Parenting and responsibility are synonymous with each other. With hectic days and packed schedules, do you find yourself struggling to spend some time by yourself or with your partner? You are not alone. Here are some tips on how to reclaim your life, and make time for yourself.

It’s a Sunday morning, you and your partner are lying in bed holding hands, finally having a conversation after what feels like forever. It’s perfect. Suddenly, the door bursts open, “Daddy, I am hungry!”, “Mommy, let’s go play outside!”, “Can we please watch a movie today?”, “Can we go swimming?” – you and your partner’s conversation will have to wait. 

Being a parent is a full-time job – one that comes without a set of instructions – and the list of responsibilities are endless! While it is undoubtedly fulfilling, parents often end up with very little to no time for themselves, or their partners. On the rare occasion that you do have time, you are exhausted, or have no clue what to do (and no, folding laundry together doesn't count as a romantic date night!) 


How Do Relationships Change After Having a Child

Starting a family is a huge responsibility, and with responsibility comes change. Family responsibilities, household chores, and your day-to-day job usually leave you with no time for anything else. As a result, couples often find themselves facing issues with each other. Some issues that couples face can include: 

Reduced Communication: With a jam-packed schedule, many couples could find themselves moving through the day as if on ‘auto-pilot’, going from one task to the other. This makes it hard to pause and have a conversation with their partner, even if they want to.

No Alone Time: Finding even 20 minutes to enjoy a cup of coffee in silence, or catch up on your hobbies can be difficult. This can leave parents feeling constantly rushed, and even anxious. Parents, a friendly tip – it is important to have some alone time to be able to give your partner your undivided time and attention! 

Guilt: Couples may feel guilty if they leave their child with relatives or a babysitter to go and spend some time alone. It is normal to want some time to yourself, and there is no need to feel ashamed or guilty.

Reduced Social Interaction: Between juggling a heavy schedule and spending time with your children and family, going out and meeting friends and other relatives seems nearly impossible. This can leave many parents feeling estranged and lonely. It is important to try and make time to meet people, and do things that you enjoy!

Lesser Intimate time: Couples often find themselves with no time or energy for intimacy. A couple’s time together often ends up becoming family time. This can create a distance between partners. An important part of raising a family together is to balance time between family activities and alone time with your partner. 

Disagreements and Arguments: Different parenting styles along with all the above mentioned factors could cause disagreements and arguments between partners – thereby creating distance, even when together. 

Making time for you and your partner is crucial when you have a family together. While it may seem overwhelming, there is nothing that some planning and scheduling can’t fix! 

Reignite the Spark: Activities to Do With Your Significant Other

We asked some of our Instagram followers how they try to find some time for themselves, and their partners. Instagram user Shano says, “My boundaries are set with the children for times like when I am having my morning and evening chai. They know I love to sit and savour my cup of tea while listening to music, or scrolling through the net – that’s mommy’s time, unless there’s an emergency!”. Another user, Anuradha G, says art and being amidst nature brings her the most peace. However, a lot of our readers responded saying they don’t know how to take time off, and if they do manage to, the harder part is figuring out how to make the most of that time with their partners. 

We have your back. Here is a list of activities to help you spend some much-needed down time with your partner. 

1. Date Night  

Plan a date night with your partner. It will be even better if you can plan a recurring date night, for example – every second and fourth Saturday of the month is reserved for date night, unless there is an emergency. This way you both have something to look forward to, and the chances of last-minute events coming up are lesser. 

Date-Night Ideas 

Date night can just be going out to a new restaurant or watching a movie together, but don’t be afraid to get creative with your date-night ideas!  

  • Backyard/Terrace picnic: Ask a trusted family member or friend to babysit for a few hours, grab that bottle of wine, and a cosy blanket and sit out in the backyard or on the terrace and watch the stars together. This is also a great time to talk to each other and reconnect. 

  • Movie and cuddles: Once the children go to bed, cook a meal together, put on your favourite movie, and cuddle on the couch. 

  • Paint the town red: Revisit the early stages in your relationship – when it was just you and your partner. Recreate one of your favourite nights together. 

2. Pillow Talk 

Make it a priority to spend at least 15 minutes before sleeping to simply talk to your partner – ask about their day, tell them about yours, tell them something you love about them – it can be anything! This time is sacred for just you and your partner to reconnect. It will go a long way, even if you spend this time just holding hands and cuddling.  

3. Be Spontaneous

Surprise your partner with a day out! Have a trusted friend or family member be with your children, and take your loved one out for the day. Book a day at the spa, go trekking, or even spend the day in bed together! 

4. Find a Hobby Together

It is not necessary for couples to enjoy the same activities and hobbies. However, finding a hobby or activity to do together can help you bond, while doing something fun together! It could be art therapy, rock climbing, dance classes, cycling, or even working out at the gym. Finding something to do together, especially if it is something you can do at least twice or thrice a week, will give you both the space and time to be with each other, without interruptions. 

5. Travel 

Studies show that travelling with your partner can help deepen your connection. Have a relative or trusted friend stay with your children while you whisk your partner off for a romantic weekend getaway. Try and plan a weekend away together every three months, not only will your connection grow, you will also have a lot of new adventures and stories to talk about! Even if you can’t travel too far, you can book a staycation in the city or at a resort close to your city. 

Every second spent with your partner counts – whether it’s a weekend away, a fancy date night, or half an hour of cuddling on the couch! It may take a little effort to make sure both your schedules match, or to get dressed-up and head out, but that effort will be worth it when you feel your connection strengthen. 

Yes, being a parent is a full-time job, but even CEOs need some time off. So the next time you find yourself overwhelmed and exhausted, it is alright to hit that pause button and set some time aside for you and your partner to rest, recuperate, and reconnect!

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