Guest Author - Lisa Polovin Pinkus
Relationships change a great deal when children come into the home. Your child is your number one priority and consumes a lot of time, energy, and love. It is essential for couples to make a conscious effort at keeping the love alive. It takes work to allow the relationship to continue to grow and evolve, and it takes a commitment to set aside time for each other.
Many couples establish a date night and go out once a week no matter what. A newborn is easy to take with you as long as he is fed before you go. With any luck, your baby may sleep through the date and you can enjoy quality time with your partner. With older children, you may need to get a bit more creative. Hire a babysitter, beg a family member, or take turns with friends Ė you watch theirs so they can go out and they watch yours so you can go out. You can also turn to the in-house date once your children are asleep for the night.
Journaling with each other is another way to feel connected. You may not always have time for each other, but a journal that is passed back and forth can prevent you from feeling disjointed. Purchase a blank journal at the bookstore and write each other love notes. There are also coupleís workbooks that provide specific writing assignments and questions aimed at increasing the intimacy between you and your spouse.
Take time every night to unwind together. Even if itís only five minutes, set aside time when the children are in bed to sit together. It can be something as simple as watching a favorite TV show together or enjoying a cup of tea while you catch up on each otherís days.
Change the scenery. If you have a table to clear and dishes to load, make it a more pleasant experience by doing it together. Turn the lights down, light a few candles, and play soft music while you finish the chores of the day.
Go to bed at the same time. When you exist on two different schedules, itís more difficult to find time to be together. If your spouse brings work home on a frequent basis, work it into your evening routine. You can finish cleaning the kitchen while he does his work. Set a clock Ė whatever has to get done must be completed before the alarm goes off. When the time is up, itís time to spend time together.
While there may be interruptions, and you may need to make adjustments Ė creating a sacred time with your partner will help ensure that your relationship stays vibrant and vital through the years.