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February 18, 2013

After We Put the Kids to Bed, How About…

Image: Flickr/Chris Ford

Image: Flickr/Chris Ford

So it’s been a long day, perhaps even a long week. You’ve dealt with the stressors that come from working, juggling schedules, meeting deadlines and figuring out when and what to eat. You’ve enjoyed reconnecting with your kids, but you are also looking forward to tucking them in and kissing them goodnight. Maybe you have plans to catch up on some reading, watch the game or take a nice, hot bath. You deserve it, right? Absolutely. The whole idea of putting your own oxygen mask on first is one of the keys to being ScreamFree, after all. But let me throw something at you. What if you took some of that down time and had a date with your spouse?

The idea of dating is often accompanied by serious planning, especially if you have young kids. It can be such an arduous task that we can be guilty of exclaiming the phrase, “Why bother?” Well, dating is important. It is how you connect with the one in which you share those parental duties. Without an active and lively dating relationship, intimacy ofttimes escapes couples. Let’s face it, the whole “ships passing in the night” thing isn’t what anyone wants.There is an option that is totally within your power to execute whenever you get ready and it’s without the expense and hassle of finding a babysitter. I am talking about having a date with your spouse in the comfort of your own home, after you put the kids to bed. I’m not talking about anything extravagant, but something that helps the two of you focus upon one another and rekindle the fire of connection.Here are some ideas that may get your creative juices flowing:
1.  A Dessert Date. This was actually an activity that my wife and I began doing a few months ago. I sent her an invitation via email earlier in the day and asked her to meet me in our bedroom that night for a dessert date. I have no idea if she thought I literally meant “dessert,” but she accepted anyway. So over Haagen Daz Butter Pecan Ice Cream and cake we simply talked about things that were on our hearts – any and everything that came to mind; everything but…the kids.
2.  I’ll Show You Mine, You Show Me Yours. Before you go there, this idea is a spin on the classic “Let’s watch a movie together.” The aim here is to reveal part of yourself to your partner through the movie that you choose. Consider showing them one of your favorite movies and in kind you agree to watch one of their’s the next time around. You can choose a movie that reveals part of your personality that you don’t feel they really know. Whenever I want my wife to know how smooth and debonaire I really am, I choose a James Bond movie. I don’t know if she’s picking up on that one just yet.
3.  Take Me to the Spa. What if you played massage therapist for the night for your partner? I’m talking about going all out, the ambient music, the lavender scented oil, the candles, everything. Sure, there isn’t much talking going on, but there can still be plenty of connection…through touch.
4.  20 Questions. With this, each spouse comes up with ten questions that you want to ask the other. There is nothing off limits here. The only rule is that you have to be truly authentic in answering. You will have the freedom to inquire about some of the things you may have been holding back on asking. This is another chance for you to be authentic with your spouse through your answers. Remember, when authenticity becomes mutual, intimacy becomes a reality.
This list is obviously not exhaustive, but hopefully it gets you on your way. The power to reconnect is within your own hand. Take that step and ask your spouse to join you. You just might be surprised what you might find when you set aside regular time to just have a date, even with the kids down the hall.

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