Not too long ago, I was looking around for ways to streamline our days and nights so that I had more time to do things for myself and so that Ed and I had more time together as a couple. One of the things I needed more time for was working out and I happened across this article on Fitness Magazine’s website, called “6 Ways to Find More Time for Yourself.” It’s a great article with some great tips, but it also got me thinking about ways to find or create extra time for romance. Honestly, many tips work well no matter what you need to fit into your schedule.
One of my favorite tips from the Fitness article was to lower your standards. Laura Stack, the author of “Find More Time and Leave the Office Earlier” suggests relaxing your standards a bit and letting the kids pitch in more.
My 5-year-old sets the table at night. She may not be perfect, but if it gives me time to relax, I don’t mind having the fork on the wrong side of the plate once in a while,” she says.
I’d like to take this one step further in my first tip:
1. Declare a No-Chores Night
After dinner cleanup, laundry and other household work can eat up a huge part of what is already a short evening. Choose one night a week that you’ll eat leftovers or a frozen meal on paper plates. Make sure the laundry is done the night before or have the kids do it. Forget about the kitchen floor; no one cares. This one night, accept the state of the house and work on the state of your romance instead.
2. Cook Ahead
One of the tricks I really use a lot to save time is to cook once and eat twice. Sometimes I do this by cooking a double portion of a meal (say, two lasagnas) on a weekend and freezing the second one. Or I might do most of the work for one meal while I cook another. For instance, if I’m making broiled chicken breast for dinner, I’ll make a few extra, slice up plenty of veggies while they cook and then have all the fixings for quick fajitas the next night. prep and cleanup often take more time than cooking and eating. Cooking ahead often saves me at least thirty minutes later on, time that Ed and I can spend on the deck with a glass of wine.
3. Make One Night a No-Internet Night
It’s very easy for a quick check of the email or social network to turn into an hour of staring at the computer or your phone. Agree on a night when the internet is off limits and spend that time looking at each other instead.
These are just a few ways you can create some time for a little romance in the evening. Check out the Fitness piece for more ideas. If you have any of your own, we’d love for you to share them.