Try a weekly in home date night!

Be honest. When is the last time you had a date night?

Okay, show of hands:
How many of you had an actual conversation with your spouse this week?

That lasted more than five minutes?

How about with your kids not in the room?

And you talked about absolutely nothing household or child related?

Have I lost most of you? If you still have your hand raised, then you should congratulate yourself for making time for your spouse. Go tell your husband or wife that I said you're both awesome. Go ahead, I'll wait here.

Families are more and more busy these days between work, kid activities, household work, etc. Finding time together as a family is hard enough. Finding time in the week for a date night is quite rare. But if you can carve it out somewhere, I guarantee your marriage will be better for it.

Just like with the other family routines , having a structure in which you prioritize time together will bring you closer. It's something everyone can look forward to. It's less important what you do than having mutually committed to making time for each other.

In our family, there is no way we can afford a baby sitter for three kids on any kind of regular basis. Our solution was to schedule an “in home date night” every Saturday.

We feed the kids early, usually leftovers or quick quesadillas, and then send them to their rooms. They play with each other or read, or...I don't really know or care what they do, as long as they're not in the kitchen. It's like a bartender might say at closing, “I don't care where you go, but you can't stay here.”

We have had this important ritual in place for years, so our kids have grown up with it. If your kids are young enough, you might be able to just put them to bed and then have start your time together. If they're older, it will take some training.

If you're just starting out, you might explain what you're doing at a family meeting. If you think your kids won't give you the privacy to have a date night, you could start with a twenty minute glass of wine break. Get them used to giving you “mom and dad time.”

This is important modeling for when they're adults –parents so often get caught up in kid life that they neglect their partners. Show them how happily married couples behave, and that means having some kid free time. Offer them an incentive if they don't interrupt you or have sibling problems while they're in their rooms. Show them how much happier you are as a parent when you have time to connect with your spouse.

Okay! Now that the kids are out of the way, what are you going to do? Well, that's the easy part! We usually just make dinner together and drink wine. We might play games or watch a dvd. Or talk. Did I mention the wine? If money permits, you could do take-out each week.

Once a year we have an annual "State of the Union" discussion where we talk about deep stuff. Usually, though, it's just time to check in with each other.

So now that I've convinced you that you should do it, and I've given you some tips about how to shuttle the kids off early, you can decide what you're going to do! I can't wait to hear about it!