Updated: Nov 8, 2020
I’m sure we all reminisce about the good old days before the kids, when your partner was top priority in your life. We had all the time in the world, free to explore new things, make time for that new movie at the cinema everyone’s talking about, jetting off on a romantic weekend getaway or that impromptu night on the town. What a time it was to be alive.
It’s 6:15am on a Saturday morning and you’ve been woken up, not by the alarm clock or your partner wanting some affection, but by your little toddler seeking your attention and you’ve had a restless night. Things slowly come back into focus as you wipe the sleep out of your eyes - reality settles in and you are reminded that you’re a dad now and that lie-in you used to enjoy, is no longer an option. As lovely and beautiful as your kids are, their unrelenting demands often require you and your partner’s undivided attention and it can make any time with your partner feel like a privilege. I remember when my youngest had colic - I don’t think me and my wife hugged each other for 6 months, because he was constantly glued to her arm. It is the reality for many parents, especially moms. Caring for children sometimes leaves no energy, time or any desire to invest in their relationship or marriage.
"The relationship you build with your partner creates the foundation for your family and if you prioritise each other, it will surely help you to work through problems a lot easier"
Enjoying the memories you shared with your partner before the kids is a great way to remind yourself of the person you’re with, especially in those moments when your kids are screaming their heads off or throwing tantrums, it’s easy to lose sight of things when you’re arguing about whose duty it might be to pacify the little one.
It’s important to take time to enjoy each other’s company, away from the kids and the fix for that is a good old date night to reconnect with each other in a more relaxed environment. Honestly, I am guilty of not doing this enough and lockdown life is making it a bit challenging to get out, but it’s healthy for your relationship to put time aside for each other. We’ve done things like eat a lovely meal at home, then watch a movie on demand after the kids are put to bed. It's a little thing we planned together, I even ordered some of those oysters she really likes. The relationship you build with your partner creates the foundation for your family and if you prioritise each other, it will surely help you to work through problems a lot easier.
Here are some ideas of what you could do with your time together -
Get Sentimental - Do something you both enjoyed doing when you first met. It could be an activity you did together like mini-golf, bowling or watching a play.
Daytime dating during work week - This is one of our favourite things to do while the kids are at school. There’s no need to worry about a babysitter and you’ll have a good few hours to enjoy each other’s company. We’ll usually start with a lovely breakfast and perhaps visit or museum or couples massage which I’m a big fan of.
Set Up a Babysitting Group - Work with friends or your children's friend's parents to babysit each other's kids on alternate weekends. That way your kids have a standing play date every weekend while the parents get alternating date nights.
Try Something New - Be original and do something that both of you may not have done before, like a baking or pottery class, take up salsa and why not! Experiencing something new together allows you to connect a new way.
Role Reversal - Instead of a traditional date night out, why not send your kids and the sitter away to do an activity or an event, it could be a movie or an experience like the aquarium or children’s play. You and your partner will have a glorious few hours to spend with each other to do whatever you like.
These are just some ideas, I’m sure there are lots more you can think of. Why don’t you share some of your ideas with us?