Children, after-school activities, housework and career. Life can seem non-stop for today’s busy families.
We spend so much time getting everything done and being everywhere we need to be, it often feels like we’ve no time left over to spend with the very people we’re working so hard to support.
It’s a fact that there are never enough hours in the day. The trick is making the most of the time you’ve got and doing everything in your power to make sure it’s spent wisely.
Sometimes it’s hard to put down your work laptop and play a game of Monopoly with your children instead. It’s not easy to ignore the growing pile of laundry and decide to have a family pillow fight.
But if creating extra quality time for your children seems hard, it’s nearly impossible to do the same for your spouse or, gulp, yourself.
Many parents feel guilty about spending time without their children because they believe every scrap of energy should be devoted to their offspring. And yet it’s imperative that couples look after themselves as individuals as well as partners.
Investing time in your relationship and your personal well-being creates a stronger marriage, a more solid family and, evidence suggests, better adjusted children.
Deciding to devote more time to yourself and your partner takes commitment. You also need to support and encourage one another because taking time out for yourselves might feel indulgent or selfish at first. Keep reminding each other that what you’re doing is for everyone’s benefit.
Time Tokens are a fun way of getting back into the habit of doing things that you’ve always enjoyed. These are simply promises of uninterrupted time. Priceless, right?
So, you could give your spouse an afternoon to watch the game, check out the online betting news and generally kick back. No requests from the kids to change channel, no tutting from you because he should be mowing the lawn. Just a blissful afternoon of sport.
It swings both ways. You’ll need an afternoon to watch a boxset of your favourite TV drama, work out at the gym or shop until you drop.
Spending time together can be trickier. It involves babysitters for a start and finding the right person can be difficult. But don’t be put off.
Date night may seem old hat, but it’s tried and tested. A good old gossip over dinner will give you a chance to reconnect and remember that you’re so much more than just parents.
Some couples organise regular weekends away. Even if you take the kids it is still a break. The trick is to get them in your calendar and booked well in advance. It gives you something to look forward to but also reduces the risk of either of you re-scheduling because one of the kids has been invited to a sleepover or the boss wants you to work late.
Try something new. Take a dance or cookery class together or embark on a family project, like researching your ancestors. Pick up your old tennis racquets and remind yourself what an ace team you once were.