Making time for your partner can be really challenging, especially with two toddlers. By the time the kids go to bed, my husband and I both feel stretched thin from him working all day and me staying home with two toddlers all day, cooking, cleaning, and doing all the necessary daily activities. In other words, at the end of the day, we’re both exhausted. We usually just want to sit on the couch and watch TV every night when the kids go to bed. Normally we don’t get any alone time together until our two toddlers go to bed around 7pm. Tonight, we talked about how we should start coming up with other things to do together besides watching TV every night.
I started thinking about what we would both enjoy doing together and quickly realized this would be a give and take situation. I don’t enjoy most of my husband’s hobbies and he definitely doesn’t enjoy most of my hobbies. Marriage is all about compromise and this was no different.
I decided to break down activities we could do together into three categories: things I like to do, things he likes to do, and things we both like to do.
Things I like to do:
Scrapbooking: My husband is not a fan of crafts so this would be a “once in a while” activity we do together. It is something that allows us to think creatively and work together.
Puzzles: Puzzles are a good hobby for many different reasons. They put your mind to work, improve problem-solving skills, improve memory and cognitive function, and they’re inexpensive. Puzzles are a great substitute for TV.
Bake: I love baking! Baking has always been a fun hobby of mine, but baking with toddlers can be stressful. Wait for the kids to go to bed and bake a new dessert together or have a baking competition. The best part is that you don’t have to give the spoon and bowl to your kids, and can eat it yourself!
Things he likes to do:
Work on cars: Right now, we have two non-running Subaru project cars sitting in our garage in varying stages of disrepair. Working on cars is definitely not on the top of my “fun activities to do in my spare time” list, but it is something my husband loves doing and could mean good quality time for the both of us while learning something new.
Woodworking projects: My husband does all of our home projects. He has built our playroom shelves for the kids, our beautiful dining room table, and the mudroom cabinets. He has also created cabinets and drawers for his shop space in the garage. There is still a long list of items I want in our home that would take up a lot of “our” time. Helping him with these projects would increase our quality time as well as allow us to learn new things.
Things we both like:
Gardening: Gardening is something easy to do together. Pulling stubborn weeds can be stress relieving after a long day. One of the things I like most about gardening is that it is in a constant state of change. Gardening helps with mental health and allows for physical exercise with your spouse.
Board games: We both really enjoy playing all types of board games. There are so many from which to choose: relationship and communication games, money games such as Monopoly, virus outbreak games like Pandemic (this game is interesting especially in our current predicament), as well as a simple game of Checkers or Connect Four. I like board games because there are so many options that allow you to feel like you aren’t doing the same thing every time.
Something for everyone:
Date in a box: We haven’t tried any of the box date nights yet, but after researching them, I can’t wait to sign up for one! Date in a box are monthly subscriptions that include some kind of date night. Some popular ones include Crated with Love, a date night box that has four to five creative and themed challenges and activities; Escape the Crate which are similar the escape rooms everyone talks about but in a box sent to your home once every two months; Shaker and Spoon, where each box features three recipes from bartenders and includes everything except the liquor to make 12 cocktails, four of each recipe; the Adults & Crafts Crate, which include new crafts for a couple to enjoy every months; and Date Night in Boxes, which include everything needed to enjoy a nice evening at home with your significant other.