I can’t count the number of times I’ve said to my husband “I miss you”. Even though we live together, I sometimes still experience that lack of emotional connection because the bulk of the little time we have together is spent parenting, as we are 100% intentional about how our kids are raised.
It has taken a bit of practice to create time for that one on one connection that we long for, while keeping the girls under our roof, but I’m glad we are getting better at prioritizing our relationship.
Here are some tips that has helped us achieve that:
CHOOSE YOUR SPECIAL DAY.
If you don’t intentionally choose a day when you will make that special one on one time happen, the days will keep going by and you will never seem to find the time. The day you choose, should be a day when you’re both together for the most part, because it is easier to have a special time together when you have gotten other things that you also need to do together out of the way.
If you both don’t have at least a day when you’re together for the most part, perhaps you should consider your schedule very carefully and reorganize your priorities. Work is important but not at the expense of your marriage.
Kids need one on one time with each parent alone anyway. On your chosen day, do a sleep rotation so you can both be well rested for the night. While mommy is sleeping, they get two hours with dad and while dad is sleeping, they get two hours with mom and when they go to sleep, mom and dad are WELL RESTED to spend at least two hours alone 💃🏽.
I usually have no problem taking a nap (because I’m being constantly drained) but sometimes, I have to give my husband a gentle reminder that he needs to sleep so he won’t be dozing when we are alone. Make it work for you both.
BE OKAY WITH SAYING NO TO OTHER ENGAGEMENTS.
Of course there will always be demands on your time from well meaning friends and relatives. However, you should first find a rhythm that enables you and your spouse to have that one on one time, then other social engagements can align. Your spouse is your number one priority so try not to say yes to engagements that will hinder you from spending that alone time. Be sure however to respectfully communicate your refusal, and offer alternatives that work for you based on your circumstances.
USE SPONTANEOUS MOMENTS WISELY.
There will always be those very rare occasions when the kids sleep at the same time 😳. What will you do then? Cuddle and catch some sleep together too or have a nice quiet conversation. Whatever you choose, do not be caught mindlessly scrolling through your phone or doing chores 🙄 during this rare opportunity.
Going to church together, going shopping together or just driving around are great opportunities for one on one time. They are little, so will most likely fall asleep in a late afternoon car ride and even if they don’t, they are stuck in their car seat with some toys, so the distraction is minimal. It’s now the responsibility of whoever is riding shot gun to put phones aside and get into a casual conversation with your spouse.
KEEP THE KIDS BEDTIME SCHEDULE CONSTANT.
Of course, after they’ve gone to bed is the best one on one time anyone can have, so I’m going to give some details to help you get and keep them on a schedule.
When I had my first child, as a newbie, I just went with her flow until I learnt the very hard way that she needed a sleep schedule. Oh and she resisted it vehemently 😂. Having learnt from that, my second baby got on a sleeping schedule at 6 months, right after she transitioned to solids, and started sleeping through the night at 7 months, and it has been such a relief for us.
Here are the fundamentals of a bedtime schedule:
These babies are intelligent, let me just start with that, and why should they sleep independently when you are easily available for some cuddle. Right from the word go, let baby have her own space.
I remember my mom and MIL told me everyone buys cribs but eventually piles clothes in it, lol, not me. Sometimes, they take naps in my bed, but when it’s bedtime, everybody finds their level. This is the first step to independent and good sleeping habits. No one, not even our sweet little babies, come between my husband and I at night! That is the most important one on one time we need, even if nothing is happening, let there be potential for something to happen.😀
This must be FIXED, in your head at least, lol. So do whatever you must to start preparing dinner at a set time so they can eat it at the same time every night. As much as you can, meal prep and choose dinners that will give them a full belly, so you will not start second guessing hunger when they wake up at night (because they will definitely protest). And the pediatrician did say babies as young as 6 months should be able to sleep 8 hours without food.
If my kids are still up for any reason, an hour after dinner, they will surely get dessert. I must be convinced I have fed them well, because I do not like to offer anything besides water at night.
This should be within an hour after dinner time. TV should have been off during dinner time to begin to set the tone for the night. Also, it has been medically advised that screens shouldn’t be allowed while eating and screen time should end at least an hour before bed to promote good sleep.
Now the time you choose as their bed time is completely up to you, but do not think that the later they go to bed, the later they would wake up. It doesn’t always work. Plus going to bed later will just mean less sleep than they actually need to develop normally.
Try to choose a bed time that will give at least a 10 hour sleep before day breaks and every where gets bright. I’m typing this at 5am and my kids have been in bed since 7pm, it’s not always this smooth, but tonight, I’m a proud mama🤗
These are the activities you commit to doing every night to signal to them psychologically that it’s time to shut down. Little babies especially need this, because they do not understand “go to bed it’s time to sleep”😂.
My bedtime routine typically includes: songs, prayer, hugs and kisses. After which I just put them in bed and walk away 😂. I mean it! However, have a plan for their protest so it won’t throw you off balance. For more on this I wholly recommend book below.
At first it can be discomforting to see them struggle with a schedule, especially if they have been used to getting their way, but the opportunity it gives you to nourish your marriage will make it worth it.
Remember, these kids will eventually leave you and the major relationship you will have left is your marriage, so do not allow the responsibility of raising them be the reason you lose touch with your spouse.
Make watering your garden a priority always!
Does this resonate with you in any way? Let me know in the comments.
Until next week,😎
With all my love❤️