“For now, I pray that my husband feels loved by the specific things I choose to do on a daily and weekly basis to keep our love alive just like we did when we were dating.” Cheri Swalwell (Top Priority)
Last month Bill and I were enjoying a leisurely browse through our local bookstore. He had bought me my favorite coffee, which I was sipping while looking at familiar, new, and favorite titles. It was then I realized…I was wrong.
In 2012, I had written a blog titled, Top Priority, when I talked about how couples don’t necessarily need to plan date nights once a week or once a month. I gave ideas of how you could find alone time by leaving older children at home with a walkie talkie while taking a walk around the neighborhood or strapping younger children in a stroller while you walked and talked.
I still stand by the suggestions I gave in that article and we still spend time doing them regularly; however, as our children are now almost two years older, we have started implementing date night again. Our oldest goes to youth group, so we drop the other two off with Gramma and Papa and spend time reconnecting with no distractions. I think it’s the no distractions part where I was wrong. I realize, now that we participate in it on a regular basis again, how much it was missed.
There is something to be said about uninterrupted time together when you don’t have to talk about deep topics, financial or parenting issues, and you can just relax and enjoy why you fell in love. And, this year, our kids are older and the youngest finally sleeps much, much better, so we will be getting a day or two away over our anniversary. I’m really looking forward to two days to recharge my batteries and have time to talk (or enjoy the silence) with the one I pledged to love for the rest of my life.
So, as much as I still agree with the examples and helpful hints I gave in the former blog, Top Priority, I was wrong to discount the importance of scheduling regular time away (even for an hour or two) to focus on just each other. The outings or activities still don’t have to be expensive. Sometimes we will grab a “buy one get one free” coupon to our local coffee shop and with only paying for one drink, get the advantage of having two. Or sometimes it’s more fun to share one. I find the more creative we are, the more memorable and fun the outing. I’m looking forward to the warmer weather when we can hike local trails, a totally free and healthy activity that will help us reconnect and refresh. Until then, I love the free bookstore and the coupons for coffee.
It’s not just all about the parents either. Your kids will be having fun spending time with people they love. Everyone has a chance to miss one another and appreciate each other more. The best part? When kids see their parents putting their relationship first, they have a great model to follow and the security that their parents are committed to each other. Leaving that legacy, along with plenty of laughter, is important to our family. What legacy do you want to leave?
©2014 Cheri Swalwell