The 3 Things You Need to Schedule
Once you become a busy mom or dad, the things you once did as a “solo” couple can become quite complicated. Among all the other things you need to schedule for yourself, you can add appointments, extracurricular activities, and quality time for your little ones to the schedule. Maybe there was a time in your life where you and the hubby could just hop up in the middle of the night and drive over to the nearest drive-in restaurant, order slushies, and talk about nothing and everything until the break of dawn, but once you become a parent that changes a bit. In order to take that same drive in the middle of the night, you have to first coordinate your schedules, decide if you’ve had enough sleep after a long day of kid wrangling, book the sitter (because someone has to watch the kids…or they’ll be tagging along), but even after all of that, you will likely decide it’s not worth it.
Just like coordinating schedules and making plans to do everyday life takes time and effort, the three things I will discuss in this post take the same effort in scheduling. These things are important to a marriage and if you aren’t intentional about making sure they happen, things can get really tense.
The first thing that every parenting couple needs to schedule is sex. Yep, I am not burying the lede here. Sex is important to a marriage and while scheduling time for sex may not itself be sexy, not scheduling it can lead to little or no sex at all. Let’s face it, parenting little people is hard. It takes up so much time and the more children you have, the more time you will likely be subtracting from things you did before you became parents—like having sex whenever you wanted. Try having sex between feedings, diaper changes, working, cooking dinner, taking the kids to soccer practice, and church…I’m tired just thinking about it.
Scheduling time for sex may not appeal to lots of people. I get it. Spontaneous sexy time is a real turn on. But let me say this: YOU CAN STILL HAVE SPONTANEOUS SEX! Scheduling a reoccurring, expected time for sex just ensures that you and your spouse will at least have THAT time together and that can only lead to more sex (*wink, wink*). Now, here is one more important piece to this sexy time puzzle: once you set the schedule, stick to it. There are some mentionable exceptions to this, of course: Not everyone is into “period sex” and things like illness and exhaustion are real.
Next, you and your spouse need to schedule a regular date night or nights. Your date night needs to be time away from your children and if possible, away from your home. Changing your scenery is not only romantic, but it is good for your mental health (maybe I’m just speaking for myself). Immersing yourself in a different environment can be rejuvenating and you won’t have to worry about little ears listening in on your conversations. If your children are anything like mine, then you don’t want them repeating the “sweet nothings” you whispered to your spouse on date night back to their teacher on Monday morning (**laughs nervously**).
Lastly, you and your spouse both need to schedule time away individually. Nothing is more rejuvenating and re-centering than communing with yourself. Time away from responsibilities, work, social media, and other worldly distractions will help you to focus on and make decisions about what is important –a “come to Jesus” moment, if you will. During this time away you can decide that you will do nothing or do everything. It really is up to you how you use this time. Whether you sleep most of the time or eat and shop most of the time, your time away should reflect the goals you are working towards for bettering yourself.
I know there are many other things that we can add to this list, but these are a few major ones that will immediately improve your outlook on life while parenting. So go ahead and open up those calendars and GET. TO. SCHEDULING.