We knew things would change when we had children, and we knew it would be harder to fit in date night. We also knew we’d have less time for each other, but I don’t think we ever imagined how hard quality time with your spouse can be outside of date night until we took our first weekend getaway without our toddler a few weeks ago. We had so many quality conversations in only a few days! It was a big moment of realization for us just how much time we share with our baby and how important it is to carve out more moments to really connect with each other both on dates and during our everyday responsibilities.
We’re a family who believes in “work hard, play hard” and we do all we can to make sure date night for mom and dad and family date night time is available, but we’ve learned that we could also afford to play a little while we work and slow down for a moment to really connect. We’re changing a few things and it’s amazing how just a couple of shifts on our to-do list are helping us find so much more quality time, even as busy parents with never-ending to-do lists.
Here are a few things we’re doing to create more quality conversation time with each other:
- Run errands together! Sometimes we divide and conquer to get more done, but we’re learning an extra half hour or hour with time we can sit and chat while we drive running errands is giving us 20-30 more minutes of quality conversation we were missing out on.
- We’re making a cognizant effort to spend project time chatting! We discovered while dating that if we try to do a project together we both focus so intensely we ignore each other and really don’t chat. But if we say we’re going to talk about something before we get started, we do actually ask questions, listen, and make time for each other.
- Do the loud chores separately at the same time, do the quiet chores together. We can mow the lawn and vacuum the house at the same time when we couldn’t hear one another, and then we can come together and pick up the living room and kitchen from our toddler storm when he’s asleep, and we can chat while we do it. It’s amazing how being more intent with noisy separate and quiet together is making a huge difference!
- Turn messy, louder chores into easier chores you can do together. There are so many great cleaning products that have come out the past few years meant to make cleaning easier, faster, and that often means less noise too! We recently discovered we could swap a loud car wash or messy bucket for a more eco-friendly Armor All Wipe and chat while we clean our cars. It’s an easy 1, 2, 3 step system to be used anytime, anywhere. They are wipes that are pre-moistened and treated so you literally need nothing else to clean the exterior of your car, goodbye bucket, hose, and buffing! And we’re talking a complete clean too, there’s the Ultra Shine Wash, the Ultra Shine Wax Wipes, and Ultra Shine Tire Sponges. They are new Armor All products – all three available in the automotive section at Walmart. So we’re now changing out this job as a solo job to a tandem easy one. It went from a separate chore to one we can do together just as easily as we pick up the toy room. Hello more quality time and more quality conversion we can fit in during nap time! And I’m a firm believer that you can never go wrong with a clean car.
- Fit in more lunch dates. I’ve found that making the effort to meet on a lunch break makes a big difference for us. We really get each other’s best attention and we’re the least tired. Sometimes we do make it a family date, but if we can sneak in time alone it’s even better. If we can’t physically meet, sometimes just calling each other and chatting on the phone while we’re both eating our respective food in our respective places helps us feel more connected and talk about one more adult thing without toddler distractions.
We’re learning as we go, but as always, we’re seeing you get out what you put in, and putting in a little more effort to rearrange our norms and make a little more quality time for each other goes such a long ways particularly when you’re busy parents with young children!
Take advantage of the $2.00 off any one (1) of the Armor All Ultra Shine Wipes from Walmart, while supplies last!