Q: How can we get a break from the children once in a while? Ever since they came along we can’t even find two minutes to sit down and have a meaningful conversation.
A: This is a common challenge for most parents, and it probably won’t surprise you that the biggest hurdles are typically time and money. Although these are real concerns, a little outside-the-box thinking and expectation adjustment can go a long way toward getting around these obstacles.
For instance, you may not be able to afford a babysitter or dinner at a restaurant once a week. If so, you might choose one night a week to get the children in bed early, order some pizza, and enjoy each other’s company. Many couples are avoiding this roadblock by sharing babysitting responsibilities with other young parents. One couple goes out while the other cares for both sets of children; then, the following week, they trade places. This is just one of the ways you might get creative about finding child care in order to free yourselves up for regular “dates.” If the cost of a night out on the town is prohibitive, pick up some fast food and head for the park. Relaxing and meaningful time together doesn’t have to be expensive.
If you’re wondering whether it’s worth the hassle, think back to the time you had with your spouse before your first baby arrived. Our guess is that you’ll recall some special moments you’d forgotten about that brought the two of you closer together. Even if you can’t find the same time you once enjoyed, take whatever you can get. The main thing is to keep a conscious, regular lookout for any and all opportunities to be a couple again. You’ll be glad you did.
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