When my daughter was born three years ago, my husband and I did not know how much rest and relaxation we would be giving up as a couple. All during my pregnancy, we had heard those famous words, “Enjoy your free time now, because once the baby gets here, you will not have any.” People tried to warn us. They tried to get through to us. But it never, truly sank in……until we had our precious daughter in 2006. To us, free time meant spending whatever time we had away from our daughter, either together or separately, doing things we enjoyed and loved. This, in turn, was enough to spark the romance and keep the magic alive in our relationship. Before our child rearing days, we were always a care free couple, pursuing our individual hobbies as well as spending time with one another. But once our little Ava arrived, things in our relationship started changing. What made things even more realistic is that we started realizing how over protective we were becoming as parents. It was like a job interview every time someone offered to babysit for us. All of a sudden, planning an evening of romance and dinner turned into the Spanish Inquisition for babysitters.
By the time my daughter turned one, we were blessed to find another couple who we trusted to watch her. They, like us, had a son who was a couple of months older then our child. So we bartered our way into their hearts, offering to watch their child should they even want a night out and vice versa. The plan worked, until they dropped a bombshell on us with the news that they were moving back to their home state. This was a tough pill to swallow for my husband and I. We were, once again, left without a babysitter. I was determined to figure out a way to still “keep the magic alive” in our relationship, despite our shortcomings when it came to child care. I think my husband was equally on bored with this idea because before we knew it, we were using our creativity as a set of jumper cables to rev up our marriage.
Just to give you an idea of what we’ve been doing……
• In the mornings before he leaves for work, my husband will write little love notes on the dry erase board on our refrigerator. When I receive them, I write a reply to his note on the same board.
• I have been known to leave little love notes where he can find them (on the computer screen, in the current book he is reading, etc…).
• I will send cute little e-mails during the day to his work e-mail address.
• I make daily phone calls to him at work to see how his day is going.
• On the week nights when our kids go to bed early (around 8ish), we stop what we are doing and just sit in the living room and talk.
• We make sure to put our kids down for bed early on the weekends so we can have “movie” night and we take turns picking out the movies.
• He has been known to buy me little things when he is out and about. And I have done the same.
• We take turns getting up with the kids at night if they wake up so that the other person can get their sleep.
These are just a few of the things we do for each other during the week. Who knows? We may decide to not have a babysitter after all and continue with this plan. Our marriage is living proof that it’s the little things that seem to count. And I wouldn’t want to change it for the world. ☺