Keeping the Spark Alive… Even with Kids!
Keeping the Spark Alive… Even with Kids!
It can be really challenging to find time to set aside to strengthen your relationship. Raising 3 children while being FIFO was often hard. With my husband home 3 days out of 14, we learnt quickly how important it was to make a love plan and take action to make the most of our time together.
If we didn’t make ‘us’ time, we found ourselves wasting our precious time together, leaving us feeling disconnected and hoping that the next R&R would be better. And the truth was, it wasn’t until we made a commitment to making couple time each R&R.
When a couple chooses to focus on the children or other things that pop up without making time for each other they often find themselves growing apart instead of together. And, by the time the children have grown up, often there is nothing left in the relationship, and sadly the couple breaks up.
As a couple, you have to make a choice to see your relationship as the highest priority in your life and deserving of time and attention each R&R. When you make your relationship number one, it will become easier to find the time to nourish it.
A relationship is like a plant – give it water it grows and thrives and when you stop watering it begins to die… If you choose to water your relationship with couple time, it will grow and thrive, however, if you stay living in the hope that next time will be better your relationship will break down.
So how do you to find couple time:
The first thing is a Date Night – every R&R should include at least one date night. Remember date nights don’t have to be expensive or include a babysitter as finding a babysitter can be complicated when you are FIFO.
Make it a snuggly date night by watching a movie building a loving connection by sitting close together on the lounge. Create a fun night playing games with music in the background or take a romantic walk around the block holding hands, swap massages or have a sexy bubble bath together. It will even build your loving connection by simply having a few drinks under the stars together.
Date night can also happen while you are apart and I talk more about this in the Love Action Plan Workshop. One idea is to both watch the same show at the same time with your phone line open so you can hear each other laughing or share what just happen.
Regular date night (couple time) strengthens your connection and really is not optional if you want to have a thriving relationship in a FIFO lifestyle.
My next tip is to create bedtime routines – Couple time can be found by getting your children into a good bedtime routine, and this routine needs to stay in place when the FIFO parent comes home. Involve the FIFO parent while they are away in this bedtime routine, share with them why it’s important for them to support you in keeping this bedtime routine.
Tell your partner by creating and keeping this bedtime routine that you will have time and energy available for couple time when they are back. By involving your partner you are standing together not just as a couple but as mum and dad. You could have a video call and have the FIFO parent read a bedtime story which can then carry on when they are home.
Teach your children about couple time – Over the years of working with couples I have found teaching children about the importance of mum and dad having time together alone, gives your children a deep sense of security to know that their parents are happy and have a strong bond. And in a FIFO lifestyle, it is far too easy for children to feel insecure and then act out if they see or feel their parent’s relationship disconnecting.
Make Your Relationship No 1 – For couples who want a thriving relationship, you have to embrace the FIFO lifestyle and learn how to make it a fun, cheeky part of your relationship.The key is to set your priorities and schedule your time and energy accordingly.
This is why it is important to make a Love Action Plan. By understanding your FIFO cycle and how it affects your relationship you will easily know when you need to step it up in your relationship. You will be able to schedule in couple time and hold to it as best you can.
By creating your Love Action Plan, you will have a set day and time where you both can save some of your energy for each other and not let yourself get consumed by other things. If you want any help setting this up head over to my Love Action Plan Workshop for step by step instructions on how to set this up.
Include your Partner; communication is key to any relationship and the glue that holds us together while we are apart. Brainstorm with your partner ideas what will work best for your relationship. Be open to each other’s ideas and come up with multiple options.