My husband and I had the wonderful opportunity to go away for a ski weekend a few weeks back. It was wonderful – we were at the Mirror Lake Inn in Lake Placid – a little bit of perfection in the middle of a winter wonderland. We spent two days without an agenda – doing what we wanted, when we wanted. Food, drinks, a walk on the frozen lake, coffee, shopping, skiing, hanging out in the hot tub. It was awesome.
Since then, we’ve spent absolutely no time together. Life just gets in the way – kids with strep, a dog with kennel cough, work, work (did I just say that twice?), and some pesky snow storms. It seemed no matter what we did, finding time together was null.
Getting out for a date was not an option. With babysitters running a good $10/hr, an evening out requires a fairly robust entertainment budget, which just isn’t in the cards right now. So, something had to be done.
First, we stole some time on a Saturday morning. Deeming both kids old enough to play on their own for 20 minutes, we sat at the kitchen island, had a cup of coffee together, and talked. The kids weren’t allowed to bother us, but knew we were there if they really needed anything. So they played, we kept an eye on them, and we connected. Twenty minutes may not seem like much time, but you’d be surprised at what a difference it makes when you are feeling like you are neglecting your relationship.
Then came the evening date. Jake has grown accustomed to having his way at bedtime. We get done with a story and he expects you to lay there until he decides it’s ok for you to go downstairs, or until he falls asleep. This is problematic for us, as on nights that we are really tired, we fall asleep too and often don’t make it back downstairs until 11 or 12. So, my husband took him up to bed and let him know that he’d stay for 15 minutes after the story. Jake wasn’t happy, but he accepted it.
While he was up there, I opened the wine, cut up some cheese and pepperoni, and grabbed some crackers. He came down and we rented a movie. We actually paused the movie several times to chat and share stories about our week. It was a wonderful date night and great to reconnect.
We are ending the weekend with some family time. We’ve spent the day running errands as a family, playing puzzles and games, and will have Sunday dinner. I’d say that everyone is getting something out of the weekend that they don’t get during the week.
Marriages can fall apart when you bring kids into the already busy life. But as we’re finding out, just carving out bits and pieces of time goes a long way to reminding yourselves that you were a couple first, and should continue to be, even though your responsibilities have expanded to raising children. In need of a date? Just make it happen.