My husband and I spend time alone every night, that is after we expend every last bit of energy tending to the crisis du jour drummed up by our kids, making sandwiches with just the right equation of peanut butter to jelly, remembering to wash those same pair of jean shorts my daughter has to wear to avert a fashion crisis, practicing summer reading with our 10-year-old. When we finally do get into our marital bed, 99 percent of the time our pillow talk is centered on the all important topics that have usurped our energies over the course of the evening: the kids, bills, the dogs, bills, laundry, bills; well, you get the gist.
I honestly can’t remember the last time I enjoyed a kid-free experience with my husband, one where the tenor of the moment was just about the two of us fulfilling our needs, pursuing a shared interest or even just waxing about our hopes and dreams (you know, the way we used to, pre-kids, mortgage and lawn care).
Sure I’ve read the books, listened to the experts who’ve espoused their views about the importance of having quality time alone with your spouse sans kids– but really who has time for that?
It’s almost easier to plop the kids in front of the tube- while you and your boo- grab a bottle of wine and lock yourselves in your bedroom. Well let me be the first to tell you– that scenario NEVER works.
You could have a marching band, a circus, a room covered in lollipops and brimming with chocolate fountains and your kids would STILL want to get into your bedroom. Just knowing that you’re in the same space as them– they want access to you– and no amount of entertainment will provide you with those “quality moments” alone with your significant other.
Yes, each one will require a sitter- but think of it this way– the money you’re spending is truly an investment in your relationship and a chance to step our of your roles as parents and connect as two adults— ( imagine that)!
And so this summer, parents I encourage you to do something with your spouse that has absolutely nothing to do with your kids.
If you need some inspiration, check out four fun activities that hopefully will reignite that spark that has been dormant in your marriage and was the catalyst for this family you hold so dear.
#1 Take a cooking class. It’s an out-of-the-box romantic experience. Couples can get dressed up and look forward to a new, unusual, interesting, memorable few hours of no work, all play!Most couples don’t often have the option of learning a new skill together in unusual and varied setting with cultural aspects and a little romance throw in.
#2 Take an exercise class together like: Tai Chi, a gentle martial art that promotes the connection between mind and body, places little impact on the joints and the setting provides couples with a tranquil, inspiring environment to learn and practice. Practicing Tai Chi as a couple is a great way to experience a beautiful, gentle exercise. Learning the moves will be fun and the increased coordination, flexibility and toning will translate to other areas of life. A great way to carve out some we time doing a positive activity in an uplifting atmosphere. For some couples, Tai Chi can provide an opportunity to form a stronger connection with their cultural heritage.
#3 Go for dinner and a dance: Find a swanky, intimate art-filled upscale lobby lounge where you can indulge in gourmet cuisine, get your appetizers and entrees brought right over to the couches, enjoy dancing, piano music and cabaret shows. It’s pure unadulterated romantic fun, an opportunity to dance in the lobby lounge until the wee hours of the morning.
#4 Spend a night in a hotel: If can secure a baby-sitter and can extend the getaway, stay overnight, order room service and relax. Take 24 luscious hours to reconnect to those primal forces of attraction and shared beliefs that drew you together not only in a physical way but by sharing quiet intimate moments. Whether it is snuggling up on a couch watching the passionate sparring between Bogey and Bacall or laying side by side getting a sensuous couples massage sipping on champagne and feeding each other chocolate truffles.
Having time away from the monotony and sometimes drudgery of parenthood can be like an infusion of new breath and perspective into this little family unit you’ve created and can give you a new appreciation for each other and, of course, your kids.