During the school year, Brandon and I created an evening routine that would make even Rosita—the multitasking, singing mama pig on Sing—proud. Even though our five kids range in age from 11-months to 11 years, we manage to get them all in bed at a decent hour with enough time left in the evening for mildly coherent conversation and an episode of Big Little Lies (is now a good time to start petitioning for Season 2?).
Now, with only five days into summer vacay, it’s wheels-off parenting: later bedtimes, family movie nights, ruthless card games (where I dominate, I might add. Letting kids win is for suckers!), and family chicken fights in the pool (can you tell our family is a bit competitive?).
But summer isn’t just a time for kids to unwind. It’s a great time for couples to decompress too.
So, what is the best thing you can do with your spouse this summer?
As adults, sometimes we forego fun for several reasons.
- We are slaves to responsibility. I am a Type A, ESTJ. Just because I’m writing a blog on having fun doesn’t mean I’m the Play-doh Fun Factory always looking to entertain. I am all-business, all the time. But when responsibility overshadows relationships, I know that my need for control is becoming an idol. I have a feeling I’m not alone.
Troubles multiply for those who chase after other gods.
I will not take part in their sacrifices of blood
or even speak the names of their gods.
– Psalm 16:4 (NLT)
- We follow a routine. Some adults love a routine; some buck against it. Either way, the school year demands a loose predictability that we can’t shake. Work, school, homework. Rushing the kids to piano, soccer, and ballet, then back home in time for dinner at 8:30pm. Then it’s off to bed so we can wake up and do it all over again. We might schedule the occasional date night (woo hoo!) but inevitably we bounce from week to week and month to month, watching the leaves change colors while we switch out our holiday décor, but never really noticing what’s going on right in front of us.
- We forget how to have fun. It’s scientifically proven that as we age, we lose our ability to think creatively. Which explains why I can never figure out what to buy Brandon for Father’s Day (PM me if you have any ideas). Adults get so bogged down with the heaviness of life that they forget how to let go—even just for a few hours—and enjoy their spouse.
Anxiety weighs down the heart,
but a kind word cheers it up.
– Proverbs 12:25 (NIV)
- We don’t give ourselves permission to have fun. We become martyrs and treat life like a grim chore filled with career obligations, family expectations, financial responsibility, household tasks, and service (hello endless amounts of foster care paperwork). Sometimes we fail to pause long enough to enjoy the very life we are living. We forget that having fun is even an option in life, and if we ever do find ourselves rockin’ out at a concert, lounging on the beach, or enjoying a sunset, we feel guilty for not being responsible or productive.
Ideas for Having Fun
God created the changing seasons for many reasons, one of them being to change the rhythm of our lives. Summer is a great time to press the reset button on your routine and have fun with your spouse! If you need some ideas on how to have fun this summer, I got ya covered! Next week I’ll reveal 90 ways to have fun with your spouse (without the kids)! Yes, 90 WAYS!!! Plus a couple bonus items. So stay tuned!