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Who are you right now?

Let’s go down the list of people we are:

Who we are when we are by ourselves
Who we are at work
Who we are with our kids
Who we are with our friends
Who we are with our spouse
Who we are with our parents

 

And no, I’m not suggesting we have multiple personalities.  We simply have different rules for our own behavior depending on the situation we are in.  Hopefully, we keep the topics G rated and reign in any cuss words that would like to slip out while in front of our children.  Hopefully, we don’t gossip with our coworkers and talk about personal lives too much.

Of this list, which two do you spend the least time with? If you’re like most parents, it’s these:

 

Who we are with our spouse and Who we are when we are by ourselves

We joke about a trip to the grocery store on our own feels like a holiday, but the truth behind that is real. We need alone time. In parenting that means small things, like just being able to go to the bathroom without being bombarded with requests from the little ones.  We also desperately need time with just our spouse.  Every morning you and your spouse each put on your suits of armor and go into your own battles.  You return to each other victoriously every night.  Celebrate that return.  Celebrate that victory.  Once upon a time before children, you were only for each other.  Just like in Twister, no matter where else your body moves, keep one hand on red (marriage).twister_spinner

Here are a few things you can do to find those minutes together or by yourself:

1) Bath & jammies early – let the kids bring a pile of books into their bedroom and read to each other. Move bedtime up an hour and move yourself that much closer to a quiet house.

2) Put breakfast where they can reach it. The food industry has certainly made this easy for us. If you don’t want the kids to pour their own milk, fill their sippy cups and place them on a shelf that the kids can reach. Buy yourself 15 minutes in the morning so the first words you hear aren’t, “Mom, Dad!  I’m hungry!”

3) Use alternative babysitting opportunities.  If leaving your child with a sitter doesn’t work for you, what about a Saturday afternoon lunch date while your kids are at a friend’s house?  There are no rules that say a date has to be from 7:00pm to midnight on Fridays.  Look for AWANAs or a similar kid’s bible study program at a local church and head to Starbucks while the kids learn.

4) Pass notes.  Yes, just like in middle school, write a love note to your spouse and slip it in his pocket.  It’s not alone time, but for that moment when he finds it, his thoughts will only be of you.