Welcome to Day 1 of Couples with Kids, where we work on turning up the intimacy, connection, and heat (rawwwr) in your relationship.
Today we are going to focus on problem solving our biggest roadblocks that stop us from getting that good ol’ fashioned loving back in our relationship.
I know, that sounds just a smidgen more exciting than hunting for your kid’s lost sock (again), but hear me out- planning and problem solving make you a billion times more likely to succeed in your goals (ok, so maybe I fudged the numbers a bit but you get my point).
The problem is people don’t think they need to actually “plan” and problem solve in their relationships because they’re afraid it will ruin some of the magic. But here’s the thing, like anything else your relationship needs care and maintenance which includes problem solving and planning.
By far, for most parents, the biggest obstacle to spending quality time together is child care and time. Good babysitters are expensive and hard to come by, and it can be hard finding family or friends to watch your kiddo(s) on any kind of consistent basis. And then there’s the time factor, how on earth do you squeeze one more minute out of the day between the chaos of life?
That’s why I think a lot of the general advice for couples can feel frustrating for parents. It was so much easier to set aside time for weekly date nights when all you had to worry about was your own two schedules. If you’re a newer parent, you also have the additional stress of leaving the baby with someone else, wondering the whole time how they’re doing which can feel like a damper on the entire evening.
Whatever your unique issues are, you CAN come up with solutions. They may not “fit” into the traditional date night mold but who cares? All that matters is that both you and your partner are connecting again and taking time to be with one another outside of the parenting role.
So wait until you have a few childfree minutes and then dive into our first challenge: Identifying your unique issues and supports.
- What is the biggest thing getting in the way of spending quality (non parent) time together (time, money, childcare, energy, motivation, etc) ?
- What is the second most challenging thing? A 3rd or 4th challenge?
- OK, so we have a good understanding of what’s getting in the way. Let’s talk about supports. What people do you have in your life that you consider supports? In what ways can they support you -childcare, ideas for planning, rich friends with private jets (haha just kidding. Unless you really do have friends like that. Then put them down).
- What is a strength about your partnership that you can rely on? Maybe you have a little extra in the budget for childcare? Or perhaps your work schedules mean you have evenings together? Whatever it is (no matter how small list it).
- So now you’ve identified your challenges and your strengths. Woo hoo! Now hold on to it, we’re going to be using it as a tool in a future exercise and as a guide for finding time to do the rest of activities in the week. Give yourselves a high five, and maybe a squeeze on the butt and congratulate yourselves for starting this process.
Check back tomorrow for day 2!
Want to know more about who I am and what my experience is working with couples? Please check my about me page at https://www.eldoradocountytherapy.com/about/