Keep the Marriage Going: Even with Squirmy Boys Underfoot!
A few days ago when I posted Julia Child’s quote, and asked readers the last time they had experienced a soul-satisfying meal around the table, I loved the replies that came in …
One in particular was from my friend, Adelle, who has 2 squirmy boys. I could relate right away, because my 2 formerly squirmy boys (who sit quite respectfully at the table, now, I must say), and their sister, are now teenagers.
Dinner time is way-different for us now than it was back then, for sure!
We try, at least once a week, to eat in the dining room instead of the kitchen, to light candles and enjoy a glass of wine with our meal. We ignore the boys under the table for a few moments and just talk, and that in and of itself, is good.
This made me smile.
How many of us with little kids prioritize our marriages and plan a special meal together once a week, even if the kids are hanging out too?
My husband and I have always gone on date nights. It’s been something we’ve both looked forward to weekly, for 20 years now!
But to have the attitude that Adelle has, that we can enjoy our spouses and still make a special time together, even if the little rascals are hanging out too, I think is fabulous!
Go, Adelle! You’re a great example for us all!
Inexpensive ways to fund a date:
Trade with another family or ask family, friends, or elderly neighbors your are comfortable with
Go out for coffee or dessert
Find out if restaurants have any specials going on certain days of the week
Some restaurants have one night a week with no corkage; bring your own wine
SHARE A MEAL:
Get “elaborate and big” out of your mind and share a meal
Plan a meal at home and put the kids to bed
Or, like Adelle, let the kids squirm around under you feet and relax and enjoy the conversation.
We parents have a way of tuning things out, don’t we?
Since it’s the month of February and love is in the air, do you have any special plans up your sleeve?
I want to introduce you to Rene’ (which, by the way, is my middle name), a new sponsor to RE, and her site called Bargain Hoot.
My husband and I are officially “empty nesters”, but we stay busyâ€¦that’s where Bargain Hoot comes in for me â€¦it’s my new little hobby and I’m enjoying myself. I started BH to track and share bits of my creative frugal side. So If you love bargains, DIY decor, recipes, crafting, and doing cute weddings/events for less then you might enjoy looking around!!! I hope you find something that inspires you and saves you money!!
So head on over and say “hi” to Rene!
I love your blog. Thanks for sharing. Now I’m off to find some willing victims, I mean babysitters for my 3 Pickles. A date with my husband would be very nice indeed!
x Marnie from 3pickles – Australia
Great ideas – I know we could at least get out for dessert here and there!
We’re going away to a bed and breakfast where we stayed several years ago and absolutely loved. I can’t wait til next weekend!!! I just love Valentine’s Day!
Thank you so much for the tips. We are definitely in need of making some family dinner exceptions (feeding the babes, putting them to bed and then eating by ourselves!) oh and we have a babysitter (grandparents) for Friday. So excited for a “soul-satisfying meal” with my guy!
When our girls were younger we were blessed to have a few of our youth who babysat them “free” of charge. Life is pretty swamped right now with soccer again but we were just talking yesterday about using some gift cards we have for dinner out sometime soon. It’s been several years since we’ve gone on an overnight trip alone (that wasn’t a conference).
Thank you so much Sandy Rene :) I really appreciate you mentioning Bargain Hoot!
You are such a sweetie!!
Since my husband and I are now empty Nester’s we find a new challenge, and that is not getting into the habit of watching TV when we eat. We use to always sit at the table. You’ve encouraged me to make a special point to have the table set for two, so we can talk and enjoy each other even more :)
Thanks so much for the shout-out Sandy!
The other thing we’ve tried to do is to schedule dinner for AFTER they are in bed. It makes for a late dinner, but the peace and quiet are well worth the wait!
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Since we have recently moved to a new area, we have yet to find a new sitter. (And we moved AWAY from family, so that is not an option…)
Here is an idea I have been toying with (but I’m still not sure if I’ll do…):
Since we are renovating our house (read: empty, no furniture, old carpeting, etc…) I was thinking of setting up a little picnic-type date. I’d bring blankets to sit on, paper plates, and maybe a pizza. Not terribly gourmet, but any sort of food prep would not be easy in a vacant house.
It would probably be kid-included, but hey! Until we find a new sitter…
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My hubbs and I try to go out once a week but it doesn’t always work. I always feed the kids before us (don’t judge:) they’re on a strict schedule and must eat at 5 pm or the world will actually end) anyway, most nights we get to sit at the table and try to have some sort of conversation about our day… it’s usually not over good food (because I cooked it:)) but most times we just sit there and try to relax with a glass of wine … AND there are even one or two days of the week my kids aren’t crawling up my legs or bouncing on my lap while we do so:):)
Since we moved an hour away from our parents (read: free babysitting) we have come up with a fun date night idea. I feed the kids a little early and get them to bed, then my husband and I have our dinner in our bedroom. We usually watch a movie and eat. No crowds, no noise, happy sleeping children and no long drive back home. Works for us!
Each year, sometime during the January-to-April continuum, my hubby and I “get away” for two nights to a not-too-far-away bed and breakfast. . . the peace and quiet are wonderful, and it is so good to have time to focus on talking and spending time doing things WE enjoy without the stress of feeding four extra people or negotiating peace talks. :)
We also try to have at least one evening each week when the kids are upstairs kind of early and we have a late, simple meal together and just visit awhile at the table. I find this time to reconnect really helps limit opportunities for conflict and petty annoyance–with each other AND the children. It can be too easy to let the kids “divide” us just by their frustrating continual interruptions. Showing them that our relationship is THE primary one in our home is not always easy–and I find the preteen years make it REALLY hard, as the 13yo wants to be the center of attention and can have ATTITUDE when she can’t be–but I do believe that seeing a healthy marriage will serve them far better in life than if we let THEM feel that they are the center of everything all the time.
This is a great post…. Having recently moved we struggled to find a sitter. But realized how important it is to make that a priority & find a sitter or sitters that we can confidently leave our kiddos with. Date nights are so important to get away with my hubby. We also love to have family dinners in the dining room with candles lit at least once a week. It’s wonderful to see how excited my kids get to help set the table and how much we all enjoy that special time together. Have a wonderful day Sandy!!!