What should I do with my kids? Spending time with your spouse, uninterrupted, is essential to reconnect. We recommend setting time aside each week to make your marriage priority.
Some options for babysitting:
Have grandma and grandpa watch the kids. This is beneficial for both the kids and the grandparents. Studies have shown that kids with grandparents actively involved in their lives are more emotionally stable, and have fewer negative behaviors, than kids without involved grandparents.
If the grandparents do not live close by, and a babysitter is not in the budget, trade babysitting with close friends. For example, watch their kids on Tuesdays and they watch yours on Thursdays.
If you can’t find one night a week that you’re not running kids to activities, have the grandparent/sitter run them to those activities that one day.
Another way to work this out is to develop a babysitting co-op. For example, find 4 families that want to participate. One family watches the kids of all 4 families one night a month, then rotate. This gives you 3 weeks a month to date, and one week a month to babysit. (Hint: when watching a lot of kids at once, it is more manageable when there are planned games and activities for the kids.)
If you don’t invest in your marriage while the kids are young, when your nest is empty, your marriage will be also.
Although your marriage will be enriched if this full program is put into practice, it is not a substitute for marriage counseling.
How to know when you need outside help…