Making Time for My Husband

Sometime this morning, my husband and I will sit down at our kitchen table with two copies of our Microsoft Outlook calendars and hold a strategic planning session. Although we work together in our business, we will not be talking about client meetings, project reviews, or our business plan – we’ll be planning out who will do what (and when and where we’ll do it) over the weekend.

Over the course of the last year, we’ve developed a very business-like approach to our personal lives. I print out the calendars for Saturday and Sunday, we each make a list of all the things we want to get done over the weekend, and we make sure that any obligations (kids’ sports practices, lessons, birthday parties, etc.) are recorded. Then, we begin the process of filling in all the empty time. My husband swims as part of a masters team every Saturday morning, so that usually gets added first. I run with a friend on Sunday mornings, so that is next. There are usually a variety of projects around the house, like repairing a broken closet door or weeding in the garden, that inevitably need to be included. Last come our personal lists – the things we each want to do for ourselves, but are not necessities. For me, it might be a trip to the outlet mall to look for new jeans, whereas my husband usually wants to spend time with our neighbor selecting the seeds they are going to order for their gardens this summer. Everything that we add to the calendar gets color-coded so that it is very clear who is responsible for each activity.

What we are left with at the end of this process is a pretty full line-up of events, activities, tasks, and obligations – and very little white space. It is typically at this point that we try and figure out a way for the two of us to spend time together. I’ll admit – there are many weekends when we don’t actually do that. Sunday night will roll around and we’ll climb into bed and my first reaction is to turn to my husband and say something along the lines of “Hello stranger! Nice to see you. What have you been doing all weekend?” I know that he often feels the same way.

With four children (three of whom are with us only part of the time), our own business, and a tight budget, we have found that at this point in our lives, there is very little free time for us to spend together and not a lot of money to spend on babysitters, date nights, or weekend getaways. We are both big believers that it’s important to invest in your marriage, but we are not always so great at following through on that when the days get busy. This being said, the important thing is that we’re working on it. We talk often about the need to spend more time together and we’re always looking for ways to do it that are both practical and affordable. And one of these days, I’m pretty sure we’ll figure it out!

So my question to you is – how do YOU make time for each other in your marriage? I’m sure we’re not the only couple facing this challenge and I’d love to know how other people manage to juggle family, work and time with their significant other.

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  1. Tracey Osborne Miller’s avatar

    My husband and I also struggle to spend quality time together. We try to get in a few words at dinner, but my daughter is always the focus. We’ve tried to commit to a date night, but that always seems to get side swiped and it’s expensive to pay for a sitter and also a nice dinner. We sometimes enjoy movie night on the couch on Friday nights with homemade popcorn, or we might get in a few minutes to have lunch together, but it’s tough. Congrats on your new blog Kathleen! I’m looking forward to reading it. I juggle 3-4 part-time jobs, 3 volunteer “jobs” and when I’m with my daughter I try to turn everything else off to spend some quality time! It’s a balancing act and I’m learning everyday how to manage it!

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    1. Kathleen’s avatar

      Thanks so much Tracey for your comments! When I started writing this blog, I definitely felt like I was talking to no one. It’s easy to think you are the only person facing these kinds of challenges, but through sharing the blog, I’ve discovered there are so many women who deal with the same thing on a daily basis. It’s nice knowing I’m not alone in the universe and I love that I have this virtual coven of like-minded women with whom to share what would otherwise seem like very mundane concerns! Miss you!!!

      Reply