Going Nuts? Go Out Instead
With four kids ranging in age from 2 to 12, Ann Douglas still manages to steal romantic dinners with her husband -- candles, a bottle of wine, a movie later -- even if they're only sitting at their kitchen table and just pretending to be in some exotic restaurant.
She says it's a matter of self-preservation.
"When weeks go by without that kind of a break as a couple, you start to get on each other's nerves, lose all connection and just feel like, 'Where's this relationship headed?' " says Douglas, author of "The Unofficial Guide to Childcare" (Macmillan, 1998).
Sure, there are tons of excuses for letting "date night" (or morning or afternoon) opportunities slip by: Good babysitters are a hot commodity. Sleep is all you want by the time your baby finally nods off. Or you may worry about leaving your child, especially during that 6- to 18-months-old period when separation anxiety kicks in.
But refueling your relationship with the other parent is important for your kids, experts say, in large part because it's important for you.