By Jason Kaefer
Part of being a parent is finding quality time together as a family and simultaneously making a marriage work. In other words, how do you find the balance? My wife and I have our little boy of two years, and he requires most of our energy being that my wife is a stay at home mom and he hasn’t begun preschool yet. We couldn’t be happier with what we have, but it’s difficult finding the balance for ourselves. There are steps I’ve noticed that benefit our family. Consider the following:
1. Do things together
The ocean is nearby for us. For my wife especially, collecting shells on the beach is therapeutic. We bring our little guy so he can play in the tide pools ( the safe, shallow part). Both my wife and I both have reported feeling less tension after spending time in the sand. Even our little guy appears happier on these days. If you’re not located near the beach, consider an activity you all would enjoy. Try getting outside. Hiking is a great way to get exercise and generate happiness. The time will reinforce confidence in your kids that you are there as a support, together.
Additionally, having dinner together strengthens family relationships. Try to set at least 3-4 nights per week for dinner together.
2. Date Nights
Set time aside, whether it’s once a month or once a week, and spend time together on a date without the kid(s). The time together will serve as a subtle reminder that you’re both in it together and allows you both to appreciate one another’s effort. Keep it light. Somewhere local and quiet that allows you both to talk freely and just relax.
3. Glass of wine and a movie
When the kid(s) are asleep, make it a point to spend time together watching a movie or just simply talking. By doing this, you will not only go to bed with a positive, fresh start for the following day, but it helps to summarize your thoughts and feelings for the week. My wife and I are movie fanatics, so we’ll discuss the details of a film with a glass of wine. But as I’ve said, find a balance that is right for you.
The balance of work, marriage, and family is a complicated one that takes a while to find. The above suggestions work for us but don’t have to apply to everyone. Find your own balance in a similar routine!