This is my third recent piece focused on what keeps the partnership between Mom and Dad healthy and happy.
My wife says that the key to a good marriage is a courtship that doesn’t stop once the honeymoon is over. I’d like to add that the key to being a good parent includes setting aside the time to romance your spouse just the two of you, away from the kids. But we all know that once married couples become parents, courtship tends to get crowded out as both Mom and Dad focus on kid’s activities, day care, sports, school, and everything else that is both time consuming and costly. Setting aside time to take the focus away from the kids and put it back on each other will pay dividends both for the health of the marriage and the health of your parenting partnership. But how to squeeze it all in?
We have some friends who have come up with a simple solution: ‘date night’ at home. No calling (or paying) a babysitter. No nothing. Their four kids go down to the basement play room on Saturday night while Mom and Dad hang a “Do Not Disturb” sign on the door leading upstairs. The kids–oldest is 11 and the youngest is 2– know this is their time to hang out on their own, get their own food, pick their own movies and perhaps solve their own disputes without Mom and Dad around to referee. Meanwhile, Mom and Dad are upstairs doing what is necessary to keep good marriages happy and healthy.
Everyone wins. Brilliant.