Parenting

The Importance of Scheduling ‘Mom & Dad Time’ — And How to Ensure the Routine Sticks

Parents have just 32 minutes to themselves each day, with many having to actually hide from their children in order to get some time alone, according to one survey conducted by the meal delivery service Munchery. While scheduling a relaxation break as a couple can seem nearly impossible, however, there are a multitude of benefits involved in doing so aside from simply recharging. From the value of taking a break together from time to time to how to actually make doing so a habit that sticks around, here’s what you should consider if a busy household has left you in need of a break for some Mom and Dad time.

The benefits of alone time — together 

Spending quality alone time can feel like an impossible feat with a busy household to run, though there are a multitude of benefits that come along with carving out some well-deserved alone time. “Many of us internalize [the message] that parenting trumps all [and] everything is pushed aside,” says Minneapolis clinical social worker Marit Appeldoorn. “But this [time] is not a luxury, not dispensable. We really have to give ourselves permission to do our thing, even if it’s just 10 minutes with a cup of coffee. It’s good for physical health, mental health and really, really good for our parenting.” 

However, while alone time is important for each parent individually, spending time with your partner alone is just as important — especially if one or both parents are away at work or a busy family schedule has made regular date nights a thing of the past. Not only is making time for each other a great way to reconnect and spend time doing something that you both enjoy doing together, but it can help in maintaining a healthy relationship and/or marriage, too. Through uninterrupted time spent together, parents can communicate, laugh and have fun together.

How scheduling can help

When looking to make designated couple time a priority, actually writing it down and carving out the space in your planner or calendar can help greatly. Not only will this give you something to look forward to, but will ensure you don’t forget about it, either, and will allow you to organize childcare arrangements well in advance. Whether you choose to have a date night once a week or a weekend getaway every few months, planning ahead will allow you to effectively make ‘Mom and Dad’ time a priority, even with the busiest of schedules. While making time to have an uninterrupted dinner together can be a great way to spend time as a couple, mixing up your options can make for an exciting date — even if it’s a short hike, an afternoon movie, or the occasional weekend away. Making time to relax together can also be done in the most literal ways — such as by taking the time to get a couples massage. With a range of packages and options for couples that allow for focus on the areas that need it the most, like the feet, face, head, neck and shoulders, there’s no question that a couples massage can make for the ultimate way to relax and unwind together. And, with options that take as little as thirty minutes, scheduling a couples massage can be one of the most flexible ways to spend time together during a busy week.

Getting a moment to yourself as a parent can be a major challenge, nevermind coordinating alone time with your partner, though doing so can be very beneficial to yourself and the relationship as a whole. By making it a priority to plan out and schedule time alone — whether it’s a dinner or a weekend getaway, you can take a well-deserved break to recharge and have fun together.

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