A couple days ago I made the below post on my Instagram. If you’re not following me on that platform, then you should. (shameless plug)
BUT…Today I wanted to elaborate on it just a little bit because I received so many positive comments and DM’s (direct messages) about what I’d written. This is a topic that is extremely important to me; that all couples should be making and taking the time to spend together – sans kids.
Below is my original post. Below that I’ve added some of our favorite ways to spend time together as a couple exploring new places and experiencing new adventures. It doesn’t have to break the bank. Our date days, nights and trips run the spectrum of free, all the way to…one of the kids might not get to go to college. At least we know which one that is!
“I just wanna kiss you forever.”
“As my husband and I prepare to head back to Nashville for the first time since moving to South Florida, these pictures (inserted below) remind me why we take the time to travel together – without our children.
My relationship with my husband is massively important to us thriving as a couple. And crazily enough – our big kids will be out of the house within the next 6-8 years and the baby within the next 40.
Our marriage is the foundation for how our children will seek to find their partners for life so we have to model the behavior we want them to find for their own lives, relationships and marriages.
Investing time into each other. Because once our kiddos go out into this world – it’ll be the two of us. Together. So, we’re not waiting until they leave, to work on us and who we are as a couple – and as individuals. We’re doing it now.
We’ve been at the breaking point before so we know what it means and what it takes to invest in our marriage. I’m always encouraging couples we know to take that trip, go on that date, attend that concert…because it’s time away – together – that continues to forge the bond made at the altar on our wedding day.
Our crazy schedules and work lives don’t necessarily make it super accommodating at times but we’ve never regretted taking that time to just decompress together and make new memories.”
Our date night adventures:
Here are our Top 5 ways in which we enjoy spending time together.
1.) Take a hike and enjoy the scenery.
- Whether you live in the city or out in the country – walking is completely free. We’ve walked our neighborhood after dinner just to get a few minutes together.
2.) Grab dinner and a movie OR go to a concert or show together.
- We love seeing movies, going to concerts and seeing Broadway shows together. Over the last several years and since the baby came along, those movie nights have been replaced with family movie nights at home, our concerts include our oldest from time to time and so do those shows we love to see. But whenever we get the chance to go see a movie, concert or show together, just the two of us – we do!
- For the past few years when we lived in Nashville we got a room on our Anniversary at the Omni for 1 night and spent some alone time together. We also enjoyed their pool, spa and cocktails.
4.) Happy Hour!
- Our days and weeks become so hectic that sometimes all I need is an hour with my husband sitting at an establishment that serves drinks and food half-off to get me clamed down. My love language is Quality Time so there are moments when I just need to hit the pause button, go sip a margarita with the one I love and talk about the craziness that engulfs our lives on a minute-by-minute basis.
5.) Take a trip!
- We love to explore new places together. So whether it’s crossing the pond to Europe or driving across the state to explore a different beach town – we love learning about new cultures, places and people.
How do you make time when it feels like your life is too chaotic?
I’m always reminded by what our Priest, Father John Curtis, told my husband and I shortly before we were married. We were having dinner one evening and discussing relationships and marriage and he asked us, ‘what is more important, the two of you or your children when they come along, God-willing?’
I’m going to digress a moment here to share a little bit of insight into my initial response.
My parents always put us first. We were their focus. And even as a kid there were times when I not only realized this but I felt for them. I wanted them so badly to be able to leave us and go enjoy a night out by themselves. For years we’d tag along on their Anniversary dinners! I ponder those moments now and as a married Mom of three myself, it pains me to think about how terrible that must have been for them.
And I love my kids and I know that my parents loved us but there is something just so wrong about that whole scene that makes me wish I could go back and change it for them. Because partners need time – alone – together.
So – as you can probably tell from my moment of digression, my response to my childhood Priest who’d known me almost my entire life was…children? And that answer, people, is wrong. X – strike – negative. But in that moment it all started to click.
Father John spoke about how our role as parents is to not only care for our children and bring them up in the church, developing and nurturing their spiritual/religious journey; it’s also to help make them very productive members of our society so when they leave our nest and go out into the world they are good people who help, love and give to others. And when they’re gone – guess who’s still left occupying the home you worked so hard to build for said children? The husband and wife. And if they replace their needs as a couple with those of their children, consistently and over time, well, it’s only logical to understand why so many couples claim they’ve grown apart.
And the whole point of marriage is to grow – together.
This dinner was a defining moment in my relationship with my soon-to-be husband because it reshaped so much of what I had been shown growing up. It made us put into context our role as parents but even more so, our role as husband and wife. Since then, we have made us a priority just as much as we make our children a priority. It is not easy either. If you take anything from this – don’t read between the lines of assumption in thinking that we live this fantastically easy and carefree life that supports all of this readily.
It is work. But it’s work that is worth it.
Because our children need happy, healthy and loving parents who are strong in their love for each other so that they can, in turn, model what love looks like and give of that love to them.
Make the dinner reservation.
Walk around the neighborhood.
Take the trip.
You won’t regret it.
– Confessions of a Corporate Mom