One of the things that is often thrown out the window by couples, while they are raising their children, is the date night. The reasons why most couples don’t take advantage of date night is not enough time, too many commitments, and too many children’s activities. We love our children and we want to do the best for them including providing them with a well-rounded fulfilling life. But, how do you tell when there is too much in the mix? Ask yourself these questions. First, is all your time devoted to your children? Second, does life seem hectic with little down time? Third, do you have any time for yourself? And fourthly, is there any couple time? If you answered “yes” to any or all of these; you need to take a breather and reflect on what is important. In my practice, couples often tell me that their children come first and I know that they do this with good intentions. However, couples need to focus time on their relationship; otherwise they face the consequences of distance growing between them. This distance becomes increasingly more difficult to bridge and fix the more time passes without the couple being engaged with one another’s lives.
So how do you change this? Sit down; list all of the activities that your family is involved in; individually and together. Prioritize the list and cut out the ones that are creating more chaos than togetherness. Do you really need to be on every committee you are asked to sit on? Does your child really need that extra program?
Once you have figured that out, be intentional about scheduling your time as a couple. Make sure that the time you schedule will be a time that you are both committed to, and not thinking about other things. Do the things you enjoy doing. What activities were important to you when you first met? What activities are important now?
Parents often get a babysitter for their children or some parents take advantage of going for breakfast or lunch while their children are in school.
Instead of a date night, think about a date day. Allow me to give you an example that is an activity that my wife and I enjoy as a couple. We love to explore the countryside of Ontario. Ontario is so diverse it really has lots to offer you. However, you don’t have to go far from Waterloo Region to enjoy it. One of our favourite activities on date day is to explore various restaurants that are in our smaller towns. One of our favourite trips is to Milverton. We love to see the numerous Mennonites and their buggies, the variety of animals along the way, and the beautiful countryside. We love to stop in Millbank and pick up some cheese at the Millbank Cheese and Cold Storage. The cheese there is very good! We also love to observe the different crops in the different seasons, or the snow scenes in winter.
One of our favourite places to eat in Milverton is Beartoozies on Main Street where there is lots of free parking. Here you will find a pleasant and comforting atmosphere. At Beartoozies they make real, made-from-scratch home cooked meals which are very reasonably priced (important to us). When we talk about home cooked meals there is none of this fast flash frozen food plopped into a deep fryer. These are meals without all the additives and everything is fresh. The staff is welcoming and their service is excellent. They offer fair trade coffee (something we really appreciate) as well as some of the most fantastic deserts I have ever seen. So if you go out please ask for Brenda, the owner, and say hello to her for us, Jurgen and Jan Czechowsky. On our way home we usually pick up some fresh made buns from Gunthers Bakery.
After eating we usually go and explore other places that we have researched on the internet and then we go and relax for the rest of the evening at home.
So remember in the busyness of our lives, that dates with your spouse are important. Find some time that you can both spend together and book your date today. Give “date night” or “date day” a try and let us know what how it went. Remember, if it has been a while since you have gone on a date, you may be a little rusty. So if the first date doesn’t go as expected, try it out again. Don’t give up on such an important priority…your spouse.