In one of my first blogs posts, I talked about “me” time, and how it’s important for moms to take care of themselves and have some time to do things on their own that they enjoy. Too often, mothers can be so focused on taking care of family responsibilities, household chores and work tasks that they neglect themselves. Or by the time they have a moment to relax, indulge in a guilty pleasure, enjoy a hobby or hang out with friends they’re too tired to do so. This can also be the same scenario for dads.
For me and my husband, this has been the case. We have not been taking very good care of ourselves…individually or as a couple.
We’re working on it though. The past few months I’ve made more time for myself, and my husband has done the same. One night a week we each get a night off, leaving the other one to handle dinner and bedtime routine with the kids on their own. It’s been nice for each of us to get more time to do things we enjoy and socialize with friends.
But there was still a small problem. We weren’t getting enough quality time for us together. Sure, we’ll hang out for a bit after the kids have gone to bed…and the kitchen has been cleaned up from dinner….or a load of laundry has been done…and okay, now it’s late and we’re tired so we go to bed.
It’s not like we don’t want to spend time together, but somehow this routine had been established and neither one of us really meant for things to be this way. It just was. Parent life can take centre stage and occupy a lot of our time, as it should in some ways. But we both agreed that we wanted to break the rut and spend more quality time together. Besides, our little family wouldn’t be here without us. So while it is important to take care, love and nurture our kids, it is equally important to do the same for us as a couple.
This past weekend the kids had their first sleepover at my parents’ place. Hubby and I got ourselves a little dressed up and went for a great dinner date. Afterwards, we enjoyed watching a movie together curled up on our couch. And after having uninterrupted sleep (which rarely happens with two young kids still getting up nightly) we had a nice breakfast. It reminded me of life before kids, which I must admit I miss every now and then. But I adore the family we’ve created together, even if the kids drive us crazy sometimes!
Aside from making sure we get a date night more often, we’ve also been trying to make sure what little time we have to ourselves after the kids go to bed is spent with us connecting more. Whether it be sitting together and just chatting, playing a card or board game or snuggled on the couch watching something together. It feels great re-establishing the closeness between us that seemed to be fading a little bit. We’ve been feeling much happier as we spend more quality time together, which has only had positive effects on our family.
You know the saying “happy wife, happy life”? Well, I think it should be “happy couple, happy family.”