Spending time together with your spouse: it’s not optional!

spending time togetherHave you ever given a though how your days are spent?

I bet they go pretty much like this: Your daily work eats the majority of your time (whether you are working at home or you have a day job) and you also have your own personal hobbies that you want to pursue.

In addition you spend time with your family as much as you can and occasionally you want to spend time with your friends too. You might even have a pet which needs dedication as well.

When you look at the previous daily activities, do you think there is something important missing? You got it right, spending time together with your spouse.

Why spending time together is important?

There are many reasons why one-on-one time is important.

  1. You keep your relationship alive
  2. You can listen what’s been on your spouse’s mind lately (and take corrective action if it’s worries)
  3. You both feel happy when you can spend time with the person you love
  4. It gives energy to cope with occasional stressful moments in family life

As you can see, there are many reasons why you want to invest in some one-on-one time.

How to find free time for both of you?

A very common obstacle when spending one-on-one time is – you guessed it – how to find available time? Even if you could arrange your work matters in a way that they are not preventing your mutual time, there is one big thing to solve: How to deal with your kids?

After having a baby, me and my wife have been focusing on the well-being of our son. Although our son is our top priority, we have managed to spend time together with these ways:

  1. Plan in advance

First thing is to plan your time together. Try to find optimum time that suits you both. Based on the plan, you can then make additional arrangements, so that your common time  becomes a reality.

  1. Ask the parents

If you or your spouse’s parents live nearby and they offer their babysitting help, accept it! We have “utilized” our own parents quite a bit and what’s even best – they are happy to assist us in your babysitting needs.

  1. Ask your trusted friends or god parents

Maybe your parents don’t live nearby but your friends or god parents do? Ask them to take care of your baby when you are gone.

  1. Hire a nanny

If either your or your spouse’s parents live nearby or it is not possible to ask your friends/god parents to help you out, you can always hire a nanny.

If you know someone reliable, ask him/her to take care of your child/children when you are spending time together.

  1. Take advantage of nap times

Little children take naps during the afternoon and sometimes those naps can last for hours. For example, our newborn takes naps which last usually from two to three hours.

Although you can’t leave your home while your baby is sleeping, you can still take advantage of that time block by doing something together.

What to do when spending time together?

Once you have found a common time block to spend together, the next thing is to figure out what to do with that block. The following ones are something we have done and enjoyed quite a bit.

  1. A relaxing moment

Order a treatment in the closest massage parlour. For instance, we booked a time in a Chinese massage parlour sometime ago and enjoyed it a lot.

In addition, you can try other relaxation and massaging techniques and decide what you enjoy the most.

For example, my wife is a Shindo (a Japanese relaxation method) masseuse so at times she might give me a treatment while I give her a treatment in return. We enjoy this quite a bit and are very relaxed after a treatment.

In general, a gentle massage is a great way to relax and spend time together. Highly recommended!

  1. Dining in a restaurant

On the first weekend of every month we go to eat in a restaurant. This gives us a pleasant break into the typical daily routine that we have for the rest of the month (eating at home).

Good food, good drinks and good conversations – that’s what make the dining out an enjoyable experience.

  1. Theatre or movies

Sometimes you can entertain yourself by going to the theather or movies. For example, just recently when my wife had a birthday, we went to a theatre to watch a play.

If theatre is not your thing, find a movie that you like and actually go to the movie theatre to watch it. Especially if the movie is a good one, you can have many enjoyable moments together.

  1. Going for a walk together

Sometimes just taking a walk in the nature is all that’s needed for a quality moment together. Especially if the weather is OK, just go to the park or forest nearby (if there is a one where you live) and enjoy the company of your spouse and the nature.

  1. Have a romantic night

If you can take your baby to your babysitter, you can spend time together in your own home.

Go to a bath, have a nice romantic dinner or spend some intimate time together. Whatever it is, this is a very nice way to dedicate your time to each other for a moment.

When you child/children grows bigger, you can do this same but in an overnight hotel setting.

We haven’t still done so, because our son is so young. However, I know that we are going to do this when he is older.

  1. Yearly planning

Twice a year, me and my wife take an afternoon off and head to a location (like the local spa, summer cottage …) where we can focus on our future a bit.

We like to do yearly planning twice a year. The first session is in January and the second one is in July.

What we do in these sessions is that we plan our year ahead: what we want to do and achieve. After our planning, we have a dinner together.

Doing some planning is a fine way of spending time: Not only are you planning your year and what you want, but you can also learn what you spouse wants to achieve.

Conclusion

Spending one-on-one time with your spouse is very important when it comes to keeping your relationship healthy and alive. At the same time, we are so sucked into our work and other activities, that this part of our relationship is often neglected.

From now on, make a priority to schedule time together with your spouse. It’s an investment that always pays back by increased happiness and well-being in your relationship and in your family.

Your next tasks:

1. Put this blog post into action!

  • Schedule regular times when you can spend time together
  • Plan ahead what you are going to do when you are with each other
  • Make the necessary babysitting arrangements well in advance

2. Share your experiences and tips on the comment area:

  • How do you find mutual time together?
  • How do you spend time together?

3. Spread the word:

  • I would appreciate it if you share this post on Twitter, Facebook, Google Plus, LinkedIn or on BizSugar (click the vertical share bar on the left).

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About Timo Kiander

My name is Timo Kiander aka Productive Superdad.

I want to show how an online entrepreneur like you can improve your productivity in your online business.

Comments

  1. This is so important, often we take it for granted which can lead to many problems.

    Often you are with your partner physically (not in reality) because of these smart phones, tablets etc.

    So so important to turn all these distraction off and I think the best way is that you should plan your day and follow that schedule.
    Rana Shahbaz recently posted..Kristi Hines Shared Her Best Formula to Build High PR BacklinksMy Profile

  2. Great post and practical tips here, Timo!

    The emotional and physical benefits of bonding with your spouse or partner are crucial. I’d take it one step further and say that instead of finding the time, you MAKE the time.

    Making them a priority in your life is a great way to show how much you care. I know its especially hard for parents of younger children and toddlers, but you’ve got to get that babysitter and get out for some grown-up time, or you will go nutz! :)
    Jason Anthony recently posted..4 Steps To Improve Your Life For The BetterMy Profile

    • Timo Kiander says:

      Thank you Jason!

      So true! If you really want to spend time with your spouse, you have to make it.

      Cheers,
      Timo

  3. These are all true whether or not you’re a father (or mother). Someone said to me last week about his brother, “Oh, he’s trying to work out his work/wife balance”! Says it all really.
    Mike Garner recently posted..How Jean-Paul Sartre and French existentialism changed my lifeMy Profile

  4. What a great post Timo & soooo true! My husband & I have 3 little ones & finding time for each other among all the other things going on in our lives can be tough, but you know what? He is the most important thing to me. Above all else. Our relationship is a priority. I want it to get better & better with time & the only way to grow our relationship is to invest in it. Yes, even marriage relationships.

    Once you’re married doesn’t mean that you’re set for life. You have to work at it. You have to continually build it up.

    So thanks for this post. Your spouse has to be a priority in your life & setting aside time, even if it’s just 20-30 minutes a day to hang out together, is great!
    Meagan Visser recently posted..Is Your Perfection Holding You BackMy Profile

    • Timo Kiander says:

      Meagan,

      Thank you :)

      Yes, I agree. It is very very important to spend time with your spouse. And yes … there are always ways to do that even if sometimes the schedules are hectic.

      Cheers,
      Timo

  5. Timo,

    In my own personal case I know I try to have things that are Only Ours… Activities that when we do them it is always just the two of us.

    We look forward to these moments and cherish that they are special to us.

    Thank you,

    Ryan H.
    Ryan Hanley recently posted..How To Convince Your Internet Hating Boss an Online Presence is ImportantMy Profile

    • Timo Kiander says:

      Ryan,

      I agree. Just me and my spouse – those moments are truly valuable and special.

      That’s why one needs to stop for a moment and clear the calendar a bit.

      Cheers,
      Timo

  6. Hey Timo,
    Great Article! I couldn’t agree with you more. It is so vitally important. We are constantly changing and evolving as people. If we don’t spend quality time with our spouse on a regular basis, then by the time the kids move out, we won’t even know who the other person is. Christy and I can’t get enough of each other. We are both triathletes and so we train together every morning, which is amazing. We always make our time together a priority and we have a very happy relationship.

    • Timo Kiander says:

      Steve,

      Great to hear that you liked my article!

      That’s awesome – having a mutual hobby is a great way to spend time together!

      Cheers,
      Timo

  7. Very interesting (and passionate post), filled with great tips, Timo.

    I have an interesting perspective to share:

    I see a lot of people wage this war of “work vs. family”, and I’ve always had a strong inclination towards *involving* my family in my work. Blending and intertwining them in fun ways.

    -One of Marcus Sheridan’s best pool videos had his kid as the teacher.
    -Tony + Sage Robbins talk and hold seminars together.
    -Brad + Angelina act in movies and attend events + UN stuff together :)

    I *could* spend time trying to precisely balance ‘warring desires’, or I could creatively blend them. What do you think?
    Jason Fonceca recently posted..Success Is A Story (And You’re Telling It Wrong)My Profile

    • Timo Kiander says:

      Jason,

      Of course, if there is a way to do it, then yes, this is a great way to mix work and family time together.

      Thanks for the great insight Jason … I never realized that this is yet another way of spending “together” time!

      Cheers,
      Timo

  8. Nice post! I have two young daughters so I’ve been through a lot of what you discuss. We do make some time for couples time. I can’t say I plan more than two months in advance but I like your approach to doing it twice a year.

    I also like your list of ideas. I think I need to take advantage of walks versus always going with the dinner and a movie angle. Thanks Timo!
    Tom Treanor recently posted..Why Do Social Media For Your Company? Perception vs. RealityMy Profile

    • Timo Kiander says:

      Tom,

      Awesome, great to hear this stuff was valuable!

      Taking a walk is a nice, yet very simple way of doing things together!

      We usually just take a small walk around the block, but yet, this is a very nice thing to do.

      Cheers,
      Timo

  9. Kimberly says:

    I agree, it is amazing learning the many stories and private feelings or thoughts of my spouse after spending time with him. Often we do not find this significant anymore especially with the kids and busy work schedule but the joy of being connected with my spouse again brought a lot of good memories as well as gave me energy.
    Kimberly recently posted..DTS HomeMy Profile

    • Timo Kiander says:

      Kimberly,

      True, spending time together is an energy booster!

      That’s why it is important to have those mutual moments on a frequent basis if possible – to generate even more good memories.

      Cheers,
      Timo

  10. Timo, I’m glad you pointed out the importance of planning in advance. A lot of people resist this because they say without spontaneity, where’s the fun? But my theory is that for your relationship to thrive, you have to invest in it the same way you invest in your business. So be spontaneous once you’re on the date or on the trip, but get serious about scheduling the time together in advance. Makes a massive difference. Really great point!

    And P.S: I am completely stealing your idea of a twice a year review session with your wife. I love that you two go away together and infuse this high level overview session with romance and lovey time. Beautiful!
    Annika recently posted..Marketing with an ugly ass websiteMy Profile

    • Timo Kiander says:

      Thank you Annika!

      Yes, those planning sessions are very important for us and we look forward to those.

      So go ahead and steal it :)

      Cheers,
      Timo

    • I also love that you have planning time together! I think it is very cute that you both like to plan! Often one spouse is a planner and the other is , , , not!

      We do not have a source of free babysitting (ie family nearby) and the cost of babysitting is a bit prohibitive for us, except for rare occasions. But there are lots of things you can do at home after the kids are asleep to spend quality (and quantity!) time together! I love that you included that in the post as well.

      People sometimes try to push us to go out. It is highly impractical for us on any regular basis. But we are very happy to have a salad or late night snack alone without the kids or even just to sit and talk!
      Ita recently posted..The Secret to Dealing With Perceived Injustice in This WorldMy Profile

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