaby.com.
As a parent and partner to my amazing husband, I have to say I know this concern all too well. I feel like there are a lot of different things we need to contend with. We have to take care of our child or children. We have jobs. We have to grocery shop, clean the house, take care of our own needs… The list, quite frankly, is never ending. So, usually spending time together comes last. It’s right down there with taking care of ourselves. Both should really be much higher on the list of priorities. But, for the sake of time and because it’s February and Valentine’s Day is this week, we will talk about how to make time with your partner.
Secondly, you should schedule on the calendar for a regular date night (or day or whatever works for your schedules). It does NOT have to be a traditional dinner and movie, but it can and should be something fun--NOT, talking about when you’re going to do your taxes! Save that for the daily check-in.
Now, honestly, I highly suggest a weekly date night. But again, I know people have different schedules and different dynamics, so getting a sitter might not always be feasible. Regardless, make a list together of all the things each of you would like to do. Don’t make a judgment of the things your partner says if it seems not doable, but maybe explore how someday it could be. It doesn't hurt to have things to aspire to do, maybe when the kids get older.
I’ve said this before in another post or two, but if you can have a regular sitter that comes weekly or bi-weekly or monthly, then all you have to figure out is what to do. That’s a much better problem to have than scrambling to get childcare at the last minute. Making your relationship a priority even when there is a huge to do list is super important. It is good for your kids to see you take time together.
Maybe you are like some other couples I talk to: Some feel like it’s been too long since they’ve spent time together and they feel like they don’t even know if they want to hang out anymore because their partners only drive them crazy these days. If this is your situation, then I’m going to tell you what I tell them: You absolutely need to schedule a date night ASAP.
I joke often that I know that my husband and I are overdue for a date when he leaves water on the sink after shaving and it annoys me. Because, frankly, he only seems to annoy me when I don’t feel connected to him.
So get those regular date nights scheduled and start making your time together a priority. The more you do it, the easier and better it becomes.
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