When you become a parent, it seems like life can become very busy, very quickly. Lack of sleep, work, school, activities, and taking care of little ones often takes center stage in the home. While juggling schedules and managing the household, parents must become more intentional about spending quality time with each other. Show your spouse how much you love and appreciate him or her with a little extra pampering. Here are some ideas that are meaningful, but aren’t impossible for a busy couple.
GO TO THE SPA
What could make your spouse feel more pampered than a day at the spa? Offer to take care of the kids and send your partner off to the salon for a day of relaxing, or get a babysitter and go as a couple. If a spa isn’t your partner’s thing, offer to take the kids while he or she spends the day doing a favorite pastime. Your spouse is sure to come home rejuvenated.
HAVE DINNER IN
When our children were young, a babysitter was not in the budget. My husband and I would put the kids to bed early once a week and either get take out or cook a special meal at home. There would be no television, phones, or electronics to distract us. There would only be conversation and quality time together. For busy parents, a quiet night in is a perfect way to unwind.
PLAN A DATE NIGHT
A date night is always a great way to connect with your spouse. Plan a night on the town doing things that you and your spouse enjoyed before you became parents. If hiring a babysitter isn’t an option and family is unable to help, try swapping with another couple. Watch their children for them while they enjoy a date night, and then, they can watch your children another night while you and your spouse go out on the town.
Let your spouse know you are thinking about her by sending a surprise to her workplace. Flowers are nice, but also try sending her cookies, balloons, or a homemade treat. You can even mail a card with a special note to her workplace. If her work schedule allows, take her to lunch. If it doesn’t, consider using Waitr or DoorDash and have lunch sent to her.
DO THEIR “JOB”
In most relationships, responsibilities are divided up between the two people, whether intentional or not. As a way to pamper your significant other, do one of her “jobs” without her asking. For example, if your spouse always mows the lawn, do it for her. If your spouse usually does all the grocery shopping, offer to do it one evening. Another idea is to let her have the “day off” and do all of her normal responsibilities that day. Having all of the tasks done ahead of time will provide extra time for her to do something she enjoys doing or another necessary task.
LEAVE A NOTE
If you want to make your spouse feel special, leave love notes. Simple and sweet notes like “Thinking of you,” “I love you,” or “Have a great day” will let him know you care. Have fun with it and try leaving notes in a coat pocket, in his coffee mug, in his car, or anywhere else you know it will surprise him.
If your marriage is anything like mine, we come to a compromise on what we want for dinner, what movie to watch, or what activity to do. Let your spouse pick what you will do the whole day. There can be no complaining about his choices, just focus on doing the activities your partner enjoys doing with you.
PICK UP A FAVE
One of my favorite ways to let my husband know I am thinking about him is to just pick up a favorite of his while I am out. If I am at the gas station, I grab his favorite drink, gum, or candy. At the grocery store, I pick up his favorite ice cream or snack. I’ll rent a movie he likes, cook his favorite meal, or buy him a shirt with his favorite sports team logo. It doesn’t have to be an expensive gift, just something to let him know I was thinking of him while I was out.
The demands of parenting can leave little time for romantic dates with your spouse. This doesn’t mean that working on your marriage and making your spouse feel loved and appreciated isn’t high priority. During the busy years of parenting, try these tips to show your spouse you care, and keep your marriage going strong. ■