September Parenting Tip: It’s not all About the Kids

This month, I decided to change the focus away from our kids for a bit and concentrate on our adult relationships, be it our spouse, partner, boyfriend, etc. As women, we invest a ton of time on our children, our households and our careers, but often times, forget to pay attention to our marriage or relationship that is right in front of our faces. We are busy, worrying about what to serve for dinner, if the laundry is done on time, if lunchboxes have the best snacks in them, if the supermarket shopping is done, what birthday party to have this year, if the dog is fed, if we are prepared for our conference calls and meetings, and perhaps if there is time, somewhere we hope to worry about getting our haircut, looking pretty, exercising and socializing. With all that on one person’s plate, how is there any room to take care of a relationship?

A plant needs to be cared for, fed, and given attention, and without these important steps, the leaves begin to brown, the flowers begin to wilt, the soil dries out and before you know it, the excuse of I’ll do it tomorrow becomes pointless and the plant has died. The same holds true for any relationship and if you make excuses that you will work harder at it tomorrow, it could be too late.

Lucinda Faragher, an Independent Scentsy Consultant, and mother of a 4 year old and 14 month old twins, is clearly a busy woman. She struggles with finding time to spend alone with her husband and has no family nearby to give her a much needed break. This is a common scenario and it’s definitely hard when you can’t call up Grandma and ask if she can watch the kids for a few hours. You need to rely on baby sitters, who may not be as dependable as family, and who of course aren’t free, like family. Whether you are struggling with finding alone time or struggling with reconnecting when there is alone time, here are some tips that will allow you to bond.

1) Relationships take work and similar to our devotion to our children, our careers and households, we need to find the time and dedicate ourselves to them. If you don’t show that you are willing to put in the effort, you cannot expect to get much out of it, resulting in an unhappy marriage, relationship and household. Admitting that work needs to be done and committing to getting your relationship back on track is the first step.

2) Get back into date night and pick one night a week, bi-weekly or even monthly to have alone time with your spouse/partner/boyfriend. Family is great to utilize but if they don’t live nearby, find a reliable sitter who your children can bond with and work out a schedule with her. If money is tight, create a date night swap with a friend where she watches your kids and you watch hers.

3) If you are not able to get away from the house for date night, feed the kids and put them to bed early one night and create date night at home. Order in some great food, put on some great music and catch up on old times. Date night at home can also consist of cuddling up and renting a movie or having game night. Turn off your computers, put down your blackberries, cell phones and iPads and shut out the rest of the world for a night. It should be all about the two of you!

4) Reassure your mate that even though you’re busy, you still care. Tell him you love him one afternoon over the phone for no reason at all. During the morning craziness of lunchboxes, breakfast, teeth-brushing and getting dressed, give him a smooch just because. He will be surprised and it will make his day…and yours for making him smile. Don’t forget your children are always watching and listening to what Mommy and Daddy are doing, which means the good and the bad. Demonstrating affection and good communication between you and your spouse in the home is providing your children with a solid understanding of what a healthy relationship is. Believe it or not, what they see in their household, even at a very young age, is what they learn and what they learn is what they practice later on in life. Be good role-models!

5) Slow down once in a while and stop and smell the roses. Don’t forget that you and your husband are the ones that created this life filled with beautiful children, accomplished careers , and a warm and loving home. Celebrate these milestones together and realize that together, life is happier, easier and more fun.

We are all guilty of losing ourselves in everyday life and that includes our husbands too. Moms, don’t think I am letting them off the hook by any means. It takes two to build a relationship and two to make it crumble! I hope these tips will help get you back to where you once were. It won’t happen overnight but it will happen and when it does, everything else will fall into place.