By Angie Goff
I’m a working mom with two young kids and a husband who works in another state most of the week. One of the biggest questions I get is: How do you do it? I’m honest when I say there’s no big secret, but there is one thing that’s been instrumental: my co-anchor in life. I’m talking about my husband, Robert, and how we’ve made it a priority to nurture “just the two of us.” In our case it’s about making couple time even when we just have a few days of the week with the entire family together. After having kids sometimes it’s easy to forget that our partner matters just as much. Robert and I have found planning kid-free time helps fix that. Sure, we feel selfish sometimes when we tell our 5-year-old we’re going to “adult dinner,” but we also feel like we’re setting a great example. Couple time has made both of us better communicators while showing our kids how two people in love strengthen their bond.
So how do you do it? Hiring a babysitter can be pricey, especially if you go out for a nice dinner, but remember that as a unit, you two have big value, and sometimes it’s OK to say you’re worth it. Aside from regular date nights, here are some other suggestions we’ve used:
Plan a quick getaway just for the night.
Is there a resort or nice hotel within driving distance? A change of scenery can do wonders. If you’re going on a family vacation, look for a place with built-in child care so you can sneak in that alone time. We’re going to the slopes as a family next month and already planning our time together when we put the kids in ski school.
Try Something New.
Find something that is geared for adults so you’re not tempted to bring the kids along. This often means you’ll get into something different and adventurous. A treetop zip line tour in Middleburg is next on our list.
Just Say No.
This has been the hardest thing for me to do. You might feel like everyone wants a piece of your time. This could be anything from an event invite, request for playdates/lunch to being asked to join a committee or a team. Say no to what is not essential. I started doing this on days I knew my husband would be here and discovered how much I hated missing out on time with him as opposed to just missing out.
( February 2016 )
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Angie Goff from NBC4 and the “Today” show Parenting Team. What are your resolutions for the New Year? Join the conversation at today.com/parentingteam