Nataly raised a great question on the Work It, Mom! blog earlier today:
"Do you carve out special time to spend with your partner or spouse? (And if you do, how the heck do you manage that!?!) Do you feel that your relationship is not a priority since having kids and juggling work?"
She also made the point that in all that in all the talk about juggling work and kids, it can really easy to take our relationships for granted.
Do you agree? Do you make "couple time" a priority, or does it happen even less often than "me time?" How do you find that time, and how do you spend it (no need to get TOO graphic about that! )? And if you don't, why is that?
We have a weekly "date night". Generally, we go out for dinner. Sometimes we just go to the neighbourhood pub for a pint. Sometimes we go for a long walk. But on Thursday nights, we go out together.
Every Saturday and Sunday morning, we walk to our favourite coffee shop. (It's a 45-minute walk.) We have a coffee, then we walk (or bus) home.
We can do all this because our youngest child is 11. (There's no way we could afford all that babysitting!)
When my children were younger, we had friends with children about the same ages as ours. Once a month, we'd have their kids for a sleepover, so they could have a kid-free evening/night/morning. Once a month, they'd do the same for us. It was a great system.
My husband and I are not much for going out. We live in an enormous city (15 million) with horrendous traffic-- just getting through the day can be really over-stimulating. We bought and renovated an old building to be our house a few years ago. We still think it is extraordinarily cool to just hang out in it.
When our daughter goes to stay at a friend's house for the night, we will go out to dinner or to a movie. Baby sitters as we know them in the US do not exist . You have to arrange for your cleaning woman to come especially and then she charges for a full day, and it is just a big headache. His parents live on the other side of the Bosphorus and it can take a few hours to get there in evening traffic (on Sunday mornings it takes 15 minutes!). When our daughter was smaller we would leave her with them for the night if we had an important event like a wedding.
My husband gets so sleepy so early in the evening, it is just not worth the bother.
I'll be sitting across from him at a restaurant and will see his eyes begin to droop. And I'll say. "It's 9:06." And I'll be right, I know it is 9:06 because it is four minutes to 9:12, when he emotionally shuts down (in a pleasant way). I love him to bits. Over time, I have adjusted to his internal schedule and find it weird to be out at night.
Other people think this must be boring, but my husband and I are very close and talk about all kinds of really nerdy things.