This time is absolutely critical. It helps to nurture the relationships, remind you why you started to like the person and how you felt when you are just two. When you are not father or mother but really the couple you used to be. I feel that even getting used to a “couple vs parents” mindset takes some time and I need at least 1 day to re-learn how to focus on myself and Maks only. 2-3 hours getaways for a dinner or movie are a nice refresher, but they are not enough. The “time for two” for a longer time restores the balance of feeling as a couple vs “family” and helps us grow the relationship.
Here is what we do when we have this rare luxury time for two:
- Do together activities that we liked before or explore something new. Going for lazy breakfast, walking the city, going to yoga together and most importantly having time for long talks and listens. Talking/listening at home when we are 4 is often limited to logistics and plans, day before and upcoming weekend… and having a quality talk is rare. We catch up on quality talk.
- Reminding yourself who you were before the children… and why you started to like the other. I love when Maks opens the door of the car just for me and give me a hand to help exit. When we are a family, we both run to open the doors for one of the child…. This simple gesture brings me back to where we were 9 years ago.., and it feels great.
- We think of who we want to become and how to get there. We often review the plans for a year, talk of different paths that we could take to longer term goals. This summer we just enjoyed ourselves and did not plan anything… just being was so needed.
How to bring make it last at home beyond summer. We have tried a number of things, but from all only the “getaway trips” really work.
- We tried spending 20 minutes together every day after kids are in bed. 20 minutes sitting next to each other on the couch. .. worked few days, but then, desire to go to bed and day’s tiredness comes…. and sometimes we still talk the next day’s logistics instead of just being together.
- We tried to have a morning coffee before the house wakes up. This one is unpredictable. Sometimes Nikita wakes up earlier, some mornings first cup of coffee is still too early to start talking.
- We tried going for a long lunch or dinner once a month. It worked quite well for a few years, but last 3-4 months we have not been able to find the right time….
- We still want to do sports together, but this requires extra babysitter solution, so we wait.
- City trips and 1-2-3 days getaways really work. We set to explore a place, we leave the house behind and in this exploration we rediscover the two of us again… We do at least once a year, sometimes 2….
Enjoy the rest of summer and hopefully still plan a little time for two before the school year begins