Having a child may only add one person to your household, but they take up an estimated 90 percent of your time (according to totally legit scientific tests). Add even more kids into the mix, and it becomes almost impossible to spend quality time with your partner.
Studies show that parents who spend quality time together – be it going on dates, talking regularly, sharing activities and enjoying one-on-one meals – build stronger relationships and are therefore more likely to stay together.
But how are you supposed to find a spare hour or two to spend with your partner? We’ve got a few ideas.
Schedule date night
It’s an obvious one, but something that parents often overlook. And we don’t blame them! With extracurricular activities, homework and general life admin always getting in the way, it takes discipline to commit to a weekly date. Many parents see it as a ‘treat’ they can go without when things get busy, but when you look at it like an essential means for maintaining your relationship, you’re more likely to stick to it. It doesn’t always need to be a dinner out, either – if you get to Sunday and you haven’t had your ‘date’ time, consider running a bath to enjoy together, going for a child-free walk or watching a movie together after the kids have gone to sleep.
Create your own sanctuary
When the house feels like it’s overrun by kids, your life will likely feel the same. It’s so important to carve out a special place that is just for you and your partner – a private sanctuary you can enjoy without the kids. This is harder with little kids (especially those who insist on sleeping with you) but still doable. You might want to think about putting a TV in your bedroom for watching movies together late at night, or putting a lock on your door so that your children can only come in when you give them permission. If neither of those will work in your home, go about making your space as relaxing as you can – light some candles, turn down the lights and use the cosiest bedding. Go on, treat yourselves!
Do household tasks together
Divide and conquer isn’t always the best approach. Rather than one of you taking the bins out while the other cleans up inside, why not do those household chores together? Not only will it sometimes mean you get through them twice as quickly (particularly with cleaning) but it will give you an invaluable opportunity to catch up on the day and discuss things more openly. This might look like:
- Cooking dinner together
- Helping the kids with homework together
- Cleaning the house
- Tending to the garden
- Walking the dog