Life is busy, maybe the kids have been sick, your to-do list is a mile long and there just isn’t time. And, let’s face it, when life does settle down and you and your husband find yourself with some glorious free time on your hands, you’re too dog-tired to do much of anything.
Watching a movie at home, snuggling up with a good book or just catching up on a few things around the house holds far more appeal than getting dressed up and venturing out on a date, especially when your favorite sweatpants and slippers are calling your name.
But, as inconvenient as it might be to plan a night out with your husband, you need to.
Having been married for nearly 25 years, I’ve found that unless my husband and I remove ourselves from the kids, the house, the bills and the stress of our daily lives, our marriage becomes stagnant. Our conversations are about everything unrelated to us and we find ourselves knee deep in the heavy stuff that has a tendency to suck the life right out of our marriage. Of course, we’re still a team and we love other, but we end up running parallel on two different tracks. The one thing we fight for to keep our marriage on track is quality time alone.
Come on, mom. For years you’ve put the family first. It’s time to put on some heels (you might want to dust them off first), put some makeup on, (here’s an awesome tutorial in case you’ve forgotten how), buy a dress, (or anything else that makes you feel sexy), and go on a date with the man you fell in love with.
Get a Date on the Calendar
You’ve been a mom for years so you know. If it’s not on your to-do list, posted on the fridge or on your calendar, it doesn’t happen. Talk with your husband, choose a date, write it down and don’t cancel unless the house is burning down. Plans – whether they’re with friends, colleagues or our husbands – are challenging to make but oh, so easy to break. So, stick to your guns and keep the date no matter what.
Spice Things Up a Bit
Step away from the same ‘ol boring spots you typically frequent and choose somewhere fun, exciting and different. You don’t have to spend a lot and it doesn’t have to be fancy if that’s not your thing. Casual, yet romantic outings like ice skating in the park, attending a concert, an outside picnic in a meadow or venturing out in the pick-up truck (if you have one) for a romantic evening under the stars are all fun ways to spend a quiet evening with your hubby. For more fancy ideas, consider dinner and a play downtown, a one-night stay at a romantic hotel complete with hot tub and breakfast in bed or a romantic dinner near the beach followed by a stroll on the water’s edge. Romantic doesn’t have to mean extravagant. Sometimes, the simpler and more relaxed, the better. For more fun ideas visit: “105+ Unique Date Ideas to Jumpstart Your Relationship.”
Get Family Matters in Order
If you have teens tell them they’re on their own. If you have younger kids, get a sitter. Make them dinner the day before and stick it in the fridge so they can pop it in the oven when you’re gone or give them cash to order a pizza. Check anything off your to-do list that will be a major distraction on your date. Sure, when you’re a mom, there’s always things that need to be done. There’s always “stressors” that linger in our minds. But, in order to relax and take in a moment of peace with your husband you need to put everything (and I mean everything) else on the back burner. The laundry can wait, the dishes in the sink can wait, the messy bedrooms can wait, the kids can wait… everything can wait.
Shave your legs, get a mani-pedi, buy new lingerie, get a haircut, buy a new necklace or a dress or blouse or sweater. Do something that will make you feel pretty, feminine, desirable and more like the “you” pre-kids. We forget you know, moms? We get so wrapped up in caring for our kids and family – the cooking, cleaning, shopping, mopping, errands and everything else in between – that we forget who we once were, what life was like when we were flirtatious, giddy, carefree and young(er). It’s time to hang up your mom hat (temporarily, that is) and put your “I’m a woman who deserves to be pampered” hat on.
Unplug from Your Phone
The best advice? Pretend you don’t have a phone. I know, we’re moms. It doesn’t matter if our kids are toddlers or teens, we still feel the need to check in on them. But, as hard as it is, avoid picking up your phone at all costs. Don’t track your kids to see if they went to that party you told them not to go to, don’t check Facebook, Instagram or the latest tweets, don’t check tomorrow’s weather to see if your son’s soccer game will be canceled or read up on the latest news of the day. Just don’t. Tell your kids not to call you unless it’s a dire emergency and only answer your phone unless it’s absolutely necessary. You and your husband need to give each other your undivided attention. You owe it to yourselves!
Dive into Romantic Conversation
There are certain subjects that need to remain off limits when you’re on a date with your husband. That is, if you want to avoid triggering an argument or being a total downer. What those subjects are will vary depending on the couple. For starters, don’t kickstart your romantic date by talking about the stack of bills on the counter that need to be paid, the fact that your daughter didn’t make the cheerleading team and how devastated she was or how frustrated you are that the kids never lift a finger to help around the house. There are plenty of other opportunities to talk about stressful subjects. Instead, talk about each other, your dreams, your hopes, your future, things that make you laugh or just reminisce about the early days. Above all, focus on each other.
Show Some Affection
It’s been said that the skin is a rich resource of information about what we’re thinking and feeling. The truth is, physical touch is actually the secret weapon when it comes to most successful relationships. When you venture out on your romantic date with your husband remember, a little public display of affection goes a long way when it comes to spicing things up in a marriage. Holding hands, sneaking in a kiss, hugging – any element of physical touch will make you and your husband feel loved, wanted and special. Take a trip down memory lane and try to remember how you felt when you first met, your first kiss, or how you felt when he asked you to marry him and carry that emotion with you in your back pocket on your date. The woman you were when you first got married is still a part of you, you just need to give yourself the opportunity to find her again.
"Marriage is a mosaic you build with your spouse. Millions of tiny moments that create your love story. ~ Jennifer Smith