In between nappy changes, our jobs, the school run, children’s play activities and our need for rest, it is very easy to forget our partner and if that is left to fate for a prolonged time, we may get a well-run home, healthy and happy children, successful careers but lose each other if not ourselves in the process. In today’s busy and pressured environment, it is important for couples to always find time for each other no matter how short-lived.
Have a date night at least once a week. It could be to a movie, dinner or drink. Establish a ritual, stick to a particular day of the week so as to plan all your other activities around that fixed day and time. For example, make Thursday night your night, just the two of you and use this time to bond, to talk and to remind each other of how much you still love and care for each other. The problem with relying on when you will have time is that you may never find the time. And with other seemingly more important activities in your lives, the couple night may start to seem unnecessary and insignificant.
Where you have small children, arrange to have a family member or friend babysit them or come and collect them for a sleep over, for your peace of mind. Older children more attached to their parents may feel left out, so have another day scheduled for an all-inclusive family time, it could be a Saturday afternoon for example, and that way everyone is happy and has something to look forward to.
Celebrate each other’s birthdays or anniversaries, at the beginning of each year, draw up a plan and decide how and where you will enjoy these special days together. Such vacations not only evoke a sense of adventure and team spirit but create unforgettable memories.
Constantly communicate with each other. A call, a text or email during the day to keep you in each other’s thoughts. Where possible, Jog together, take a shower together, cook together, bath baby together etc. Maintain physical contact even if it’s a kiss shared over a pot of boiling spaghetti. Those few stolen moments throughout the day will keep you close, build up excitement for a quieter more intimate time, and also offer an opportunity to talk about any thoughts and concerns away from the children. This prevents bottled up feelings that erupt at the wrong place and wrong time.
Establish an early set bed time for children for example you could have an 8pm curfew. Where you have hyper active children, having a couple of activities just after dinner is bound to tire them. That way, you and your partner get to have the rest of the night to yourselves.
Avoid where possible, bringing work home or working late into the night, and if you have to, ensure work is done by the time you both go to bed. Have a strict time management schedule that works for both of you. Respect the needs of your partner, after all, relationships do not run on autopilot; they take a conscious, deliberate, mutual and concerted effort.