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Monday Mom challenge: Puzzle time with your sweetie

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...

Problem-solving bonding time

Families are crazy busy. There's always somebody who needs this or that or the other thing, or a ride or something. Most evenings you plop down exhausted. Where is there time in these busy days to reconnect with your partner, your love? Almost no where is there time is the likely answer. But if you can squeeze out five or ten minutes together, you've got time to do a puzzle together.

Heart Puzzle

A puzzle? Really? Yes, a puzzle. It can be sudoku or a crossword or any kind of a printed puzzle - the point is just that you sit next to each other each with a pen and work on solving the clues together. Before you know it, you are looking forward to this time together each evening.

A chance encounter

I discovered this little secret to reconnecting wholly by chance. I love to do the sudoku puzzle - alone, thankyouverymuch - and often would do them at the end of the day as a way to settle down. Usually around this time, my husband was winding down his day, too. After shooing his pen away from a sudoku box or two, I asked him to wait and we could do the crossword together. It was surprisingly fun for both of us. We finished the puzzle quite quickly, and shared little tidbits about how we knew certain obscure words (I learned something new about my husband after more than two decades together!) and generally had fun.

Before we knew it, we were saving the crossword to do together each evening before bed. We now consider it our special time to wind down and reconnect together.

Just five minutes

You know, if you hate puzzles, it doesn't have to be puzzles. You don't need obscure word clues to bond with your sweetie. It can be reading funny comics to each other, or the op-ed section of the paper, or so many small things that just aren't housework and aren't on television. It's doing something, together. Making time for just a few minutes together each day.

We are all busy - all of us - and there are so many demands on us, physically and psychologically. It can be easy in that craziness not to take five minutes a day to reconnect - but it's so, so worth it. So find a puzzle and five minutes, and have some fun together. Don't forget the pencils!

Need more tips on keeping the love alive? Read: Staying sexy: Reignite the passion

For more of our Monday mom series:

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