Are you worried that you might not be such a great parent because you crave the much-needed time to reconnect with your spouse? Is it possible to balance good parenting with being a good spouse and having an out-of-this-world marriage? I think so and here’s a simple way to do it!

Most young couples find that once they start having kids it becomes more difficult to have some quality time together.

The problem is; the routines of the babies interrupt their time alone. It only gets worse as the babies grow older into toddlers, preschoolers, grade-schoolers through to college-aged kids. And at this time, it is probably too late as the ‘friendship’ foundation needed to build the marriage, has been lost due to the negligible amount of time spend together. Ever wondered why the divorce rate is steadily rising in marriages 21 years and over?

My advice to couples dealing with this gnawing question about balance is very simple;

Be a good spouse first thing in the morning!

Once you start having kids, it is easier to spend quality time together first thing in the morning. If you are fortunate to have a live-in nanny, let the nanny watch the baby as early in the morning as possible so you and your spouse can have some uninterrupted time together before the day really gets started. Assuming one of you is working outside the home, this might be the only uninterrupted time in the day that you’ll have while you are both still mentally fresh enough for a healthy conversation. Typically by the end of the day, your minds are already distracted by all the issues that came up over the course of the day.

I recommend this because I find that most people are confused about what quality, uninterrupted time is. Most people consider going to dinner or the movies as their uninterrupted quality time. I beg to differ. When you’re watching a movie, you are probably not paying full attention to your spouse. You are probably not talking intimately or planning your future together. Even though we enjoy doing these things together, they are not the real quality time that will breathe life into our relationships. If we are setting aside time first thing in the morning, it is highly unlikely we use that time for these activities.

I am not saying you shouldn’t go out and have fun as a couple. On the contrary, I think that is one of the best ways to spend time together, but I also find that we need both quality uninterrupted time with each other and also, time to unwind from the stress of our busy days. Activities like movies and dinner are great to help us unwind from our hectic schedules, but it is that time that the both of you spend talking deeply about your lives, about each other that sow the positive love deposits your relationship needs. If you analyze your conversation when you are watching a movie, you are typically talking about the movie – not each other. When you are out having dinner, you are typically talking about everything that happened in the course of the day or week – not each other.

I suggest spending quality time together in the morning because it gives you a springboard to remain connected over the course of your day, especially if you are both extremely busy. If you have had some quality time together first thing in the morning you are more motivated to check in on each other over the course of the day because you have created some positive interactions that make you “mind full” of each other!

This is a strategy that remains effective; especially if you have kids living under your roof. For example, even when they become school age, the house rules can be that mom and dad don’t deal with requests before 8am :D.

If this quality uninterrupted time for the both of you is on the weekend, find an activity that is really important to your kids that does not require your supervision. For my husband and me, it is TV time on Saturday mornings just before breakfast. Since the kids do not watch any television during the week, they are totally looking forward to their Saturday mornings, the SAME way we are :D! We actually have their shows pre-recorded on the PVR so we know exactly what they are watching without us having to supervise. Netflix kids is also such a blessing!

Though your kids might not fully understand this when they are younger, you are sowing a seed in them by showing what a good relationship between parents looks like.

So how do you get started? Wake up 30 minutes earlier than you normally do.

And how do you balance this with the parenting requirements of your kids? You don’t need to. They are probably still asleep!

Here’s to more quality time with your loved one,

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About ZeeZee

ZeeZee is a certified Relationship and Marriage Coach who believes her purpose in life is to equip couples with the right tools for a successful relationship. Through her website and YouTube channel she shares practical tips and principles that help couples understand the inner workings of a healthy marriage.