How to Communicate With Your Partner When Both of You Are Busy
Let’s face it, if you’re in the parenting business, life is just busy. Between part-time responsibilities, work projects that turn into family dinner, and household chores that never seem to end, finding time to hang out with your significant other can be daunting.
Although my husband and I have two teenagers, our lives seem even more busy than when our children were young. And the news: teenagers don’t have time to sleep like babies do, so it seems like my husband and I will never have the opportunity to communicate unless someone intervenes in our conversations.
If you’re looking at your partner across the dinner table and saying, “I just want five minutes to hear about your day,” here are some quick ways to reconnect even in the most tense relationships.
Make a date at
We all have the very best intentions when it comes to dating, but in reality, babysitting and expensive food can take a toll on your budget.
But that doesn’t mean you still can’t plan to have a good evening together. One of our Offspring Facebook group members, Stephanie, says that she and her husband sometimes make a night when they allow their son the rare pleasure of watching TV with a picnic on the carpet while they enjoy an adult meal, a bottle of wine, and a game of cards. in the dining room.
Find creative babysitting
When our kids were young, my husband and I used the free childcare playground that our grocery store offered to shoppers. We dropped the kids off in the play area and we spent an hour either shopping together or, more often than not, heading to a cafe where they talked about groceries, sushi, and conversations. Our children enjoyed doing handicrafts and playing games, and we could enjoy each other’s company knowing that our children were supervised.
We also enjoyed using the childcare services at our local community center. For a small fee, we could leave the kids for an hour and run on the treadmill together. Or sometimes we would cut our run and sit in a public space and catch up (or compare carpool duty calendars, but still).
If your kids are too old for kids / play areas, consider heading to your local community center anyway. Often, you can rent basketballs or other sports equipment so the kids can play in the gym while you and your partner sit in the stands chatting.
Or head to a local circuit and bring some equipment from home. Let the children run freely in the middle of the grass as you walk in a circle with your partner. It’s not candles and romance, but it works in a busy week. And a bonus: the kids will be exhausted when they get home.
To go for a walk
When our dog joined our family a few years ago, my young children all walked with it every day. While they were gone. At some point, this responsibility fell on my shoulders, and I quickly realized that this was a great opportunity to be alone with my husband.
Almost every night for the past few years my husband and I have been having a constitutional, as he calls it, evening with our puppy. After dinner, we always leave the dishes and cleaning for our teens and swim out the door for a half-hour walk. The dog manages to stretch his legs, they catch up with us, and we come home to a (mostly) clean kitchen.
It’s hard to get stressed when you laugh with your partner, right? Descendant group member Jamie tells us that she and her husband take weekly improvisation lessons to stay in touch.
“It challenges us, we laugh, and this is not a dinner and a movie,” she says. “And honestly, it’s the best, because even when it’s bad, you still laugh.”
Use bedtime for adults
If I had a dollar every time someone told me to take a nap while my baby was napping, I would be rich. While I quickly realized that bedtime was perfect for catching up on chores, work projects, and occasional TV shows, I also realized that bedtime could be a time for an intimate relationship with my partner.
If there is no time for unnecessary clothes for a busy Saturday afternoon, there is always a little-used option to “crawl in the closet”.
If all else fails …
Interacting as a couple while raising children is difficult. Despite our best intentions for romance and deep connection, there are days when we don’t meet each other’s needs. And that’s okay.
If you’ve had a day where all other attempts to connect have failed, do what group member Sarah and her partner do: tag each other with meaningful or funny memes on social media.