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Wifey Wednesday: Spending Time Together

Hi everybody! Thanks for joining me for Wifey Wednesday, the signature post on this To Love, Honor and Vacuum blog. And this happens to be my 600th post! Woo hoo!

Anyway, today I thought I'd tell you the story of two friends of mine that we'll call Bob and Sue.

Bob and Sue married young and had children immediately. They were a busy couple, trying to establish a home for their kids. And everything revolved around the kids. They needed extra money, since Bob was still in a training program, and wasn't likely to make a decent salary for several years. So Sue worked, but she always worked opposite Bob, in shift work, so that they didn't need a baby-sitter. They didn't want to spend the money, and they wanted to raise their own kids.

After a few years the routine became, well, routine. Nobody really questioned it anymore. The kids rarely saw both parents together, because they were rarely together. They didn't have weekends together. One or the other was always working.

Bob and Sue just stopped doing things as a couple. They did things with other couples, or with extended family, like playing cards or having parties, but they rarely did things just the two of them.

So it was hardly surprising when Sue found greener pastures elsewhere (which, in retrospect, didn't turn out so green).

Now in this particular case, it was mostly Sue's choice to never be home with Bob. I actually know Bob well and don't want to lay much of the blame at his feet. But I want to talk about a few lessons from their failed relationship.

1. The marriage comes first, not the kids. They were so focused on not getting baby-sitting that they ended up not having a marriage. It is very, very dangerous to work for years on end on opposite shifts. Sometimes it may be necessary, but I'm going to go out on a limb and say something I would very rarely say: it is better to get baby-sitting a few days a week and work at the same time as your husband than to never see your husband. I'm not in favour of baby-sitting or daycare, but it doesn't help your kids if you lose your marriage so you can be home with them. What kids need is married parents.

2. Money is not the be all and end all. Sue worked largely for luxuries: a bigger house, more DVDs and electronics for the kids, toys, etc. Live in a smaller house with fewer things but make your own fun with your hubby. That's a far richer life.

3. Find time to be together. That's a tough one, and I've talked to women who say, "the only time we have is in the evenings after the kids go to bed, and then he just wants to veg in front of the TV". Tis a problem. But you have to remind yourselves why you're together in the first place.

So what are some inexpensive date ideas?

1. Feed the kids a quick dinner, put them in front of a movie, and then put them to bed early. You eat dinner with your husband later, by candlelight.

2. Go for walks after dinner so you can talk with your hubby while the kids play in the park. Perfect for the coming spring!

3. If you live near waterfront, take a drive down there with the family. While the kids skip stones, you can sit hand in hand with him.

4. Trade baby-sitting with a friend once a month so you get to honestly go out! And if you don't have the money, have her take the kids to her house and you buy some yummy frozen dinners you can cook quickly at home, and eat at home with him. Have a date at home without the kids!

5. If the kids are in school, meet up for lunch. Sometimes that's easier than dinner!

What about you? How do you keep your relationship alive? How do you find time for each other? Share with us, either in the comments or in the Mr. Linky.

To join Wifey Wednesday, just go to your own blog and write a Wifey Wednesday post (you can right click the picture to save it and use it). Then come back here and enter the URL of your post in the Mr. Linky!

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At 9:14 AM , Blogger Melissa, Multi-Tasking Mama said…

What a great topic! Dating has really kept our marriage "alive" after thirteen years together!


At 12:27 PM , Blogger Mrs. Anna T said…

What a great post! Nowadays, our time together is usually in the early mornings, while the baby is taking a nap.


At 2:51 PM , Blogger Mrs. Querido said…

We did the "ships in the night" career choice for two years. Out of necessity to pay off medical bills though. Then when we got pregnant with our daughter I decided that I wanted to stay at home rather than working. I will admit it was because I wanted to see my kids more, but the happy side-effect was I got to see my hubby more too! Now we are working on making marriage the highest priority next to Christ in our relationship.


At 9:11 PM , Blogger Shaun and Holly said…

Great article!

I posted a link to it on my Facebook page. :)



At 4:22 PM , Blogger Laurel said…

Great post!

When we had 5 babies under 5 years old, we had to hire 2 babysitters at a time. But, even though we were living on a very limited income, we made a monthly date night a priority. Once a month, we went to a prayer meeting for our church, and then went out to dinner or dessert.

I once heard of a couple that hit their 20th anniversary, and the wife didn't want to go to Hawaii with her husband, because, "she didn't know what they would talk about". Their marriage had been so focused on the kids, that they didn't even know each other. I've always kept this story in mind, as we've done whatever we had to do to get our time away.

For the past 27 years, my dh and I have gone away for at least a weekend, alone, every year. (I think we missed 3 years out of 27.) And, we recommend it to everyone. Do what you need to do to make alone time a reality.

Even with the crazy demands of 13 children and homeschooling ... my relationship with my husband is top priority (after God).




At 2:18 AM , Blogger Kimberly said…

It has been a struggle at times to go out on dates. After 24 years of marriage and nine children, we have had candlelight dinners late at night, even in the front yard with children peaking out the window at their crazy parents.

We have gone dancing on the back porch, picniced at the Lake nearby often with a nursing baby in tow. We will celebrate our 25th anniversary not at any exotic location, we are going away for a few days and will be taking the 2 babies with us. It looks like we'll be dancing in the moonlight again with 2 tiny tag-a-longs.

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About Me

Name: Sheila

Home: Belleville, Ontario, Canada

About Me: I'm a Christian author of a bunch of books, and a frequent speaker to women's groups and marriage conferences. Best of all, I love homeschooling my daughters, Rebecca and Katie. And I love to knit. Preferably simultaneously.

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