How Parents Can Get Away From the Kids
For the sake of your marriage, your kids and your own delight and sanity, you have to make time for yourself and time with your spouse. It might not be easy, but you need to work at it. And there's no shame in scheduling time -- as in literally opening up your e-calendar and scheduling a romantic dinner or a morning walk alone. If you're the kind of person who is slavishly devoted to what the calendar says, then play to that strength. So what if you and your spouse aren't as spontaneous as you were when you were dating? You have kids now, which is why you need to schedule things.
It doesn't have to be every day or even every week. It doesn't have to be "romantic" time, although that's a not a bad idea. Figure out how much time you need to feel balanced, refreshed and reconnected. That might mean a weekend away at a spa in the mountains with your spouse every three months. It could mean something as simple as sending the kids off to play for 10 minutes while you wash the dishes and your significant other dries them. When you're out running errands as a family and the kids are in their car seats, the marrieds up front can chat happily. If you want to step it up and schedule something, the date night idea is an oldie but goodie. You get to experience real romance, reconnect and focus on being just adults, not parents, for a few hours. If that seems trite, boring or expensive, try something new together: Take a class on something you both enjoy, like cooking or family tree research, or play a sport together. Or meet in the middle and have a lunch date. The time commitment is low but the sense of "away-ness" is high.
The marriage is regularly rekindled with small conversations and a dinner out. Hooray! Now what about solo time for each parent?