Have you ever gone in your bedroom with your spouse, locked the door behind you, and ignored your kids? My wife and I have, and we plan to do it more often. In fact, we believe doing so consistently is going to improve our marriage.
We got this idea from some friends of ours, who do this daily. They call it a “parent meeting.” While it seems like a desperation move to get away from the madness of your kids it’s not. It’s actually an intentional way of spending quality time in your marriage, uninterrupted by your kids.
What is priority #1
Our lives are filled with stuff today. Work stuff, ministry stuff, and of course our kids’ stuff. For us, since having three kids much of the stuff that fills our lives is their stuff. While the marriage relationship should be the priority, it seems to take a back seat for many families.
When we aren’t careful, there are stretches of time where my wife and I are only alone when we are asleep in bed. That is not healthy…not healthy at all. So, we have to be intentional, and a daily parent meeting is a brilliant way to have time alone consistently.
How does a parent meeting work
We are a very home-centered family. I work from home, my wife works and homeschools our kids from home, and of course we live in our home. So, when I “leave” for work, I go through our garage, through the laundry room and into my little office. It’s less than a 10-second commute.
And my office door is never locked, so I get “visitors” from time to time. In the past our parent meetings have only happened after we’ve spent a long day together as a family, and we come home.
My wife and I go to our bedroom, close and lock the door, as our 4-year-old rarely knocks, and we spend time together. The kids are instructed to not bother mommy and daddy unless there is an emergency (somebody is bleeding and they can’t stop it, or a limb is missing).
Consistency is key
The only problem with that is it didn’t happen daily. We typically did that on the days we meet with our homeschooling group, as that is a very long day for us. But after I had a conversation with another dad about it, he calls it “couch time,” I realized it has to be done more often…daily.
Going forward parent meetings will be held every single day when I “return” from work. This will provide many benefits. First, we’ll have that time alone five days per week. In addition, I’ll have to shut my working day down consistently at a certain time. I’ll have to set up some boundaries, and honor them.
All relationships need parent meetings
Whether the quality time in your marriage is lacking or not, you have to utilize the parent meeting in your household. It’ll add more quality time to a relationship where it’s not an issue. And it’ll fill the void of quality time for those relationships where it’s non-existent.
Here are some of the benefits daily parent meetings will provide in your relationship:
- Takes out the guesswork. Not sure when you’ll have a moment to just relax with your spouse, when your not both dead tired. Daily parent meetings take out the guesswork. You will get that moment every day. That is a game changer.
- Gives you both time to unload. Did something special happen, or something that frustrated you? Parent meetings give you the opportunity to share that special thing, or that thing that got under your skin.
- Helps you stay connected. We both work from home, and sometimes we have not idea what’s going on in each other’s lives. That 15-30 minutes per day helps you stay connected. A weekly or monthly parent meeting doesn’t provide enough time to share all that is happening, unless you are having smaller daily meetings.
- Guarantees time for you to be intimate. I don’t know how you roll, but the parent meeting might be your time to…to do that. To some wives that may be the last thing on your mind at that time, but believe me, it’s not the last thing on your husband’s mind.
- Teaches your kids that your marriage comes first. Having a marriage-centered family is important to us. Many marriages end after the kids leave home because the kids came first, it was a kid-centered family. When your kids see you daily spending time together, they’ll get it, and they’ll respect your relationship. Your family will be strengthened by this.
One piece to having the best marriage possible
I know the fact that you are reading this post, means your marriage is important, and you want to it to be the best it can be. Then having daily parent meetings is a must.
Maybe you call it “couch time” or “mommy-daddy time” or “kid free time.” It doesn’t matter what you call it, or how you present it to your kids. Just do it, and watch the dynamics of your marriage and family change.
What has worked for you to provide consistent quality time with your spouse?