Alone time together. A foreign concept to many a parent. An oxymoron maybe? We are constantly making excuses and arguing that there’s ‘better’ things to do now that we have kids – “Other responsibilities” we so confidently call them. I know, I am guilty of this myself. And even when I’d go out with hubby, we would both feel so bad for leaving the little ones or for shoving what are our responsibilities onto someone else.
But the truth is, and I have come to appreciate this, our children are not mere responsibilities. Yes, we are responsible for them, but they are not porcelain and will not break if we leave them for a few hours. They are smart and tough and resilient and enjoy a fun sleepover as much as the next kid. Heck, they may even enjoy a break from their crazy ass parents. So, when we push all the excuses aside and really think about it, the only real obstacle getting in the way of rekindling the spark with our partners, is us.
I have said this before and I will say again and I will probably say it every time, we were partners before we became parents. It wasn’t our kids that brought us together, that made us realise our love for another, that made us see we want to spend the rest of our lives together. It was all us – the easy conversations, the laughter, the sharing of what makes us happy and what makes us sad and the sex. Nurturing our relationship with our partners is what will ultimately carry us through the rest of lives together as great parents.
Here’s a few ideas I’d like to share with you:
- My husband and I always make sure the kids go to bed early at night. No later than 8pm. Especially during school nights and also most nights during the school holidays. This way we still get to speak about our day while enjoying our shared obsession together, a hearty cup of coffee. Then, if we are not too tired, we usually end off the night with our fave series, which currently is The Walking Dead.
- If you do not have the time or the budget for a holiday, plan to take off from early one Friday every few months for a sleepover at a fancy hotel or bed and breakfast. Then, if needed, head home the Saturday morning. This way you and your love get to catch up – on conversation, sleep and sex – and your parents (or babysitter) only had to watch the kids for a few hours technically.
- Also decide to meet your partner for coffee or lunch during work hours whenever possible. If you have a nice boss, maybe ask for an extra lunch hour (or two!) on those days. We are so programmed to run errands for our kids and our home during our free time that we forget our relationship with our partners also requires as much, if not more, attention.
- Go gymming together! Ok, I know what you’re thinking – how does this count as ‘alone time,’ there’s like a million other people in the gym. Truth is you can make this time together as special and intimate as any. Instead of going about your own routines, as you’d normally do, decide on which days you’ll rather be doing the same routine together. Whether it is pushing and encouraging each other during a tough cardio workout, helping each other out with the weights or doing a few laps in the pool together. Besides it is medically proven that exercise also sets the foundation for a healthy, happy sex life!
- Simply switch off your phones. Have you noticed how much time you spend looking at your mobile screen whenever you Have a moment to yourself? Now imagine spending those few precious moments rubbing your partner’s head or feet. My hubby purs like a kitten whenever I do these for him and at that moment I can do with him just about anything I want. It’s the small things that makes the biggest difference.
I hope you are already busy clearing your schedule to make space for some alone time together.