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Making Special Time for Yourselves Without the Kids

Think Twice

Don't forget yourself. Many people spend so much time and effort trying to make everyone else in the family happy that they forget about themselves. Always remember that the most important factor to ensure the happiness of your family is for you and your spouse to be happy!

The single most important factor in having happy children is to be happy in your relationship with your spouse. If the two of you feel close to each other and are supportive of each other, your children will feel secure. That's why it's very important to have time alone with your spouse. Your kids might throw a tantrum when you walk out the door together, but don't feel guilty! You will be better parents if you spend time alone together, and they will be happier kids!

Ideas for Dating When You Have Kids

Some parents are very good about going out every week or so without the children. Unfortunately, these days it's more common for parents to forgo time together for family time. Don't let that happen to you! The following suggestions take into account the huge time commitment and general exhaustion most parents have:

  • See an afternoon movie on the weekend and have an early dinner afterward. That way you can have family time with your kids in the morning before you go and still be home around their bedtime. The baby-sitter could have them ready in their pajamas with their teeth brushed, and you could tuck them in bed. Then, you can get to sleep at a reasonable hour, too!

  • Go out in the evening after the kids have gone to bed. You can be together as a family during the dinner hour and not lose that time together.

  • Spend an evening together without spending money if you are on a tight budget. Browse through a bookstore together or take a walk. It might seem silly to hire a baby-sitter if you are not going to a movie or out to dinner, but everyone needs that carefree feeling once in a while, even if it must be paid for!

Maybe you won't be able to date as regularly or elaborately as couples without children, but there are still things you can do that will be fun. All things that you enjoy doing together or any suggestion from Hot Date Ideas would be great ways to spend time with each other.

Think Twice

Don't forget that a TV in a hotel room can interfere with good conversation. Try to find a bed-and-breakfast without TVs in the rooms. Or just unplug the TV set when you check into your room. You'll have a more meaningful vacation.

The Spice Rack

If you can only get away for one or two nights with each other, make the most of it. Be sure to relax, have romantic dinners, and just be together in a beautiful setting.

Ideas for Getting Away Without Your Kids

It's extremely difficult to get away overnight without your children. Many couples simply don't do it until their children are older. If it's at all possible, try to go away, even for one night. It takes planning to find someone to watch your kids. You might be extremely lucky and have grandparents or other relatives around who will watch your kids overnight for you. That's great. Most people need to use a combination of a hired sitter and friends or relatives.

Keep in mind that it might be more refreshing to go away for a short time in a more expensive, luxurious setting than a longer vacation that would be less special. Every night you spend away from your kids will entail some expenses or worry. If you go away for only one or two nights and spend as much money as you would on a five-day vacation, you might have a better time. Plus, you will have to spend less on a baby-sitter, or impose less on other people. Start small. Even one night away can be refreshing.

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Excerpted from The Complete Idiot's Guide to the Perfect Marriage © 2001 by Hilary Rich and Helaina Laks Kravitz, M.D. All rights reserved including the right of reproduction in whole or in part in any form. Used by arrangement with Alpha Books, a member of Penguin Group (USA) Inc.

To order this book visit the Idiot's Guide web site or call 1-800-253-6476.


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