Date Squeeze, Where There's a Will There's a Way
Date nights are hard to come by for many. Especially now that we live in an era where relocating for one's career is somewhat common. With children in the picture, and not much around in the form of family, it turns into wishful thinking rather than a feasible plan.
Time to get creative, and no, I'm not talking about taking overrated long walks in the park. Don't foresee myself venturing to a park unless I have jogging shoes on and children or dog in tow. I can only speak for how I, and people I've talked to, plan a quicky "date."
Now when I say date, I don't mean the conventional sort, with romantic restaurants and getting beautified. Those are needed, but do require a bit more effort and resources. I'm talking more mini-bonding sessions. Let me explain, here are some ideas to get your couple time on.
This post came to me at a surprising time. There I was in a local upscale grocery store singing to a popular 70's classic rock song playing over the store speakers and a caffè latte in hand. I'm with my hubby and we are grocery shopping. As we pass another couple, I notice the woman also singing along to the classic song by Chicago. A bright child's coat catches my eye from their cart. We, along with the other couple I later found out, were enjoying a nice stroll with our significant other. We were making the best of our short time together sans kids.
The kid's zone at this particular market is actually quite nice with toys, art activities, and much more. Best of all, it's free, although I suppose shoppers pay with the slightly bumped up prices. Prices I'm willing to pay. After we pay and collect the kids, we grab a complimentary fruit for them on the way out. Now I understand not all grocery stores have this service, or if they did, not everyone would want to put there kids in it. The point is, this was one way that we got a bit of alone time in.
A friend of mine and her hubby take a "mental health" day (or half day) off work together. They usually go to the movies or the theater. Sometimes they only take an extra hour off and have lunch together while the kids are at school and daycare. Even though it takes some sacrifices and possibly docked pay, they recognize they need this adult time together. Also, in the long run, this is cheaper than hiring a sitter for the evening, they don't miss time with the kids, and they get to go to bed at a decent time.
Another friend of mine has a "Mother's helper" come occasionally. She has her mother's helper over when she has house work to do, but also when her and her sig other want to discuss things over coffee, or just chat on porch with a glass of wine. The kids are safe inside, and they are nearby for any issues that may come up.
There is also the "switch off" method with trusted neighbors or friends from your social group.
The idea here is to find time when you can, it's easy for parents to drift apart with all the fuss of day-to-day activities and not spending any quality time together. Again, not everyone has access to family or sitters so we need to make the short quality time together as meaningful as possible.