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2008.01.24

Comments

NaNa

Jen--You need to plan a vacation for the 2 of you, whether it be camping or a walk somewhere. Make time for (JUST) the two of you ,no friends. Other wise its easy to get disconnected. If were not busy, he certainly can stay with us. Sometimes its easier to just plan something yourself. We love you mom Cook

Leslie

It's so hard to try and fit in time for just you or for you and your spouse. Your schedule sounds a lot like ours...minus the fact that I don't work full time. But, by the time we finish dinner, do bathtime, storytime, bedtime, we are exhausted. All I want to do is crawl into bed, read and sleep.

Jade and I try to sneak out on a weekend evening. We will go to dinner or do something. Usually, my mom will take Reyna.

It's hard, but we all need that time. It is what makes our relationships with our spouse keep going strong.

Elizabeth

I feel ya! Seems like we are in a rut as well....one we can't break out of. Hubby works so much ( even weekends for the past 2 months) I feel like we hardly ever see each other anymore. And then when he does have time at home, I feel bad about trying to dump TJ off on a sitter so I can "steal" his daddy away for some "us" time.

MrsPop

My husband and I haven't had "us" time since, um, some random night in December, I believe.

We used to get a sitter one or two nights a week who would come after the Boy was asleep and we'd go out. I've been so exhausted lately, though, that I can hardly move, much less get fixed up to go out.

One thing we make absolutely sure we do every year, though, is take a vacation without the child. Our son loves spending a week with his grandparents, his grandparents adore it, and we get the much-needed break from reality.

I'm going to make more of an effort now to make my husband a priority, too.

Jaime

Wow... you are probably still reading all you comments. Way to get the ladies thinking on Thursday.
TRIED to get some time with Eli last night but Naydine didn't fall asleep until 11:30 last night. Grr... we were having some issues!
Good post...

Carrie

I hear ya! I'm not going to tell you it's easy, because it's not. When you got kids - you got kids, you know. But there is always room for just the two of you, you just got to be creative and seize the moments when they come along. Even if it's for a walk, or coffee or movies. We used to ditch work and spend the day together doing something fun (because there was already a daycare/babysitter in place.) Good luck.

Hollie

I find long trips away always make us happy to see each other... granted I don't always choose the length of the trip :) I don't think we will have enough time to get stuck in a rut, but that's just it... not enough time. We have started meeting for a few minutes or lunch during the work day, which makes it seem like we are not apart for so long. Lately I have been making a real effort to spend all the time I can together!

Anthony Howard

For some reason, I linked the wrong blog under my name.. this is my correct blog...
http://onemomentatatime-anthony.blogspot.com

Anthony

I could write a book on the busy routine that affects my marriage to my beautiful wife and myself. The constant battle of facing little or no time by ourselves without tv, computer, sports events or whatever. So I'll cut it short by saying, it's a common problem that happens in marriages. The real problem is when people just give up because they feel the spark is gone. Love changes over time. It is up to us to adapt and understand that it's okay to put your husband, or in my case my wife, a priority above our kids. You will not be bad parents just because you put each other first. The Bible says you are to love God, your husband/wife and then your children in that order.

LeeAnn and I put a lot of our energy into the time we have with Luke and we tend to overlook the moments we share with each other when he is not around. I want so badly to have alone time with LeeAnn and at times it does get frustrating when Luke comes over and crawls between us because I know he will then get all the attention. But that is what comes with the job description of being a parent.

Our days are Tuesdays. For a few hours a week the focus is on us. I wish the night could last forever but I know it won't. We just have to take the small opportunities that happen during the day and love each moment. Sometimes it's not saying I Love You, but giving an unexpected hug or kiss. I don't know if I should be giving advice on this subject, but all i can say is if you have just five minutes love him fully for those five minutes. It goes a long way to know that you are completely focused on each other even if it is just a small fraction of the day or hour. Just remember that writing about it will not help unless you actually put the words in place. Good luck and never give up. Love love love!!!!!!!!!!!!!

RobynD

All I can say is we so need some sort of date night soon. I really need to find a sitter.

LeeAnn Howard

Great post! Tony and I have set aside Tuesday nights for our date night. I too feel that I hardly get to see my son Lukas, and its hard to bring him over to one of our parents houses for our date night, but we know its gotta be done in order to keep our marriage strong. And I think Lukas will appreciate it more in the end when he can see his parents are in a happy marriage. You just have to set that one night a week, and have someone watch him for 3 hours. So you two can go out to eat and do an activity of some sort. We made plans for ice skating, a movie, shopping in the mall (which my husband loves to do), rented a movie to watch at home, etc. Just have to stick with it. :)

mom

jenny, always remember when i am home you and matt are welcome at any time to bring little one down for me to take care of. i know we are busy but i would love nothing more than to take him while you two went out to dinner (without friends) once in awhile, just the two of you, or take in a movie or a lake walk or anything. when you are down at my house you are pretty much away from family and the time you spend together is for you two. you could also hook up with some of your friends down here just for a change. either stay at our house or just leave baby with me and you stay at a motel, hotel, cabin whatever. try to start laying him in bed around 8 and read to him or something and maybe he will start to go to sleep earlier or something. but always remember when i am home, i am here for you and your family. i love you guys and want you to have a wonderful life together.

zoe

the only way mark and i can ever have time togethor is to plan in advance. sometimes it just seems too hard to find a sitter, mess up everyone's bed time, ect. i know it should be a priority...but most the time it's not.

jessica

everyone i know has this problem. kids or no kids. we have a baby AND an overscheduled elementary-schooler. and two more with us every other weekend. it's quite a balancing act. besides that, we are both employed by someone plus we each own our own respective businesses. it's so easy to fall into the scurry here, scurry there, be ruled by the clock and timelines thing. it gets pretty overwhelming.

a couple of nights a week we literally drop everything and just spend some alone time, after 8 when the little ones are in bed. a movie, a game, just talking, anything. the housework gets neglected but i find that both of us get rather grumpy if we don't have that 'us' time.

we also try to make sure we make an effort to let the other know what he/she means to us - if i notice he picked up the toys or put in a load of laundry, i let him know that i'm grateful and i love him.

we try to vacation together, no kids, once or twice a year. whether it be to hawaii or a ski resort somewhere. leave the kids with grandma and grandpa. it's soooo necessary to have time to reconnect, to just be able to function as people rather than parents and remember why you're together in the first place.

michelle

Jenny, I think this is commonplace in most marriages, with out without kids. Let me tell you, it only gets harder the more kids you have. We struggle with this too. Brian works late and doesn't even get home until after 6. The girls go to bed, by 8 at the latest. He feels terrible that he only gets 2 hours with them and even less time with me. Most nights, we lay in bed and watch tv together until I pass out. We have to intentionally plan a night for just the 2 of us, where we go out and are away from the girls. It's hard to find time, but really, as long as you acknowledge that this needs to be done, I think you are ok. If you ignored it, then it becomes a problem. I think when our kids aren't so young and we don't have to devote 100% of our attention to them, then things will be easier and fall into place, but until then an effort is definitely required! Great topic.

michelle

Jenny, I think this is commonplace in most marriages, with out without kids. Let me tell you, it only gets harder the more kids you have. We struggle with this too. Brian works late and doesn't even get home until after 6. The girls go to bed, by 8 at the latest. He feels terrible that he only gets 2 hours with them and even less time with me. Most nights, we lay in bed and watch tv together until I pass out. We have to intentionally plan a night for just the 2 of us, where we go out and are away from the girls. It's hard to find time, but really, as long as you acknowledge that this needs to be done, I think you are ok. If you ignored it, then it becomes a problem. I think when our kids aren't so young and we don't have to devote 100% of our attention to them, then things will be easier and fall into place, but until then an effort is definitely required! Great topic.

michelle

Jenny, I think this is commonplace in most marriages, with out without kids. Let me tell you, it only gets harder the more kids you have. We struggle with this too. Brian works late and doesn't even get home until after 6. The girls go to bed, by 8 at the latest. He feels terrible that he only gets 2 hours with them and even less time with me. Most nights, we lay in bed and watch tv together until I pass out. We have to intentionally plan a night for just the 2 of us, where we go out and are away from the girls. It's hard to find time, but really, as long as you acknowledge that this needs to be done, I think you are ok. If you ignored it, then it becomes a problem. I think when our kids aren't so young and we don't have to devote 100% of our attention to them, then things will be easier and fall into place, but until then an effort is definitely required! Great topic.

Kim

happy parents, happy child. :)

tom and i work really hard on this. it's way easier with a baby i think because max is in bed by 7 at the latest, so i don't really feel like i'm missing out on time with him if we do something after 7. i'm sure it'll only get harder as he gets older. it seems like for us, we usually have to get out of the house for it to actually be 'our' time. we're not too good at putting aside our work/projects, the computer, etc if we're at home, and i find that watching TV together isn't good 'together time.' so we try to get tom's mom to watch max so we can go out to dinner, hopefully once a week... sometimes with friends, but not always. and maybe once a month, he'll stay at her house for the whole night, so that we can stay out late and sleep in for an extra hour. and we got my mom to watch him so we could go on vacation which was WONDERFUL for us. but we are lucky because we work right across the street from each other, so if all else fails, we'll go out for a lunch date.

we just believe in general that you put your marriage first. above all else, even kids. yes, we love max and would do anything for him, but we feel like our most important gift to him is a happy home and the best way to accomplish that is through loving each other. i mean, when max leaves said happy home, i'll only be 43 (well, as long as he doesn't live here until he's 30 or something, eek!).

Gina

Seems like a fitting place to add my first comment as I struggle with this a lot. I like your TFTs, by the way. They are always well thought out and interesting topics.

For me it's the little things like making sure I tell him thank-you repeatedly on the days when he goes above and beyond what I think he should be doing. We think anyone that says their marriage didn't change when they had kids either isn't spending as much time with their kids as we would or isn't being realistic. We both talk about how our marriage will go through phases just like anything else and we're both OK with that so it works for us. When the kids are super little there might not be as much US time but it will come back as they get older. Communication is really key for us. There is no "you did this so I get to do this" at our house. I don't believe in that. We are a TEAM. She is OUR child. We play with her TOGETHER and enjoy her TOGETHER...that is as much of our "couple" time as anything else. But, I do cook dinner after she goes to bed and we watch movies or listen to music and have a glass of wine together at least once a week. We don't have ANY babysitters so that is about as much as we get but to be honest, we would have rather stayed home and cooked dinner and watched movies before she was born...why would we change after?

Wow, I sure can talk a lot.

jenny

hey d$ - how about you babysit my kid and maybe we'll think about that one. hahaha!

d$

I got an idea.....have another kid...hahahahahahahahahahahaha

heather

Great thoughts Jenny! I think it's great that you want to make that a priority and put some effort into keeping your "coupleness". Sometimes it's hard, and you have to be intentional and sometimes people forget it might take work.

As for us, we used to do fairly regular date nights... when we had family around to keep the kids. Even then, we had the same problem you do with friends... we love to be social and usually our first instinct is to invite friends to be a part of our fun, whether that's hanging out at our house or going out or a weekend at the beach. We've had to stop ourselves and just let it be us sometimes.
Now, for the past year and a half, we've been on our own with no family and not much for babysitters, so most of our couple time is at home.
We made it a priority early on that our kids were in bed at a decent time so we had the majority of the evenings to ourselves. After 7:30 everynight, it's adult time. Whether we're watching a movie, folding laundry or playing a game, we at least don't have the kids competing for attention for those couple of hours before we go to bed, and we can actually connect.
Also usually once a week, maybe every other, we'll feed the kids a quick dinner and after we get them bathed and in bed, we'll have our own "grown up" dinner. Ryan will grill steaks, or we'll just eat something we know the kids wouldn't eat anyway, and enjoy a meal together without the mess and the noise of the kids. It's like a date night in.

I know a lot of parents who both work, sometimes feel guilty about only spending a couple of hours with their kids at night before putting them either to bed or with a babysitter. I think this: (Besides the fact that I'm a huge advocate for good bedtimes), your kids know you love them more than life. They're not counting the hours you spend with them... you're there for them, you'll always be there for them, and they know that. I think spending quality time with the kids is important. But I think it's also important that they see a good example of a good marriage. That their parents make each other a priority too. That just as you carve out special time for them, you have to carve out time for their daddy too, because they are both important to you.

Sorry for the rambling! I think this is a great topic!

Denise H.

HaHa! I don't even have kids yet and I sometimes think that my husband and I don't spend enough quality time together. Our days, like yours are beginning to be repetitious and I hate it. Although, I used to work with a lady who has gone on a date with her husband every friday night since they began dating. They have been married for 20 years and are still doing this. When their son was little and they couldn't find a babysitter they took him but always tried to get out on their own for at least a couple of hours every friday and I thought that is so COOL! They have an amazing relationship and I think that their date night has contributed to it. I need to do this with my husband!

Kelly

Boy have we wrestled with this topic for a while. I totally agree with you and it seems the older the kids get the harder it is which is weird. My situation is a bit different as I am home with the kids but somehow that doesn't give us more time together. My husband works 5 mins from home and doesn't have to be to work until 8am BUT we have decided to get up together around 6:30am or so. That gives us a chance to have a real conversation, drink some coffee, talk about worldly issues, etc. I find that I am more patient with the kids when I am not awoken to one of the twins screaming for Mommy from the crib. I guess the biggest thing we were focusing on is finding a babysitter and since we don't really know anyone around here who doesn't have a regular job or kids of their own, we were limited. We changed our focus and decided that we should try and have us time here at home after bed or before morning since babysitters are scarce. Hope this helps. Good luck with it!

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