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What sort of things do you do as a couple when you have children and work full time

(13 Posts)
WestYorkshireGirl Thu 09-Jun-16 20:48:43

DH and I have 1 DD (5yrs) and married for 16yrs. We have found over the last year or so that things have got a bit rocky and have identified it's due to several factors:
- lack of quality time as a couple made worse by very limited family or support network meaning we have limited options to have time on our own/go out
- both work full time so often too tired to do much or want to go out (also pre-DD we weren't party animals or anything!)
- DH is a musician and keeps anti social hours and works most nights and comes to bed later than me
- we have 2 nights off together a week to be together
- I work regular weekends as does he
- we have got out of the habit of being affectionate - little touches etc so not surprisingly, sex is rare due to this but also due to tiredness etc
- I would describe us as both feeling very weary with life and sometimes money worries and the fact our dog is fading away from old age doesn't help
- it feels like we have lost ourselves somewhere and we've forgotten how to have fun

So, we need to find ways of re-connecting with each other. We managed to get a night away for the first time last Nov and have another one in July but the logistics are complicated for child and dog care so we can't do this often. I also found the pressure for it all to be wonderful quite intense..

Anyone else willing to share what you do for couple time and how you make things work to keep each other and your relationship sane? Would really appreciate some ideas of little things we could try.
Thanks

RosieandJim89 Thu 09-Jun-16 20:59:00

We occasionally go out for a meal or to the cinema. We are lucky to have family willing to watch DS for a few hours and usually go out early so we are not out late.
If can't go out then we get a meal for 2 from M&S with wine and enjoy it after DS is in bed, sat at the table with dim lighting and some nice conversations.

OhTheRoses Thu 09-Jun-16 21:07:30

When the children were small we just didn't. No help and no time. But we did always cuddle and snuggle in bed even if we were too tired.

As the dc got bigger there was more grown up time. Now they are 18 and 21 (and probably from 10 and 13) we have been able to have the odd drink or go for a walk together. We also garden together and do bigger walks now and are members of the RHS.

I think you are doing the hard yards right now but once you get over the challenge of these years and have more time it will get easier. I love my dh more now than 10 or even 20 years ago. We have been together for more than 27 years and are about to have our silver wedding.

MunchCrunch01 Thu 09-Jun-16 21:11:36

We didn't go out much for 4 years for all the reasons you said and by the time we had dc2 we were in a bad place - prioritise spending money on babysitting at evenings and weekends, it is really important. If the weekends away felt intense in terms of the pressure, you need to keep trying til it feels more normal and fun. I'm not sure I have all or any answers but I do think forking out the small fortune needed for childcare to go out is important

IronNeonClasp Thu 09-Jun-16 21:40:42

Nothing. Absolutely nothing.

NapQueen Thu 09-Jun-16 21:47:12

Do you have a bath with the taps in the middle? Sometimes it's nice to just soak in the bath together. Doesn't need to be leading anywhere just good for feeling relaxed and talking technology free.

Another thing - is there a TV show you watch together? We found that making a nicer evening meal and getting a bottle of wine on the night it was on and watching it together was always enjoyable.

If you work weekends and have a 5yo does she go to full time school? If so use some of the weekday time to go for a walk together. Even just a shortish one.

Cabrinha Thu 09-Jun-16 22:12:22

Do you have a garden?
This is the perfect time of year to get a chiminea/firepit, stick on a cardigan and sit outside from child's bedtime til 22:00.
No TV, no smartphones, just something nice to nibble on a drink and beautiful flames to look at.
It's like being on holiday every evening - and free!

thisfalseinsight Thu 09-Jun-16 22:17:51

One thing that works for us is that about 3 or 4 times a year, we go out during the day while the kids are at school/afterschool childcare. We both take a day of annual leave from work and usually do a museum in the morning, a lunch out, and drinks in the afternoon. It's quite laid back to do a day out and you can cram a surprising lot into those 9-5 work/school hours - we always have a lovely time (and better, often, than we do when we get one of those rare nights out and the pressure is on). Would something like that be possible?

Love the suggestion above too about a fire in the garden; we just got a fire basket (a brilliant cheapie from Ikea) and it's wonderful, like being by the campfire whenever we want!

WestYorkshireGirl Fri 10-Jun-16 22:28:35

Thanks everyone - some reassuring responses and ideas here

Louisa111 Sat 11-Jun-16 08:22:40

Nothing!! It sucks! Dh works long hours, I work too...preg again with dc2. I know this is something we will have to work on but I guess we are looking at another few years before we get 'ourselves' back hmm

Cheapthrills Sat 11-Jun-16 09:12:28

I think you really have to make the effort. I am divorced now and the years when dc were small were hard and a lack of time together was one of the factors in the break up I would say.

We used to socialise with friends and bring the kids along and that was fun. When that gradually stopped (kids growing up, couples splitting up) we hardly went out together, only birthdays really and I know what you mean re pressure to enjoy yourself when sometimes it felt like hard work.

Watching something together at home and really getting Into it is a good idea. Or Small things like looking forward to a takeaway on a Saturday night.

Before we finally divorced we made a last ditch effort for a few months and did things like go out for lunch in the daytime or even shopping for the home together and that was nice. Too late then mind confused.

Cheapthrills Sat 11-Jun-16 09:14:55

I think it helps massively if you have family support. My mil used to look after bil's children every weekend for them to go out and they continued to have a full social life. By the time my dc came along she was exhausted and the offer wasn't there. Babysitters are expensive but I think worth the expense.

SirChenjin Sat 11-Jun-16 09:18:28

We occasionally go out to the cinema or for a meal with one of the older teens babysitting the younger one but generally we'll just watch a movie or sit and chat. We just seem to rub along without 'couple' time though - although it's great when we do go out. Probably should organise ourselves better and do it more often.

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