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No-Kidding: Time Out Just For Mom and Dad

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By Mia Bolaris-Forget

One of the best gifts a couple can give to each other is children and a family, one of the best gift parents can give to each other is time out and away from the kids and family.

For many moms and dads kids at camp or going back to school can mean some extra (free) time on your hands. Unfamiliar with the concept of free time and what to do with it? Consider it a blessing and a time to catch up on important “adult-only” adventures.

1. Revive Your (Love) Lives: When was the last time both of you enjoyed each other and each other’s company with nothing else to do. Probably nine months before you welcomed your first child into the family.

It’s not uncommon for couples with children to switch their focus from partnering to parenting and frequently forget how to have fun without the children. Still, experts agree that in order to be a better parent, it’s essential that you become a better partner.

Yet, rekindling the romance isn’t that easy, especially if you’re out of practice and a night out means taking the kids to the Y. But, they note, that with a little effort, willingness, and creativity the possibilities are endless.

They recommend not only going out on a date, but occasionally arranging for a “mystery date” where one of you organizes the special evening and only offers the other vague clues as to the details, such as what to wear or what time to be ready. You may even consider getting ready in different rooms or different parts of the house.

While something like this may not always be possible, experts say taken time out each week is. They suggest at least two nights a week, one for discussing pertinent issues, including things that you are dissatisfied with, and one to romantically reconnect. They recommend taking a walk, renting a movie and watching it in bed, or going out to dinner.

2. Out, Out and Away: Maybe family vacations are more your speed these days, but that doesn’t mean you and your spouse can’t occasionally get away for a romantic (weekend) retreat.

Experts assert that a change in scenery and environment is healthy for all couples and helps refresh the relationship, bond, and romantic feelings. It also provides a psychological boost for both partners.

Use the Internet as a primary source for scooping out both local and not so local resources including inns, and romantic bed and breakfasts.

3. Serve Up Some Romance: Food and drink are at the center of most memorable occasions. Take the opportunity to enjoy an adult meal replete with all your favorite things including exotic cocktails and decadent desserts.

Consider trying a restaurant or style of food that’s a bit peregrine. Perhaps even consider taking a limo to your destination. Throw in a good movie, a play or a romantic nightcap back home and indulge all your senses.

4. Make A Clean Sweep: On the more “practical” side, use your time alone to catch up on chores and projects that kids “interfere” with. Let’s face it tidying up isn’t as successful when you have children cluttering the space you just spent organizing.

Focusing on removing clutter from your lives, home and car while the children are not around to contribute to the mess. Experts suggest reorganizing the garage, bedrooms, even hosting a garage sale to get rid of all un-necessary clutter, especially if the kids are away all summer. After all, according to the professionals a more neat, organized home helps relieve many of daily family stresses. But they note, if you’re going to embark on a project or clean, remember to make it “fun” and not allow it to sabotage your relationship…and your special time with each other.

The bottom line, they say, is that no matter what you choose to do, enjoy it and enjoy each other.

Long Island Family Life & Parenting Articles > No-Kidding: Time Out Just For Mom and Dad

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