Frisky Friday: Carving Out Couple Time

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By Leslie Lindsay

“Not tonight, dear…I’m too tired/cranky/overwhelemed/all of the above.”  If this sounds like you, you are not alone.  It’s difficult to balance all of the demands of your time and hanging out with your honey often falls off the list.  But it shouldn’t.  (You know that, of course).

A recent article in Chicago Parent shared some tips from Dr. Ann Hartlage, director of the Marital and Sex Therapy Program at Rush University.  Here’s what I gleaned from that article:

  • Schedule some time.  Just as you put kids’ sports and birthday parties on the calendar and deadlines for work, pencil in, ‘get frisky with honey.’
  • Escape the norm.  It’s good to get out of your routine (that includes the places you live, work, and relax).  Go to the park, hike a new forest preserve or state park, go to a musuem you’ve never experienced.  New stimuli = fun and seeing your sweetie in a new light.
  • Manage your stress.  It goes without saying, if you’re stressed, it will affect your relationships (friendships and parenting, too).  You may  not be able to reduce your stress, but you can manage how you deal with it: exercise or journaling?
  • Figure out sustainable child care alternatives.  Babysitting and daycare can add up in a hurry.  Explore other ideas for freeing up your time and bank account.  Swap childcare with a neighbor who could also benefit from some much needed couple time. Maybe you have some ideas of your own?
  • Turn off the technology.  Cell phones and laptops have a way of getting you to connect with a device and not a person.  Turn ’em off when it’s “couples time” and don’t bring them to bed with you.
  • Let the kids in on your relationship.  It’s healthy for kids to see healthy displays of affection.  Just keep it PG.  My 5-year old daughter recently witnessed a playful bottom pat and it made her giggle and blush.  I think it did us all some good!

Go on, get frisky!

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