Let me paint you a little picture here of an average evening – I’ve been spending the day with a pack of adorable, tiny humans, we get them all tucked in to bed, shut their doors, and breathe a lovely sigh of success for wrapping up another day with them. Maybe it was life-givingly awesome, maybe it was a giant dumpster fire, maybe it was a constantly fluctuating mix of both (almost always), but regardless, I am super excited to spend the rest of my evening with my husband and get some kid-free alone time.
My brain is SO TIRED from taking care of my kids all day, so we just decide to chill on the couch/in bed and watch TV. Which is fun! We love that. We pick a movie or show that we both want to watch, we cuddle up, and we just hang out all evening.
There’s nothing wrong with this picture. We aren’t ignoring each other, we’re still spending quality time together, BUT – we go through phases where we get bored of that and want to switch it up. We don’t just want to chill out and watch TV every night. So several months ago, we came up with this “weekday schedule” for quality time that gives some variety.
Some weeks we do this and have lots of variety, some weeks we are so busy with other things in the evening that we don’t get the chance, and some weeks, we are extra tired and WANT to just relax and do the same old thing each night.
And some nights, an even more unfortunate reality: I zone out and scroll through my phone, and before I know it, it’s almost time to go to sleep and we’ve REALLY gotten zero quality time. Quality time is my love language – it’s what makes me feel connected, so I really need that.
This is ESPECIALLY true when you have kids because they take up basically every ounce of your time and energy while they’re awake, so you have to be SO INTENTIONAL about your quality time with your spouse when you get it. I think a lot of marriages struggle with this, which is why you see so many couples really suffer when their kids go to college. Once their kids are gone, what’s left? You’ve got to maintain and build your marriage while you raise your kids or when they’re gone, you won’t have that foundation to fall back on.
I thought other couples might be able to use this resource Seth and I created to spice up their quality time and help be extra intentional about the moments you are sharing together.
So – here it is! I will attach a downloadable, printable PDF right below the image. (I’ll attach a downloadable blank version of this at the very bottom of the post if you want to fill in you own ideas)
I want to break each of these down and chat about them a bit since the above image is pretty vague:
- Monday/Wednesday: the key here is that the chill time is *intentional*. What happens too often is that a show is playing in the background, but both people are just scrolling on their phones. Some examples of what I’m talking about in a positive way: there is this show on Netflix called “We are the Champions” – we love it, and the entire time we’re watching it, we’re commenting on it, laughing, and chatting about it together. This feels more like quality, interactive time than just sitting and scrolling while a show plays in the background. With reading, it’s hard to do that “together” since you’re reading separate books, but you can sit right next to each other, cuddle a little bit, play footsie – you see what I mean? Still feels more together-y. I will say, I prefer this MUCH less than the movie or show. To me, it feels much more like we’re doing something together if we’re watching a show/movie together and commenting on it/laughing about it, etc…
- Tuesday: if you think you’re not into board/card/video games, you might be surprised. There are SO many fun board options out there that range from silly and easy to strategic and thoughtful. Card games are always light and fun. And as for video games, I’m not super into video games, but there are a few that are really fun to play together. We play the little cutesy easy ones that take zero skill and are adorbs (one called Overcooked and another called Lego Jurassic Park have been faves in the past). It can feel really tiring to jump into playing a game after a long day, but if you commit and go for it, it usually ends up being really fun.
- Thursday: This can be SO MANY different things. For us, I really like creating watercolor art projects to put around the house (particularly in the kids rooms and bathroom) and Seth really likes to build and paint models. So that’s always our go-to. We’re doing our projects separately, but we’re hanging out and talking the whole time. You can find SO MANY ideas of DIY things to create or hobbies to pursue (pinterest is GREAT for this). This just breaks up your week and it feels really good to create something or pursue a hobby.
- Friday: Date-night-ins are my favorite! Well…date-nights-OUT are my favorite, but we have to limit those because it gets expensive. We try to go out about once a month, maybe twice, but the date-night-ins can be just as great for quality time, and you can do them whenever you want! This could be a whole post on its own – I’ll create one for our favorite date-night-in ideas. For now, google is your best friend for date-night-in ideas. Our favorite thing to do is one of the simplest: cook a nice dinner together while drinking wine 😉.
I want to add a note here: if any of this feels overwhelming, you can take each of these things and only do them for part of the night. Play a game for half an hour on Tuesday and then chill, read for an hour on Monday and then watch TV, etc. It doesn’t have to be your whole night if you don’t want it to be. Make it work for you!
I hope you guys love this as much as we do! And cut yourself some slack. Some weeks you’re going to be ON IT, and some weeks, you’re going to be too exhausted for any variety. And that’s okay. Go with it, just try to switch it up every now and then, and definitely try to be intentional, even if you’re just relaxing. In my experience of being married with 3 young kids, the intentionality piece is the real key.
If you like this idea but don’t like my particular schedule or suggestions, I have attached a blank version of this, and you can fill in your own daily options!
Have a great week, friends!