I’m sure by now you understand how much I dislike leaving my daughter behind and going somewhere. It’s just not “my thing”. I don’t think any parent “likes” it but I guess it’s easier for some than others. With that being said, for the first several months of Emma’s life, I was all about being with Emma 24/7. I finally realized, with some convincing from my husband, that I needed to spend some time with him. Alone. Without Emma. Just. Us. Two. I’ll be honest, it was a hard thing for me to do. It’s still a hard thing to do but I’ve begun to realize how important it is for not only us, but for Emma. It has nothing to do with NOT wanting to spend time with JR- I love my husband and the sun definitely shines on him. He is a great husband, a great father, a great leader, a great EVERYTHING. I love him very much and after spending more time with him, I realized I missed it a lot. He has always been my best friend and guess what? It’s hard to get to know your best friend or grow with them if you don’t spend time with them. It’s also hard to set a good example and be the best, healthiest parents we can be for Emma if we’re not spending the time we need to together. I want to encourage you all to grow not only as parents, but as spouses, too, and wanted to give you some tips on how to do it:
Costs Money (anywhere from $50+)
*Every once in awhile, usually 1-2 times a year, JR and I will really live it up and either go out of town for a night or two if we can find a great deal OR go out somewhere really nice locally. If we’re going on a quick getaway trip, we usually hit up Asheville. We’ve found we can make a day trip out of that, too, and spend even less. We love walking around downtown, which is free, and eating locally there at Mayfels or Tupelo Honey Café. Both restaurants are reasonably priced and cost anywhere from $15-$25 with tip included. You have to consider the cost of food (optional- you can pack), gas, and lodging (if staying overnight). If you watch certain hotels and websites (like Groupon) you can usually find some GREAT deals!
Costs A Little Money (less than $25)
*JR and I will wait for a free Tuesday to roll around for us and occasionally take a trip to the movies. Not sure if it’s just here, but our theaters have cheap Tuesday tickets. We know we can go on a budget. Also, at the cinemall (locally owned) you can use your Food City value card (locally owned also) and get a discount after the movie has been out for a week, any day of the week. Every week, Tinseltown (owned by Cinemark- in Bristol) sends out coupons for a free item, usually with a purchase, if you’re signed up on their email list. At the cinemall (in Abingdon), they have free refills on large drinks and free tap water. In this scenario, you just have to pick what is the best value and for us, we usually go to the cinemall because it’s locally owned, closer to home, and usually costs about the same (or less). If we play it right, we can get by with a trip to the movies for less than $20 easy. We’re big fans of water so that definitely helps!
*JR and I decided that one way we would begin dating is to date after Emma goes to bed, when she gets to bed on a regular schedule. Our plan is to go through the movies we have (which is A LOT) and we will take turns picking them. We’ve done it a couple times so far and I got JR to watch some Twilight movies and he’s working on getting me through the Lord of the Rings trilogy. It’s a really great way to date without spending money or even leaving the house (which is great if you can’t find or afford a sitter). It’s also being resourceful. Total win! You can spice it up by having a late night cheap-o meal to go with it. We like to make our own pizza which costs less than $6 around here and tastes WAY better than store bought or ordered from a pizza place. The best part is we have leftovers for the next day.
I definitely recommend taking the time to continue to grow with your spouse. If we don’t grow together, we’ll definitely grow apart. I know that JR and I are in it for the long haul, meaning FOREVER, and we have to work to make that happen. It’s healthy for us and best for our family. I hope I’ve encouraged you to find time for your spouse, no matter what the budget!
What ways do you date your spouse?