Tomorrow, after seven long weeks, my eldest two boys finally come home from sleep away camp. At first I missed them terribly and was sitting up daily until after midnight waiting for camp photos to be posted just so I could see their faces, but I quickly fell into a grove with work and spending as much time as possible with my my youngest son Daniel, who was living the good life as the one child still left in the house. The time started to tick by and we all fell into a very comfortable routine.
I then made a very conscious decision to step out of auto-pilot and turn my attention to deepening my relationship with my incredible husband. Rather than allowing the emotion and negative energy of missing the boys to take over, I used it as an opportunity for internal reflection. We are all amazing human beings and are capable of so much if only we can focus on making time for the things that truly bring us joy!
You’ve all probably heard many times that date nights are important for nurturing relationships, however, many of you are juggling a lot of balls, which makes it incredibly difficult to find the time despite how important it is. In addition, to the obvious reasons such as improved communication, increased feelings of intimacy, decreased chances of taking each other for granted and decreased stress, there are multiple studies that have found for those adults who spend at least one period of “couple time” a week with their spouse, they are as much as 7 times happier not only in their marriage, but also in terms of generally indicators for overall happiness.
The benefits of having fun together as a couple are immense and most likely outweigh the benefits you receive from your over-scheduled calendar, taking your spouse or marriage for granted, or prioritizing someone or something else. Do yourself a favor: schedule some child care, do a little internet research on local restaurants and attractions, and put your next date in the calendar!
As for me, even though the boys come home tomorrow and shortly after that fall sports will resume, I’m totally committed to continuing with our new found tradition of weekly date night. While it’s not going to be easy and may not end up being every single week, I know the more Matt and I can connect and be fully present with one another, the better we’re going to be not only as a couple, but also as individuals and parents.
Jacklyn Osborne is the Managing Director, Bank of America. A member of the American Society of Management Engineers, the National Association of Female Executives, and National Association of Professional Women. Jacklyn lives in the suburbs of Connecticut with my husband, three young boys and beloved spirited pub Diesel. Jacklyn and her cohost have recently launched a podcast with the same name 52 Weeks of Me. The goal of the Podcast is to help others find their best self through a collection of open discussions with professional experts and well as individuals sharing their own success stories as we all strive for work-life balance.