Almost six months ago, we were blessed with our second child. A beautiful baby boy! What a joy he is and we have enjoyed it so much! Our daughter, who is almost three, has been an amazing big sister as well.
This also means that my husband and I haven’t been on a real date in at least six months. =) While I realize that it may have been a lot longer for other couples, we were blessed to have friends and family around during the past couple years to watch our daughter so we could go out even if it was just to dinner. Therefore, we were a little used to having some time to ourselves. Once our son was born, we found it a bit harder to find someone to take care of both children. Especially since one is still an infant.
After several nights of “marital discussions,” we realized that we REALLY needed to find a way to spend more time alone together. The problem came with how. We went through our typical night. Husband gets home at around 5:15. Dinner is eaten and cleaned up. He plays with the kids until bedtime ( which I find awesome since he hasn’t seen them all day). Both kids down by 8:30-9. I start getting tired around this time and am usually in bed by 10 which means that we only have an hour to an hour and a half of “alone” time. And that’s if both kids stay asleep!!!! And what do we normally do during that time? We are on the iPad, computer, watching something on DVR, etc. What we are NOT doing is being with each other.
This is where we had to figure something out. We knew it wasn’t a lot of time each night, but we knew something could be done to spend some time together. We talked about what we could do to change things…to be a couple again. Here’s the solution we came up with:
One night a week, we would turn off all electronics (cell phones on vibrate and only answered if urgent) and have a game night. We would include coffee (decaf for me of course!) and maybe some dessert. We would choose a Pandora station and pick a game! Last date night, we played Sequence. If you haven’t tried this game, I highly suggest it!!! So much fun!
You don’t have to necessarily play games, but you get the point. We are solely focusing on each other and it is allowing us to TALK! And not about the kids =) We are able to focus on each other without distractions. Of course, the last game night also included our children getting up several times, but we were still able to be with each other which is the more important part.
So, whether or not you have children, you have had children for a while or are expecting…please know that “dating” you spouse even after marriage is SUCH an important part of a relationship. One thing my husband and I agree on is that…after our personal relationships with God… our relationship with each other is the next most important one because if our relationship is strong, then our relationships with our children will be equally as strong. We also agree that once the children leave, we don’t want to be left looking at each other and asking, “Who are you?”
My husband and I may be in the “early” stages of our marriage and life as parents, but we are trying to make sure that we still remember why we fell in love with each other and decided to have our lives intertwine. I must say…I’m enjoying it just as much as when we were first dating.
Here’s to continuing to strengthen marriages and families! What would you choose to do for your next date night? Let me know! I love suggestions!
~ Jess Elaine
Photo courtesy of Candice Lynn Photography