How to Make Time for Your Spouse When You Have Kids
When the kiddos are away, mom and dad can play. Except for when the babysitter’s unavailable, you’re both tired, and you don’t have a moment for yourselves.
How do you find time to be intimate with your spouse when your kids are always around?
Married couples cannot give up on spending alone time together. Your relationship is your family’s biggest asset; it holds everyone together. If you don’t nurture it, everyone will feel the consequences.
So, how do you make time for each other? Keep reading for the best tips on how to make your marriage work despite the chaos of being parents.
Create Routines from the Start
Your bedroom is mommy and daddy’s personal space. Although it’s fun to jump on the bed together, it’s not a shared living room. You need to create boundaries.
Don’t make it a habit for your kids to sleep in the bed with you. If they’re having a nightmare, go to their bedroom with them. The last thing you want to do is make your bed a free-for-all zone.
Too many parents have to deal with growing children being afraid to sleep on their own. Not only is this bad for their confidence, but you get even less alone time with your spouse.
Another routine you need to put it place is knocking on doors before entering. There’s nothing wrong with mom and dad sneaking away for a few minutes to be alone. But, to avoid an awkward situation, teach your kids the value of knocking first.
Two Magic Words: Date Night
You already know you should be going on dates together. Every article on marriage advice will tell you to set aside some time each week to do this.
But, they don’t always tell you what to do with the kids during that time.
Ideally, you can lean on family to babysit for you. Some families don’t live close enough to other members to do this, though.
You could hire a babysitter, but this takes some time to build trust. Through trial and error, find one or two babysitters you really like. Train and teach them to suit your family, and pay them well.
Another option is to make an agreement with other parents. One Friday a month, you babysit their kids so they can go out. Another Friday, they babysit yours.
You could even put your kiddos in sports or music lessons once a week. During that 1-2 hour span, go get coffee together and talk. Or, spend some time together not talking.
Digital Devices Aren’t Always Bad
We’re all worried about how too much screen time is affecting our kids. This concern makes parents feel guilty about using the TV to distract their kids.
Here’s the thing: one hour of Peppa Pig is not going to fry your toddler’s brain. Two hours won’t, either.
Parents need to stop feeling guilty about utilizing this awesome distraction method. Set your kiddos up with a special movie or show. You and your partner can sneak away to the bedroom, closet, or garage to have your own special time.
Of course, you don’t want to be gone too long if your kids are mischievous. But, digital devices can be just what you and your spouse need to get some time alone.
Regain Some Mystery
Before kids, walking around in your underwear was sexy. Now, your underwear is bigger and probably covered in baby food. What used to be hot is a little cooler.
Married couples with children need to find new ways to spice things up. One tip is to inject mystery back into the relationship.
That means no more pooping with the door open, Dan.
Avoid clipping your toenails on the toilet seat while the other one showers. This is not sexy for either of you. Would you do that when you first started dating?
You can make the most of the slim time you have together by building excitement. Mystery creates anticipation so when you finally are alone, you won’t be able to keep your hands off each other.
You Don’t Need Candles
While rose petals and bubble baths are romantic and ideal, they’re not realistic. You can’t expect that kind of ambiance every date night. It’s also unrealistic to avoid talking about your kids altogether.
Intimacy isn’t only about getting freaky with whipped cream.
Sitting on the couch together with physical contact is intimate. So is holding hands on your family walk. Rubbing your spouse’s back as they wash the dishes is intimate and sweet.
Look at all the different times in your day that you can express intimacy to your spouse. Even when you can’t be alone and naked, you can be affectionate.
Leave Notes for Each Other
Busy schedules and managing kids are stressful. Many couples deal with being on opposite schedules. One works and the other takes the kids everywhere.
During these hectic periods of life, you don’t have to feel alone. Even if you aren’t seeing each other as much as you want, you can make your partner feel special.
Get in the habit of writing love notes to each other. They could be sweet and short, or longer heartfelt messages. Leave them in the medicine cabinet or in the fridge for the other to find.
These small gestures build excitement and intimacy, just like adding mystery does. They motivate you to find the energy to plan a date night or put the kids in another room.
Want More Tips on How to Make Your Marriage Work with Kids?
When it comes down to it, your marriage changes after you have kids. Your priorities change and so do your energy levels.
But, the one thing that doesn’t have to change is your love for each other. Intimacy and affection are crucial to keeping that love alive.
Even if you have needy little ones, you can find time to be alone with the tips above. For other ideas on how to make your marriage work with kids, check out the Relationships Blog. You’ll learn how to spice of the bedroom and deepen your bond.