By Karen Best Wright, www.RaisingYourGrandchildren.com
One of the commenters on my Blog asked about how to find time with her husband without the children. She stated that he helps her so she can have some alone time, but she doesn't get time alone with him. She asked for any suggestions.
This can be a tough one. For the first few years, my husband and I practically had no time to go anywhere by ourselves. (We had only been married 4 months when we got the chidlren.) Everywhere we went we took the children. I did have a teenage daughter at home, but the three children were too much for her to handle in the beginning when the baby was a preemie and the oldest (4) was having a rough time of things. I really didn't have anyone to watch them. Once we paid the daycare worker to come to our home for 24 hours while we were out of town. That was too expensive to do that again.
I would read suggestions about trading with a friend for a night out. That may work when you are in your twenties, but most 50 year old adults don't have the need to babysit each other's kids. Even if I did have a friend that had been in the same situation, I was too tired to watch more kids and do my own work. And I knew that my three were really too much to ask of anyone in the beginning. So we just didn't go anywhere or we took everyone.
As the years have gone by, things have changed and gotten easier. We only have custody of two of the children now, and they do visit their mother regularly and about once or twice a year they will go to one of my other daughter's family for a couple of days. And, now that they are older (6 and 8) and wonderful girls, it is easier to ask a friend to watch them for a few hours at her home.
There have been times in the past when the only time I had with my husband without the children was when we went to a church activity and there were activities separate for the children. But that wasn't really alone time with my husband, but it did tend to relieve stress and be enjoyable.
So however lame it may be, my only suggestions are do you have any family or friends nearby that will take the children for an evening or overnight? If not, at least participate in church or community family activities where there are sitters that watch the children, so the adults can mingle and have a good time.
Anyone else have any suggestions?