How do two super hands-on working parents, with a live-in mother-in-law, reconnect after a busy season of work and work travel (and the list could go on)?
You might suggest a date night.
We suggest date days…9.5 days to date each other.
Yes, this can happen, and yes it did happen for us.
My mother-in-law took the kids to Minnesota for 9.5 days, and hubby and I lived it up. (Maybe we lived-it-up a bit too much because I was on the exhausted side when I wrote the outline for this post.)
Hubby and I planned activities that were fun, highly interactive and easy.
- Rockies baseball game
- Botanic Gardens
- Raunch-movie-fest (Bridesmaids & Hangover 2)
Most of the others activities involved eating and drinking – just keeping it real.
The date week kicked off with us going to brunch at a restaurant new to us. The food was delicious and the bottomless mimosas were relaxing. We spent time discussing all the things we accomplished during this last academic year (yes – we speak in terms of the academic calendar as opposed to the annual calendar).
Our list (that I remember after all those mimosas):
- Another successful, albeit bumpy, year of multigenerational living
- Thriving kids
- Hubby’s new opportunities at work
- My life coaching program bringing me so much joy (launching my coaching practice in January 2012)
- Doing some overdue landscaping to the house
- Staying mindful about slowing down (work in progress)
We moved on to discussing how to stay connected throughout the year, and not just when it is the two of us. During the summer months, hubby’s work projects intensify, and this was one of the main reasons we moved my mother-in-law in. Hubby is gone from the house anywhere from 14-20 hours a day (no, I’m not exaggerating). That’s a challenge on so many levels – and the main issue is time – time hubby and I have to connect without resentment, neglect, and abandonment coming into play.
“It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to recognize that day-to-day life filled with work and chores and kids and (stick your ball-and-chain problem here) can wear down even the most loving couple.”
Hubby and I both laughed at this statement because he is close to being a rocket scientist and we needed to be having this conversation while we were both relaxed (a tad bit overly relaxed with mimosas) and not in crisis mode.
Some things we agreed to try during this next academic year, to stay connected:
- Try to have one date day during each month – a day when we both take off work and spend time together while the kids are at school.
- Write notes to each other – and not just a text or email message. We agreed to real handwritten letters and notes.
- Take a class together. We haven’t decided what type of class, but we are leaning toward something that deals with fitness.
- Write blog posts together. We have fun doing this because we both enjoy creative writing.
- Read to each other. We both overly enjoy books and early on in our relationship, we used to read to each other. Yes, were’ bringing this back.
- Speak from the heart. Both hubby and I are very analytical and sometimes we over-intellectualize things when we should be speaking more from our hearts (feeling state) than from our heads (what we’re “supposed” to say).
- Kiss each other more, whenever we want in the house, even though it may repulse the other folks in our multigenerational nest.
After this tough past week and a half, hubby and I are revisiting our list – and it’s good we have one.