One of the greatest needs of married couples in the thick of raising kids and building careers is time alone with each other. Time can be so limited in this busy season of life due to school activities, job obligations, keeping up a home, and the list goes on and on. We have so many people, places, and things vying for our time and attention, and most of these are good things. However, we must resist the temptation to put our spouse and marriage on the back burner while we tend to everyone and everything else. We can’t assume that “one day…” we might have more time to invest in our marriage. The truth is our spouse and marriage need our focus now more than ever.
So, what’s a busy couple to do?
Here are 5 life hacks that might help you make time with your spouse a top priority:
1. Set specific hours each day for when you both turn off ALL electronics and have a conversation.
I love smartphones, laptops, televisions, social media, and well, most electronic things, but we can really spend too much time on them if we aren’t careful. Before we realize it, we can spend hours on social media and end up ignoring our spouse and family. It’s nearly impossible to have a coherent or productive conversation while we are staring at our phone, laptop, or TV. Not to mention, it’s rude to our loved ones! So, it’s important that we give ourselves boundaries. If this is a struggle for you and your spouse, try agreeing to turn off all devices during certain hours of the day when you both are home. For most of us, this will most likely be at nighttime. Then, once you both have turned off devices, give your spouse your full and best attention. Spend this time talking to each other and investing in your relationship. This special time will help your marriage to thrive!
2. Meet for lunch at least once a month.
Time with your spouse doesn’t have to be just at home or at night. Sometimes, it takes thinking a little outside of the box to create space for more time together. Meeting for lunch may not be possible with some jobs and different shifts, but the timing of the meal doesn’t really matter. What matters is that you both choose to prioritize spending more time together, and a lunch or dinner break is a great opportunity.
3. Schedule and keep a regular date night.
Date nights aren’t just for those who are dating. In fact, I believe married couples need them even more! Date nights are a great way to experience a break from the daily grind and remember what brought the two of you together. For parents, childcare can be an issue, but there are so many options that make this easier today. Check out Care.com, your local YMCA, and the Nextdoor app for your neighborhood. There are all kinds of qualified people who would love to babysit your kids. Do your due diligence and find someone you can depend on to watch your precious kids and make date night a priority. Your marriage will be better for it!
4. Put the kids to bed a little earlier.
This one is obviously for parents. An earlier bedtime for our children is a surefire way to give ourselves more alone time with our spouse. Our kids may not like it at first, but it’s important that we explain to them how we love giving them our time and attention all day. However, after they go to bed, we need some special time with mommy/daddy. It’s healthy for our kids to see us prioritizing our time with our spouse, and once we put this routine in place, our kids and spouse will come to expect it.
5. Don’t bring your work home with you.
This can be difficult at times, but we can do it if we are more intentional about our time at work. When we leave our work at our workplace, we have more time and attention to offer our spouse and family at the end of the day. In order to keep our work at the workplace, we may also need to make it clear to our co-workers and clients that we rarely if ever take work calls at night because we are spending time with our family. This may not be well-received, but it is up to us to set the boundaries.
If you work from home, this can be tricky. However, you can set boundaries for yourself by shutting down your laptop and cell phone and putting away your work at an appropriate time. This will greatly benefit your marriage and family!
For more on how to prioritize your marriage and family, be sure to check out our Naked Marriage Podcast. Be blessed!