Emmy and Bensen are on the same daily routine now and it is so nice! They nap at the same time and go to bed at the same time and are awake for the day around the same time as well. Over the last few weeks, I've been really excited to have my nights back after about 8pm to do with as I please. I like to spend those couple of hours between the kids' bedtime and mine cleaning up the house, working on personal projects or just spending time with Joe. But it never fails, whenever Joe and I plan to watch a movie, play video games or do something together after both of the kids are asleep, one or both of them is not interested in going to be nicely like they do most every other night.
A couple of weeks ago we'd planned a fun video game competition for date night but Emmy was uncomfortable and crying unless she was being held so I ended up holding her and playing one handed. We do our best to take advantage of every moment that we have together, just the two of us, but with two little ones who rely on us, distractions happen and that time together gets interrupted. That's why, because our marriage is important and because we are working to better our marriage, there is one thing that we strive to do often. We make it a priority to spend time away from the kids together.
Tips for Finding Quality Time with Young Kids
I understand that some couples don't have the time, or ability to get away from the kids very often. For some people, schedules are tight and you only have an hour or two together each week. For others, there are tiny babies relying on them for food or other situations that won't allow them to be away from home for long. If you are one of those couples, try to escape, even if only for an hour! Ask a neighbor or friend to come and sit at your house during nap time, or even have them be with the kids while you are focused on each other in another area of the house or close by. Grab dessert, go on a picnic in your backyard or to a park nearby, take a drive or go on a long walk.
We make a point to go on at least one date night out of the house, without the kids a month. Our night out in January got canceled because Joe and Bensen were sick, so we went almost two months without getting out of the house together. We were so grateful to Joe's sister for coming over to watch our kids this past weekend so that we could go out. We went to dinner and a movie, nothing fancy or adventurous, but those three or four hours together were just what we needed. I'm already looking forward to our next planned night out in March.
We have made this a priority in our marriage from the beginning, even before we had kids. Getting away together is so relaxing and I always come home feeling refreshed and excited about our relationship. Date nights are great, but only a few hours long. When we get away for the night, we are usually away from home for about 24 hours. Because we aren't at home where kids and other projects are, we are able to set aside a lot of our responsibilities and truly focus on our relationship with each other. There is nothing I look forward to more than a night away with my husband. Tip: Find a romantic B&B near you, different than your average hotel, for an extra special experience.
This is something that we've done twice now since Bensen was born. We love spending a night away, but taking the weekend was even better! We explored, ate yummy food, took naps and just enjoyed being together. If you're planning to be away for more than one night, you can travel further and cross off a bucket list destination. The perfect weekend away for me would be somewhere warm with a beach!
Week Long Adventure
If you feel like your marriage needs a bit more focus or if you've been really busy and haven't had much time to spend together, consider planning a little vacation with just the two of you. Spend a weekend in Disney, go sightseeing in one of your bucket list cities, drive up the coast, head to the mountains and get off the grid, or go on a cruise. Plan some adventures, research the best local food, and reserve a lot of time for unplanned relaxation and fun.
Your kids and time together as a family is important. But without your marriage, you wouldn't have that family. Your marriage is the foundation that your family was built upon and in order to keep it strong, you have to make time to give it your full attention. It's hard with young children to justify spending time away and/or paying for someone to watch your kids. I've heard it said many times though that the investment you make in the time you spend together is a lot less expensive than a divorce and a lot more fun! We make it a goal to find a small chunk of time each day to reconnect and work on our marriage. We also make it a goal to leave the kids at home and get out together at least once a month, and more often if we have the opportunity.
What are your favorite things to do together when you are away from the majority of your adult responsibilities?
Photography by Kayla Brooke Photography