I’ve been married for a little more than 10 years. My husband and I both have full-time jobs, part-time side gigs, church and family responsibilities, and our two kids. If you would’ve asked me a few weeks ago how we’re doing, I would’ve said “We’ve got this parenthood thing down!” That is, until my husband and I were chatting with some friends from church. In the context of marriage, my husband said, “I miss my wife.”
This statement caused me to emotionally screech to a halt. That night, as I was mulling over the chat we had, I realized we’d become too comfortable, and despite living up to our responsibilities, our marriage felt more like a roommate situation. I needed to reconnect with my husband, but doing so in our busy life was going to be a challenge. I had to be creative, and that meant reconnecting, even with the kids around!
Before diving into this list, take a moment to find a list of questions to ask your spouse, such as this one from LifeHack. Then, keep that list saved on your phone for the times below when you finally have time to really talk with your spouse. If you can’t think of anything besides kids or traffic to talk about, pick a question from the list and let the conversation go from there.
Top Five Ways to Reconnect with Your Spouse When You Gotta Be Creative
Eat at kid-friendly restaurants. Given that I don’t always want to dine at McDonald’s, it’s surprising this is at the top of my list. However, we love finding restaurants that allow our kids to play and run. It gives us time to talk about life, current events, and each other. Our favorite places actually do not involve fast food. Find a place with a playground and a patio, and plan to dine there later in the evening as the sun goes down (it really sets the mood). Here in North Fort Worth, you might try Central Market in Southlake or Pie Five in Fort Worth (Alliance area). Those are two of our favorites because they have good food and a playground right next to the patio.
Play games with each other throughout the day. My husband and I use phone games to interact during the day. I love Draw with Friends the most because it’s simple to do, can be done at our convenience, and allows us to use inside jokes or memories. For instance, I once had the word “airplane.” I drew a picture of the first time he took me flying. (He’s a pilot.) It drew upon a fun memory and brought smiles to our faces.
Go to church. I know, I know. Church is often hard to get to, and finding the right church family can be hard. Since most churches have a nursery and children’s class, though, it’s worth the look. My husband and I love to sit in Sunday school, holding hands and following the lesson. It unites us to a common purpose and helps us feel uplifted for the week. It also provides topics to discuss on the way home, which we might not have otherwise thought to talk about.
Check out drive-in movie theaters near you. Here in Fort Worth, we have Coyote Drive-In not too far from the stockyards. When my oldest was a baby, we would go to drive-ins because he would sleep soundly in the car while we got to watch a movie. We would snuggle up in the front seat with a blanket and each other, all while our infant was nearby, safe and sound.
Bring back the PDA! Any time I pass my husband when I’m at home, even if I’m just walking to the washing machine or taking my son to change his diaper, I put my hand on his back or rub his arm as I’m going. You don’t have to go all hormone crazed teenager to get in a little touching action. Make it a point to touch, say hi, and kiss throughout your day. You might be surprised, as I was, at how far this simple, tender action can go in helping you both feel valued and loved.
The truth is, parenting kiddos can take a toll if you don’t take steps for a little relationship maintenance. If you’re in a rut, get out of it. If you’re not yet there, take precautions! Every day isn’t going to the epitome of perfection, but maintaining your relationship will make the rough times more enjoyable!
What are your favorite ways to reconnect? Any other kid-friendly date night spots that missed this list? Let me know!