[I]f you look closely at my goals, you’ll notice I need a lot of help in the “Date Nights” with SuperParentMom department. I married up the food chain and my wife is a trooper, especially being a step-mom, but I need to make her more of a priority. Especially over the kids. Repeat after me dads… “Spouses stay, kids leave.” So I want to share with you three areas I am working on to make my wife more of a priority.

1. How to Win Spouses: Date Your Wife

This one seems so obvious but after being married for 14 years it is one I struggle with the most. Having three kids and juggling a multitude of schedules, we never seem to carve out enough time to hire a babysitter and just get out of the house. Alone. If you need ideas on where to take her, consider a Groupon.

That said, I have invested a month in Care.com, a great babysitting service. Through them, I have interviewed a few sitters and have made a commitment to take SuperParentMom out at least twice a month.

When the kids are in school, we have agreed to so mid-day lunch dates as well. As my pastor says… “What you did to get her, is what you do to keep her.” So what are you doing?

2. How to Win Spouses: Couch Time

Having young kids at home, I am bombarded at the door when I get home from work. Both my boys attack my legs like I have just come back from a month-long trip to the moon. While this is a normal response with kids, the next moment is what needs to change. I have learned from parenting books that my next statement needs to be… “I’ll play with you guys in a minute, but I need to have some couch time with mom.”

“Couch time,” is the first five to ten minutes where you catch up with your spouse without being interrupted by the kids–usually while sitting on the couch. This sets a priority that mom is important and show you are running a spouse centric house not a kid centric one. Couch time allows you to exchange information before getting into the evening ritual of dinner, homework, and bedtime.

3. How to Win Spouses & Bedtime Little People

Your kids need a regular early bedtime. If you have a teenager in the house who has a later bedtime, have a time from which they are to not be seen. i.e. Room time after 9p.
[tweet “Your Kids need a regular bedtime. This is good for them & especially good for spouse time.”]
This is the easiest and perhaps the simplest idea to implement to keep your marriage sanity. And yet I know so many couples that are strung out do to the fact they are up with the kids until 11 o’clock each night. During the school year our kids bedtime start at 8p. During the summer they may stay up as late as 9p.

Sounds cruel? It is the best suggestion ever given to me to aid in my relationship with SuperParentMom.

If your kids are too wired to sleep, talk with your pediatrician about giving your kids 1 mg of melatonin. Melatonin is a safe wonder herb I have used in the past to aid in bedtime routines.

As a remarried blended parent, it is more important than ever to treat your spouse right. After all, you want your marriage to be more successful than your first!

Dads, what do you do to make your spouse feel special? Parents, what do you do to make your marriage a priority?

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