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Monday mom challenge: Date your husband

Jen Klein is a New England-based technical writer and mother of three. When she isn't asking her kids to stop bickering, "caramelizing" the dinner or actively ignoring the dust bunnies under the couch, she enjoys knitting, gardening, pho...

Strengthen your connection

A friend said to me recently, "May is the new December." With the quantity and intensity of activity this month -- school winding up, sports, the eagerness to get outdoors -- the family calendar has risen to a new level of intensity. It's just the kind of schedule that can force solo time with your sweetie to the back burner. Now is the time we need to stop, take a breath, and regroup a little. We need to make sure that our primary relationships are okay.

Four out of the last five days, my husband and I have tag-teamed the kids' activities and needs. The longest conversation we've had was mid-day on the phone while we coordinated the afternoon and evening activities: Who would pick up and drop off whom and where. By the time everyone was in bed and we'd managed to feed ourselves and do a quick house pick up, it was bedtime for us, too. We were wiped out. As we drifted off to sleep a couple nights ago, my husband asked if we could get a sitter for sometime this weekend. I said I'd try. We both knew we needed some time together as adults and as a couple.

Get creative in finding a sitter

If we're busy right now, then so is everyone else. Finding a regular sitter who is available on Friday or Saturday night can be hard. But don't give up! Get creative on when you want to use a sitter. One couple I know regularly goes out for a late breakfast on Saturday mornings, and another likes to go for dessert on Sunday afternoons.Maybe, instead of a regular sitter, you could swap some kid coverage with a friend, or the parents of one of your kids' friends. For example, you take their kids on Friday evening if she can take yours on Saturday evening. After all, if you and your sweetie are needing time together in this busy-ness, you can bet other parents in your circle are needing it, too.

Cherish time together

After you find a sitter, keep in mind that the most important part of this is simply spending time together. You don't have to make it a fancy meal out unless you want to. A walk, a cup of coffee, a hand-holding session, a movie, a museum, or an ice cream sundae can be all it takes. The point is to reconnect and be with one another.Soon enough, the real world and its demands will come creeping back in, but you will have had time to reconnect -- and that can help carry you through the demands of your busy days. Your relationship with your partner is the foundation of your family, and finding ways to nurture it is as important as any other aspect of family life. Don't neglect it. Go make a date, right now.

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