When was the last time you cosied up to your partner?
Sometimes you look at your kid and feel enormous love for them that transcends time and space.
Sometimes you look at your partner and realise you haven't been alone with them for days.
You start to wonder, where is the couple within your marriage?
When was the last time you had quality time with your spouse?
Raising children doesn't mean pausing your marriage.
Who wants to go into marriage and notice 10 years on that they're now sleeping with a complete stranger?
We can't take care of other people if we can't take care of ourselves.
How you spend your time alone with your spouse is of equal importance as raising your child.
Children need to see that we are happy in our relationships. Only then will they feel safe and well-adjusted. By doing so, we become a great example for them and foster emotional stability.
Remember why you fell in love
Your time away from your children helps maintain that flame that first appeared when you two fell in love.
Spend time together just talking and laughing. Look back at what you've been through, and think of things you can look forward to.
Go on a date once a week or a few times a month. Not out of convenience, but as something you go out of your way to make happen.
You'll notice that everything becomes easier to bear when it's just the two of you, enjoying quality time with your spouse, a couple of hours every week.
Your kids understand the beauty of a good relationship
Having quality time with your spouse teaches your children that mummy's and daddy's relationships are as important as they are.
This also shows them that while you love them very much, your lives do not revolve around them.
Too many adults nowadays still rely on their parents to provide their needs because they never learned this lesson from parents who gave them too much attention.
Let's not make the same mistake.
Your kids need to know that you two have needs, too.
You deserve spending time alone together because you love each other. And by showing them how much you love each other, you're paving the way for your child to develop healthy adult relationships too, some day.
Here are some things you two can do:
1. Prioritise quality time
You can use quality time to have dinner dates, a few drinks, work out (and maybe ogle each other while you're at it!), take long drives, or go to a place without any artificial lights to watch the stars.
It doesn't matter as long as you're alone together. Just make sure you get a baby sitter.
2. Plan it
Apart from enjoying your dates, you can enjoy planning your dates with your spouse.
This gives both of you something to look forward to.
It also gives you something to be creative for, and shows the other your effort to make your relationship interesting.
It isn't about what you have or don't have, but your resourcefulness.
3. Choose activities that let you two have conversations
Movies are great but only if the movie spurs conversation and lets you talk for hours (or days) about that mad plot twist at the end.
Go to places that aren't too noisy, letting you talk in peace.
4. Acknowledge the value of foreplay
A date starts way before its appointed hour.
It can start upon waking, with a long kiss, a gentle caress, or a whisper.
It may continue for a while with a suggestive text or two, or stealing time just to make a call. Let the desire build up.
5. Kiss (Read: Have sex)
This one sits at the crux of your relationship.
Apart from the physiological, mental, emotional, and perhaps even spiritual benefits of sexual intercourse, words fail just how important this is to both of you.
It doesn't have to be perfect all the time. You just have to drop all of your inhibitions towards each other (and maybe each other's clothes for a start) and want and accept each other.
6. Enjoy the little things
Spending time together doesn't have to be about taking a chartered plane to Spain.
You can both dance to a song you like that comes on the supermarket's PA system.
Did you see something suggestive and naughty on the drive home? Joke about it!
It can be a quick make-out session in the bathroom. Small opportunities for connecting with each other build up into a stronger bond.
7. Get a babysitter
This is simple. And practical. Make sure you pay your sitter well!
8. Be creative
Give each other a pleasant surprise. Getting into a predictable routine pushes us into autopilot mode. Surprises make sure we're engaged, and human.
9. Never go to bed angry
If you have problems or little fights, make sure you solve them and talk it out before you go to sleep.
You wouldn't want the extra baggage to linger for longer than necessary.
Lead image -- a still from Jism 2 -- used for representational purposes only.