By Candi Wingate
Do you find yourself struggling to find time for yourself and husband? You know, before long work hours and three kids drained you of energy and made you more of a worker bee than a sexual being.
Or how about those romantic weekend get-aways, just the two of you? Romantic gestures from your spouse always made you feel loved and special, and your marriage blossomed with the nurturing, but now you both have neither the time nor the energy.
The nose-to-the-grindstone approach works well as you juggle work and home demands, but it shouldn’t be employed 24/7/365 . . . good mental health requires some restorative time as well. In the long term, if you push through your exhaustion with more and more productivity, your marriage and your positive outlook will suffer . . . the children will observe the difficulties, and they, in turn, will suffer as well. Therefore, it is in everyone’s best interest to give yourself the periodic downtime that you need.
Hiring a babysitter can provide you and your spouse an opportunity to spend some alone-time together, to enjoy some time free of to-do-lists and time demands. Maybe the two of you will do nothing, a blissful absence of activity, but merely sitting in the park and silently watching the world go by. You may spend time doing something relaxing that you both enjoy (perhaps an evening at the opera or taking in a game at the stadium). You might even go on a romantic weekend get-away in time for Valentine’s Day. Whatever it takes for you to recharge your batteries and reconnect as husband and wife, that is what you can do.
Hiring a babysitter so that you and your spouse can maintain your marriage and your positive perspective involves good communication between parents and babysitter, just as hiring a babysitter for any other reason requires good communication. Let the babysitter know where you will be and how you can be reached. Ensure that she knows under what circumstances you are (and are not) to be contacted. Give the babysitter an expectation of when she can expect you to return home. Provide the babysitter with emergency medical numbers, food for appropriate snacks, toys or other entertainment that may be planned for the time that she will be with your kids, etc.
Once a trustworthy babysitter is hired, and all the pertinent information has been communicated, you and your spouse can begin to recharge your batteries, breathe fresh life into your marriage, and gain a new perspective on the world. Enjoy!