Making It Work: Reconnecting with Your Partner

Couple sitting on the couch watching a movie“My partner and I both work outside of the home. We have a nine-month-old son. Since we’re already away from our son so much due to work, we’re hesitant to leave him more than necessary outside of work obligations. We also want to keep our relationship strong and spend time focusing on each other. Do you have suggestions for reconnecting with each other that don’t necessarily involve leaving the baby?”

(Have a) date night in. After you’ve put your baby to sleep, have some tea and a candlelight talk. My husband and I call them “Tea Talks.” — Natalie G.R. Elsik, Facebook 

My husband and I would “do lunch” because there was a convenient halfway place for us to sit down together. It was a good way to still squeeze in some us-time. — Amber Nicole Lasley, Facebook

We have a date night every week at home. When the children go to sleep, we eat a nice dinner, have a glass of wine, watch a movie, and cuddle on the couch. — Cirsten Peace, Facebook

Have a special “picnic” after the children go to sleep: wine, cheese, bread—maybe set up a blanket (on the floor) in your kitchen! — Lyndsay Gardner, Facebook

Take a mini vacation and explore a nearby town. Get an (inexpensive) hotel (room) and stay overnight. Babies are easily transportable at this age. — Diane Murray, Facebook

Designate nighttime for hanging out together. That’s what my husband and I do. He’s in the Army, so his schedule is busy and all over the place. After work it’s dinner, children’s bath, housework, spend time with children, then put them to bed. Once they’re in bed, we retire to the living room for movie dates. We go to the (refrigerator’s) frozen section for munchies rather than ordering out or going out. It’s nice. — Taylor Ortiz, Facebook

Sometimes we spend “date night money” on something else that will reduce stress, like having the house cleaned or the car detailed or grocery delivery —something that gives us more time together as a family and doesn’t involve chores. — Marie Cox, Facebook

Get outside on the patio! (It’s) baby-friendly and super intimate, especially after dark. — Erin Jones, Facebook

Get a babysitter after the baby’s bedtime. You could go get drinks, dinner, or dessert. This way it’s during a time the baby wouldn’t normally be spending time with you. Another thing my husband and I have done is: go for walks with our son in his stroller near his bedtime, and he would fall asleep while we were walking. — Tiffany Ozenkoski, Facebook

That’s a fantastic goal! I would say picnics in a park, cooking and eating together at home, going to the pool together, hiking, biking — whatever you’re into could be a potential opportunity to partake in the experience together. — Sara Baumgartner, Facebook

We do an “evening constitutional” walk every night after dinner before bed. It’s great for a bedtime routine, health, and connection. We love to have friends over for dinner or to watch sports as a way to nurture our other relationships as well. — Lindsay Brake, Facebook

My husband and I don’t want to leave our baby either so we go on dates during the day. We meet up and have lunch together about once a month. — Candice Walker, Facebook

We do date nights with whatever child is under one at the time. (We have four right now.) You can also set up a picnic/date night at home after baby is in bed — nice dinner then a new movie. — Christy Hunt, Facebook

(Have) 10 minutes a day cuddle time with no talk of baby or bills — and no cell phones. — Nicole Ziegler-Agins, Facebook

New Situation “I have worked outside of the home since my daughter was three months old. My 18-month-old daughter has been at the same small in-home daycare since I returned to work. She has always done well with saying goodbye to me or my partner when one of us drops her off in the morning. That changed about three weeks ago. Now she clings to us and cries. Our daycare provider assures us that the tears never last long after we leave. It’s not only at daycare. If I try to leave the house to do an errand without her, she starts to cry. I know it’s common for toddlers to experience separation anxiety. I can easily take her along during my errands, but leaving her at daycare is a different story. How can I help ease her anxiety?”

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