For many married couples with children, spending quality time with each other somehow ends up being the same as family time with the kids. We reason that this is natural, things change when you have children. But this isn’t necessarily so. It is important as a couple to continue to find time to focus on each other and to spend time alone.
Many married couples find themselves out of touch with their spouse after a few years not because of arguments or extra marital activities but more so because of a lack of communication and bonding opportunities. This usually happens when their relationship has taken second place to their children and family.
What can you do to create time for each other?
Arrange for Childcare
Placing your children in the care of others is not always a bad thing. Grandparents are likely to cherish the time they get with their grandchildren and may be willing to spend time with the kids for a weekend. Your kids will also benefit in getting to know their grandparents and will learn to be independent when you and your spouse are away.
Go on a Nostalgic Date
Go back to the place where you first met, be it a restaurant, your favourite watering hole or the neighbourhood park. Retracing the footsteps of your relationship can be a great surprise for your spouse and help rekindle the feelings you both had when you first met one another. Other than setting the mood for romance, it also sets you and your spouse in a state of comfort and ease.
Take a Staycation
Staycations are a popular choice for many Singaporeans. The chance to get away from home for the weekend and be pampered and waited on by hotel and resort staff may be the short getaway that you and your spouse had been planning to take but never got around to doing. If you’re going to take a few days away from the kids, it is important that you set certain rules in place for each other. For example, only calling the kids after lunch and before bed to check in on them and even so, only spending ten minutes or so on each call.
Quality over Quantity
When dating, quality is more important than quantity. If you can, find the time for a late night movie with your spouse after the kids have been tucked in to bed or a drive out to have a quick late night snack. It’s the manner in which you spend your time and the bond that it fosters during that time alone that matters.
Consider the Lunch Date
As an alternative to standard dates that usually take place after work, lunchtime dates are a fantastic way to spend some alone time with your partner. If you’re both working reasonably near each other, try going for a special lunch once a month or even every fortnight to maintain a healthy relationship.
As essential as quality time as a family can be, spending time with your partner and strengthening your relationship is important for a healthier and more successful marriage.
There is no need for extravagance when it comes to spending time with your partner, as quality beats quantity and simple gestures can go a long way.
Never stop communicating with each other, do your best to discover more about one another and to maintain the same relationship you had as when you decided to get married.
Adapted from an article first published on the National Family Council Website.