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To ask how much quality time you get with OH & what you do?

(32 Posts)
1wokeuplikethis Wed 06-May-15 15:11:04

Obviously with the arrival of children comes (usually) a distinct decline in the number of dates, romantic meals and getting pissed on the sofa until 3am talking rubbish you are able to enjoy with your other half.

How much quality time do you get to spend together? How frequently? And what do you do?

SomewhereIBelong Wed 06-May-15 15:38:29

Depends what you mean by "quality time"

- we have romantic meals - who cares if there is an extra or 2 at the table, getting pissed has NEVER figured in our quality time, and he might be able to stay up til 3, but I am an early bird so that does not figure either.

We enjoy our time together - whether it is washing the dishes, doing homework with the kids, out at a restaurant - or just sat exhausted in each other's company in quiet companionship of an evening.

having our kids around does not diminish the quality of the time we spend together in ANY way

kewtogetin Wed 06-May-15 15:53:22

I think it depends, my DH and I were together for 12 years before we had children, that's a long time as just a couple. Obviously we worship our children but do we want time 'just us' occasionally? Hell yes! I certainly don't feel bad about it either. A happy couple are happy parents I truly believe.
To that end we go out for dinner/cinema maybe once or twice a month. We have 3/4 nights of weekends away every year and this year we are having a week in Amalfi just the two of us. We are lucky that both sets of parents practically fight over looking after our children. Also, I'm a sahm so there is no guilt about spending time with the children v's spending time with DH.
Not all 'quality' time has to spent outside the home though. Sometimes it's just nice to put the children to bed, light a fire and watch a film with a glass of red.

Sootgremlin Wed 06-May-15 15:54:19

Echo somewhereIbelong really. If by quality time you mean 'alone time' we don't get much of that, so we try to make the best of all our time.

Evenings we sit and watch a film together, or read our books and talk about them, talk about the kids and funny things that happened in our days.

Our best times together are usually long drives with the kids asleep in the back, we have great conversations and laughs then.

When my eldest was at playgroup once we went out for a coffee with just the baby, that felt like a date grin

We sometimes talk about having a dinner out together, but childcare is difficult as my littlest is very clingy, we don't have family nearby so she can acclimatise and we don't feel comfortable leaving her yet, so often forget the idea. There's time for that again later.

The one thing I do miss is playing sports - golf, squash etc with him, miss the competitiveness and fun we had then, but I can't play squash anymore anyway due to health and golf will wait until we're retired and have the time! In the meantime we're looking forward to the kids being old enough to do those kinds of things with us smile

crapfatbanana Wed 06-May-15 16:01:38

We watch TV/DVDs together for a couple of hours most evenings, or we keep the TV off and just chat or put some music on.
We go to a book club with friends once a month.
We have a meal out, just the two of us, 2-3 times a year.
Occasionally, if he gets a day or few hours off work we go for a drive or a walk and grab lunch.
We visit the theatre or cinema 2-3 times a year.
We have only spent one night away from the kids and that was for our anniversary a couple of years ago.
We have four kids and babysitters are expensive.
We don't have a lot of 'couple' time really and when we do, one or both of us is usually knackered.

crapfatbanana Wed 06-May-15 16:03:02

Forgot to say we have been together 21 years.

Weathergames Wed 06-May-15 16:11:58

We are both divorced so we have every other weekend with no kids and every other weekend with 6.

We unashamedly stay in bed until the afternoon drinking and watching films having lunch/dinner out and socialising with friends when we have no kids and love that time together (OH works away all week) and do "kid" stuff with the kids.

We also always go away alone together 1 week a year.

IMO I do not get anyone who feels "guilty" about being away from their kids (if they are being well cared for), and think there will be quite a few rather smug relies on this thread smile

1wokeuplikethis Wed 06-May-15 16:34:06

Yep to clarify, by quality time I meant time alone. That's not something to feel guilty about; it's great to enjoy each others company during the mundane normal every day stuff, but time alone just the two of you is surely important. That's what I'm asking about- what other parents do to reconnect and treat yourselves.

We have fun together but life is not one long rom-com and its been ages since we've done something just us. I was looking for inspiration. We went to the cinema in 2013...:-D

We don't spend much time alone together, but always chat in the evenings, go out without them once every few months, never gone away without them but we haven't got childcare for anything more than an occasional one night stay with grandparents, when we usually go out with friends. I wouldn't feel guilty going away without them, but don't have any desire to, we love family holidays. DH and I both go out quite a lot separately with friends too. And we get lie-ins at the weekends, our DCs get up and sort themselves out.

What I do miss is going to the cinema, we prefer to use our nights out to go somewhere where we can chat. Also miss going out on the spur of the moment without having to plan around Scouts, Brownies, babysitters etc.

Sootgremlin Wed 06-May-15 16:41:35

And I think yours is the first one weathergames grin

Weathergames Wed 06-May-15 16:43:38

I meant the "we don't need time away from our kids" posts.

My divorce and subsequent years of single parenting were not enjoyable or anything to be smug about ��.

Weathergames Wed 06-May-15 16:43:55


SomewhereIBelong Wed 06-May-15 16:44:31

Last night when the kids were in bed, DH fed me blueberries and brushed out my damp hair for me whilst I read aloud to him. (Bill Bryson, so we ended up laughing).

Sounds terribly romantic and "quality time" - but it is the sort of thing we do anyway with the kids around too.

Sometimes we play "dirty scrabble" - all words have something to do with sex - we don't do that in front of the kids.

dayreturn Wed 06-May-15 16:47:33

We go out together a few times a month, usually to a theatre/art show or new restaurant. We're in London so there's always a new show or place to visit. My parents take DD one night a week so if there's any shows that we want to see or places to visit, we'll book it for that day of the week as we always know we'll both be free. We've had odd weekends away as well, though not many this year as both our schedules have been hectic.

Breadrocks Wed 06-May-15 16:49:35

We don't really get to go out together these days ( 2 dc under 3 and not much local family support). But we try to go out socially separately so we both have fun and stuff to talk about.

We spend our evenings together watching films or cooking/chatting. I would say there is a distinct lack of 'quality time' but I hope to fix that as the kids get older. He likes golf so I'd like to take that up and I'd love to get him into hiking/tennis so we can do that together.

I think the main thing isn't what you do together it's how much fun you have when you are together. Sometimes I try to avoid spending every night with dh, so it feels a bit fresh when we do. Give them a chance to miss you grin

Notso Wed 06-May-15 17:01:51

Not much time just the two of us. If we have a night away it tends to be with other couples and night outs are often rushing round to get ready and then rushing back for the babysitter so not really leisurely.

The couples we usually go away with have all had or are having babies this year so we are going to have a long weekend away just the two of us. I can't wait.

Sootgremlin Wed 06-May-15 17:12:34

I just mean it goes both ways - people aren't smug if they say they don't like being away from their kids, that is true for some people. My point was the same could be said for you and your afternoons in bed drinking and holidays envy but they are just different situations, no one has to be smug smile

I wouldn't feel guilty leaving my four year old as he is confident and close to his grandparents and would be fine, I would feel guilty leaving my baby at bedtime/overnight as I know she wouldn't be. I also feel guilty enlisting aging family for non-essential babysitting as it's a lot of driving and inconvenience for them. That is an honest comment on my situation, though, not on anybody else's.

Financially we can't really afford to go out together that much anyway as when we have the money we spend it on outings for the whole family. I think as long as you both feel the same way about your time, and enjoy the same things then that's what matters most.

We try and get into a boxed set together, read the same books sometimes so we can talk about them, play cards, go to bed early at least one night a week, buy desserts and a beer to share once the kids are in bed. If we did have the chance of a babysitter in the day it would probably be a pub lunch. I find though if you don't have as much time together you really do appreciate more the time you do get alone.

Well <puts smug hat on>, that's me told then grin.

Weathergames Wed 06-May-15 17:44:09

Ok ok hands up - I am prob more projecting about my DSIS who says they don't want time without their kids (they are incredibly smug - on FB- but resents every single moment mine are WITH THEIR FATHER when she has seem me struggle alone and thought I had it easy having EOW off even though the other 26 days of the month I did everything alone <and breathe>.

My mum stays with the kids for a few days every year and does the same for my sister (if either of us ask) but my sister seems to think because she is abroad she misses out somehow - in reality my DPs prob visit her more than they do me!!

Apologies for hijack OP grin

Charlotte3333 Wed 06-May-15 17:50:03

We go out regularly without the children. MIL offers to babysit often so every now and then we take her up on it. We also go away for a weekend two or three times a year, we did Venice in January and will be in Barcelona for our anniversary in June. I tend to think happy, rested parents make happier children. And when we do go away I probably spend 40% of my time in bed catching up on sleep, with DH in the hotel lobby eating the free biscuits.

I have some friends who refuse to do anything without their DS. The wife is perfectly in love with their DS to the point where he goes everywhere. The husband is less enamoured with the setup. I'm not sure I'd be willing to sacrifice my time with DH.

SaucyJack Wed 06-May-15 17:56:02

We haven't been out together since DD3 was born 14 months ago. She's very clingy to me, and a dreadful sleeper and there's no one I hate trust enough to leave her with.

We still stay up drinking and talking shite at weekends. We also watch boxsets and shows on Netflix. Occasional board games. Usual stuff.

Weathergames Wed 06-May-15 17:57:24

Yes my SIL has never spent a night away from her teenage children.

They won't even go out for dinner, I think BIL would like time alone and I worry what will happen when the kids leave as everything is geared around them.

They are horrified at our set up.

This is the thing, and I genuinely don't want to sound smug, DH and I are both happy to have not gone away without the DCs in 11 years, lots of my friends are the same, having had DCs relatively late grandparent care was not going to be freely availble to most of us anyway. I know not everyone feels the same. The DCs are at school, we both have jobs and hobbies we enjoy, so we get plenty of child free time, just not all of it together.

We have had plenty of nights apart though, they have a sleepover at my parents 3 or 4 x a year and are enthusiastic participants at sleepovers, Scout camps etc.

Livjames1 Wed 06-May-15 18:30:05

I can honestly say me and dh have had two nights out together in 13 years! Now that's not me being smug being all look at me aren't I super mum as the truth is we are desperate for some alone time.

We have three kids, the youngest who's 4 is also autistic so has the obvious issues. Dh both still have our parents, his are in their early 70's and mine are in their mid/late 50's. His parents are lovely but they have their hands full with my dh's sisters five children so I feel I can't rely on them for childcare. And as for my parents well they have had eldest dc/ds when he was 4 but that was only because I was in labor with ds2 other than that they have never so much as sat with them at our house so that me and dh can go out for some dinner or to the cinema.

I can't hire a babysitter as my dd does not take well to complete strangers so I'd be on pins all night worrying which would effectively ruining the evening. So as sad as it sounds I've just accepted the inevitable that is me and dh will not get much time alone over the next 10 years or so, that's just the way it issad

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