New Episode! Why Middle School Is So Tricky with Jessica Speer
June 14, 2022

How To Make Time For Your Partner


 

 

Subscription access only 

Subscribe to Real Life Momz, and you will receive access to all archived episodes from past seasons, early access to new episodes, and bonus content, including monthly behind-the-scenes with our guests, all ad-free. Click on the link to subscribe today. https://anchor.fm/reallifemomz/subscribe

 

This week's episode is about the importance of prioritizing your partner and maintaining your connection while in our busy parenting roles. Join Alexis and Alan Tanner, parents to 5 young kids and co-hosts of the wonderful “Parenting In Real Life” podcast. Alexis and Alan share great insights about the importance of genuinely maintaining connection and sharing time with your partner, and it doesn't always mean that you have to go out on a date. Connect with us on our Facebook group at facebook.com/groups/reallifemomz/ to continue sharing how you connect with your partners. Don’t forget to follow Real Life Momz, so you don't miss an episode. It takes a lot of caffeine to keep up with kids, so please buy me a coffee and support the Real Life Momz Podcast https://www.buymeacoffee.com/reallifemomz --- This episode is sponsored by · Anchor: The easiest way to make a podcast. https://anchor.fm/app Support this podcast: https://anchor.fm/reallifemomz/support

Transcript

Welcome to Real LIfe Momz, I'm your host, Lisa Foster, and Real LIfe Momz is a podcast. That's all about moms having real conversations, sharing resources, and telling their inspiring stories. Our mission is to connect moms by talking about topics that parents deal with every day and to continue these conversations in our Real LIfe Momz Facebook group, where we would love for you to become part of our community. This week I'm joined by Alexis and Alan Tanner, who are a husband and wife team that co-hosts the Parenting in Real Life podcast, where they discuss all things parenting.

They have five kids of their own, and they range from four to 11 years old.  In today's episode, Alexis and Alan are going to help me discuss how to make time in our busy schedules for our partners.

 

Hi Alexis. Hi, Alan. Welcome to Real LIfe Momz.

Thank you for having us. We're excited to be here.

Oh my gosh. I'm so thrilled to have you both today. And Alan, I have to say you are my first dad on the show.

That's awesome.  So welcome. So we're branching out and today we're going to discuss, making time for your partner. And, what I love about you two is that you have five kids between the ages of four and 11, crazy, and you are busy parents, but you also have a podcast that you co-host together called Parenting in Real Life, which I have listened to and it has just incredible tips and ideas and guests. And I definitely recommend it to all the listeners today to check it out.

So from the outside perspective, you guys do make time for each other.

I definitely try it.

You try, Tell me,  how you feel. Do you feel like you do have time with, I mean, five kids?

Yeah. Our life is pretty crazy with having five kids. We are finally coming out of survival mode is what we called it for many years because we had our kids so close together. So we always had a baby and we were exhausted all the time. And so our youngest since she's four, we're like, okay, we're out of the baby stage. This it's getting a little bit easier with kids can like kind of take care of themselves a little bit more and we're sleeping at night. So that's great.

Oh my gosh. That's so huge sleeping.

I think the other thing that we've always been we're so far from perfect. And that's, our whole thing is that you can learn as you go, but we've always been really good at prioritizing each other. And so when we didn't have, I mean, when we were at the peak of the crazy, you know, just like four kids in diapers, we always prioritize spending time with each other. I know a lot of times there's this temptation, like I've got to get out of the house, probably didn't do enough of that, frankly. But what we did do is we spent time together and we were each other's outlets.

And no money, no energy, but like, even if it is just, you know, watching a movie together or, you know, we found little things that we could do that were cheap and we could do together, like puzzles.

We both happen to like puzzles. Alexis is good at puzzles, I'm bad at puzzles, but we both liked puzzles, just doing things like that, where we could do it at home, even if there's not a ton of time. Um, so that, that was good. Now I say we're not perfect and we're not because it's still, it's still a balance, right? Like we're both trying to live our lives.  Lexus is trying to get our podcasts growing and I've got a full-time job. And so like, it's still a balance and we still have a lot of conversations about like, how are we doing? Are we doing okay? You have to check-in.

Cause it certainly hasn't been automatic for us.

Yeah, I love that. First of all, you said prioritizing each other because I think honestly this topic came about because it's actually my personal issue. I'm working, I do a podcast, and I have two teenagers, so we're at a different level, but it's still a little crazy with teens I have to say. And it really bothers me that, I feel my husband gets like the last bit of me, you know, that not pretty time. And I love that you say that even doing a puzzle together, you prioritize each other.

So that's really awesome. And it does make me think of one thing, I remember doing with my husband when my kids were younger, was we printed out a list of questions that was just from the internet. And it may have been like, you know, before you get married to the kind of list as one of those lists that you ask each other and we actually hid in the basement and that was our getaway from our kids being younger. And he asked some of these questions and I remember being like, oh, that was so nice. You know? So that was kind of fun to do as well.

But here's my question. How do you find the time? I mean, the kids are everywhere. Like where, what time are you connecting?

'Cause our kids are still kind of younger. Um, we do have, after they go to bed like we have time together and I know that's harder when you have teenagers. Cause they're not going to bed by eight. O'clock like some of our kids, we're starting to experience that a little bit more. Our oldest really likes to stay up, and so we don't always have that one-on-one time because we do have a child or two around, you know, staying up. Um, but that was our go-to was after kids are in bed. And I think that's hard when you're working on stuff. If you don't have like lunchtime or something like that, like, I mean, Alan works from home right now.

Most of the time we have lunch together, you know? Cause he's home when I'm home. Yeah. There are kids around, you know, but we're, doing lunch. I think even finding those times, even when your kids are around of being able to just be together and chat real fast, I don't think it needs to be like long and super time-intensive, you know? But I think if you can find those moments either before or after work or if you're having to be together during the day where you can just kind of chat and take time to talk to each other for a minute,

I feel like even if I like grab him, you know, in between, um, I feel like it's a lot around schedules. It's like, who's picking up who, you know, who's making the dinner who has to be where, you know, versus that quality time about us.

Yeah. That's something that I like to do with Alan is we try to schedule like the week out, like on Sundays,  I'll look at my week. I'm like, okay, this is what we have going on. And we'll schedule like, we'll sit down and do it for like 30 minutes and just say, this is what's happening. This is where I'm going. These are where the kids are going and work it out, like all at one time. I don't know if that would be helpful at all. I don't know if your schedule is changing all the time, but I feel like ours is like, I have a Google calendar, Google calendar set up, and have everything on there.

And I'm like, okay, this is what happening this week. And so we can kind of work through that.

Yeah. Alexis, I'll tell you the truth here. Okay. We have lots of schedules, um, and a whiteboard, a whiteboard on it, but my husband has a hard time with that. Like he needs that verbal reminder. And I don't know if it's actually that he doesn't know or is he just confirming or I don't know, but, I do like that Google calendar. Now, if I was a little bit more apt with computer stuff, which I'm really horrible at, we're lucky we're on this podcast. To be honest, I would, I think the Google calendar could really work.

That was something that Alan had to convince me to do. Cause I am totally a paper girl. I love planners. I love calendars. Like I just like to write things down. And as our lives have gotten more busy, as our kids are getting older and getting more involved in things, it just wasn't working for him to try to figure out what we were doing because he didn't have access to the calendar when he's scheduling things. So we do like Google calendar has helped us a lot.

You do a shared that, right?

Yeah.

Okay.

Right. I see it on my phone when somebody's like, Hey, can you come over this night? I can look and be like, uh, no, usually the answer's no, but I can look. And it is, that is really nice.

Wow. Okay. All right. You talking me into this Google calendar. I think my husband's going to be so excited about that. Actually.

It was seven years in the making Alexis. She has a Blackboard calendar. She has probably four calendars, like physical calendars on her desk right now, seven sticky notes. She's a, she's a physical girl when it comes to their scheduling, but I convinced her to do digital and it really has connected our schedules a lot better.

Yeah.

Yeah. And then it would take away that, five minutes we have before ruckus starts in the morning, to talk about the schedule and that I can actually, you know, say something nice, you know?

Yeah. I think the other thing, and this isn't always possible, but I remember my aunt and uncle, I really respected that. They took a date night every single week. Like there, theirs was Friday night and it was sacred every Friday. They went on a date and they loved movies. I think they went to the movies every single Friday that would be expensive and boring for me. But that's what they did. And so we've had a goal, our whole marriage to do that. And we are so far from that, but I would say we're getting better.

And for us, sometimes a date night is a puzzle, but it's like tonight, we're not just gonna like collapse on the couch and watch Netflix. We're going to collapse next to a puzzle and do a puzzle and watch Netflix. You know, like it's not, it's not way different, but it's a little bit more conscious than just like just giving up at the end of the day, you know? Like it feels like this is us time. It's not like first date material, but it it's good for us.

So you're kind of redefining date night. Cause I think we think of date night as like we have to go and do something. But what you're saying is, you know, it's just a designated time. So whether that means you actually leave or that's the time that you have an uninterrupted conversation. Yeah, I like that because honestly my husband also thinks we should do date night every week. And I think and I love my husband. Let me just put this out there. I love my husband. He is my best friend, a great guy. Uh, but I hear every week and that's like, it's another thing I have to do.

Oh my God, another responsibility that's every week is in my mind. Right. But I love changing that, that I don't actually have to do anything, it's our quality time. You know what I'm going to do that. I'm going to do that Alan.

And it really like, we have been really conscious, like how easy can we make this? Sometimes it's a puzzle. Other times it's like, let's go to dairy queen and get an ice cream cone. It's a drive through and drive home. But like that's, 10 minutes in the car, you know? And, and so these are not like all night things. These are just like, how can we carve out just a little bit of time for us to have a conversation while we are still conscious, you know, like, not right before we're falling asleep or something.

Now let me ask you this.  Do you guys ever actually like get away and leave your kids, you know, home, like go away for the nights.

 We've done like a one night trip. Maybe just only like three times in two or three times in our marriage when we've done two trips now. So we haven't done very many getaways. I know a lot of people think that's really important for their marriage, but we just have so many kids and they're so small that we feel bad making anybody watch all of them. So I think we're in the point of like, okay, people can handle that a little bit better. And so we're trying to do that more often, but,  it is a lot of work and a lot of preparation to do.

Yeah. Well, I'll make you feel much better about yourself. Okay. So I have a 13 year old and a 16 year old for the first time going overnight, so yeah, it's that bad. I mean, we've had nights alone because of sleep overs or something, and we ended up by ourselves, but like to actually go somewhere yeah. 16 and 13.

I will say those times have been like half magical and half stressful. Like it's like, holy smokes. That's so much time with each other. Like, what are we going to do? What are we going to talk about? It ends up being great. But there are like, just like throughout the experience you like look at each other and be like, do we really not have kids right now? It's such a surreal moment that it's almost like an out-of-body experience. So I think those are awesome. And I'm super excited for you. I think you've gotta be getting the little, like the little touch bases.

Yeah.

Yeah. We have activities and we, and we're picking things that, um, our kids would hate, you know, do things that we, like and that, oh, I don't want to be here kind of thing. Right?

Yeah. I just went to Washington DC to visit his brother. And we went without kids. We went to all of the museums and just things to look at there. And I thought you know what? Our kids would probably hate this right now because, they would be so bored, walking, just walking and looking at things, you know? So that was something I'm glad that we did together without them because I think they probably would've hated it.

Yeah. I mean, so nice. It is nice to reconnect. Uh, remember the things that we used to like to do together. I noticed on your website, you have like all these, you know, resources for like great kid ideas to do when there's no screen time or things like that. Do you happen to have a list of fun things to do with your spouse?

I don't, but I should put one together.

I think you should put one together and, let me know when it's out.

Okay. Yeah. I can do that. Cause I've definitely looked for things over the last couple of years for ideas and stuff like that. So I can compile some, but I know there are some great websites. The first one that comes to mind is there's one called the dating divas. And they're just all about date night and they have all these fun ideas and activities and stuff, and they vary from like very simple to super elaborate, you know? So I know there are tons of websites and blogs and stuff like that with date ideas or things to do with your spouse.

Yeah. For the holidays this year, I got my husband actually, because we need to spend more time together, um, without kids. And so I got us the date box. Have you ever heard of those?

No.

Yeah. There's a lot of them out there. The one we chose or I chose, I should say it's called, crated with love and it basically is a box. And in it, it has activities to do, um, and different themes. And it's fun because it's meant to connect you guys and ask questions and be playful. I mean, we had one cowboy, one of them, and both of us ended up in mustaches and in some sort of weird random hat. So it comes with props and, at least we're going to spend time to do this box.

Um, and so that's, that was fun.

That was awesome.

Yeah. I haven't made it easy on Alexis. I like when people ask me what my hobbies are, I like get cold sweats. Cause I'm like, I work hard so that I can not work, you know? And so I don't want to like go rock climbing or do other things like my dream weekend is staying home and watching movies, you know like I just love doing nothing. And so Alexis is a goer and a doer. So I think that's important as like it's taken us a lot of work, but we've found a couple things that we both liked. So like we've said puzzles several times.

That was one of our early fines is that we both liked puzzles, but that's become, now they have these escape rooms. So that's like a big, fancy, expensive puzzle. Right. And so every once in a while we'll do one of those. Um, we obviously connect over food, foods, and easy one. Um, everybody likes food, and then this podcast has been something we've been doing for five years now.  How did that come about?I t kind of happened where, well, Alan and I just both really liked podcasts. We love listening to them. We would always tell each other about the latest podcasts that we found. I have thought it was like, wouldn't it be fun to do one? And I didn't want to do it by myself. And so I thought, well, I want you to do it with me. And so I convinced him to do it with me and we've been doing it together ever since. It's a fun way for us to connect. Cause we'd have to talk about the podcast like, well, who, who are we interviewing or what are we talking about this week? Can we prep it and plan it and record it? So that's just another thing that we do together that gives us that time.

Yep. It came out from need where we're just like, what is happening? We do not know what we're doing with parenting and we've got to figure something out, but we know we're not alone. So if we figure it out, this will force us to learn something and then try and teach it to other people. And so that's really been, the idea is we pick our topics based on what's stressing us out right then and assume that a bunch of other people are in the same boat. And so it's been a good way to spend time together and to be more conscious about parenting and say, what's our problem and how do we fix it?

And it's been good. Um, it is a lot of time. And you know, as my job fluctuates and how busy it is, there's been times when like, what are we doing? How are we doing this with everything else? But, it has been something we've kept going. Cause it's a thing we can do together. And that's hard to find as a couple. So we enjoyed it. I think those things are important too, right?

Alexis is a dreamer and I'm not a dreamer, but I can support dreams. And so that's something I can do for Alexis, right. Is I can, if you want to go do something, I will do everything I can to make that happen. I can take, pick up my, my weight or carry my weight with the family so that you can do stuff. And I have not been perfect at that, but Alexis has coached me and I'm getting better. Um, and so I, this happens to be a thing we do together. Alexis has a lot of other hustles that do like, you know, you could argue, that's taking her away from the family, but you've gotta, you gotta fill, fill your cup.

Right. And so I think that's important that if Alexis isn't getting any Alexis time, then we don't have very good us time.

No. Right. Cause then you're resentful, you know? So if you don't fill your own cup first it is hard to help others fill theirs. Are there little things that you guys do for each other? Like, for instance, um, you know, my husband, every morning,  I get up very early, so I'm up before him and I hear his alarm go off and I always bring him a cup of coffee. I might not stay and chat, but I always bring him one every morning. That's kind of my, I love you. Welcome to the morning.

The thing that Alan does frequently is, um, he'll write me like little, little sticky note. He'll just write a little note on it and then he'll hide it somewhere. And so I usually, it takes me awhile to find it like somewhere throughout the day, but it'll just be like something really short and sweet little cute thing. Just to know that he was thinking about me. And, I have a little place in my desk where I put them and stuff so I can look at them, but that's something super simple. It was just like writing a note, you know.

That Alan that's so cute.

That started in one of our hardest times I was in grad school and it was far away and it was grad school. And so I was home. Like I would leave at six in the morning and I wouldn't get back until eight at night often. And so I was like really not seeing my family at all. And so we felt it, we felt like, oh my gosh, you know, like, how are we gonna make it through this? And so that's where that started is I, I might not see her, but I could leave this sticky note that she would find throughout the day. And it was that chance. Um, another thing we've done and it, again, this is like, this is good coaching on Alexa's part.

Sometimes I'll just get to work. And I won't ever think about home or family and that's selfish, but easy to do.

Right. And so Alexis was good at being like, you know, a text during the day would be awesome. And so I'm again, not perfect, but I try and remember when I am gone all day, I try and shoot her a text and just be like, Hey, how are things at home? And just show that like, I'm not there, but I still remember that you are there somewhere doing something. And it's probably big and stressful and hard too. And so that's been a good, a good check for me is just because you're at work, doesn't mean you get it, forget that you have a family, you know, you can still check.

Great. Uh, I'm just learning so much. I love that one too, because my husband does work from home. So, you know, I feel like Alan, I am kind of like you. Cause I work outside the house. I'm a physical therapist. I work in private practice and at the hospital. So I'm gone. So weekends, I just want to be home. And my husband's the opposite cause he's home. Right. He wants to be out. Um, but I do think even just that little texts while I'm out, cause he's alone in the house and kids are at school, then nobody's around.

So he is a little, probably lonely. I'm going to put those words in there. But um, I feel like the little text even,  it's hard for me to talk because I treat people, you know, I can't be on this phone, but I can text.

And I love that. I love that. Just, you know, saying, Hey yeah, I'm thinking of you or yeah. How's it going? Just, just to have that connection, even when I'm not there. I love that. Um, I know you have young kids and one thing that was really valuable for me when my kids were young, was that because I felt like babysitters were really expensive at the time. And I also felt like going out was more work than staying home. Right. Well, one of the things we did was I had a friend who had similar ages.

Now you have a lot of kids. I don't know if this will work, but um, similar ages of kids, and what we would do is once a month, we'd call it a date night and we would drop our kids off. And they were in charge of, you know, making them dinner.

It would be at their house and my house was not a mess when I came home and we would go out granted, it wasn't like late night or anything, but we would go out for dinner or do something and then just pick up the kids and come home. So they were fed, my house was clean and it felt like I could go out with all the work, um, following month, then we would take their kids and they would go out. So that was, that was big. That was big for us. And then, of course, I don't know what happened in it faded, but we did it for a while.

Yeah.

Yeah. I think I've heard a lot of people talk about that. And I think that is awesome. I hate watching other people's kids. So we usually don't do that route, but I do know a lot of people who have, and I think it's awesome because it is a way to be able to still do date night and not have to pay for that babysitter. Cause it is so expensive to pay for a sitter and pay for whatever you're doing. And so that way it kind of helps with the budget. And like you said so your house, isn't a mess when you go, oh, everything's clean and ready to go.

So I think that is a great option too.

Yeah, I know. that was always my biggest thing. When having anyone like watch the kids, it's like, oh, I had to do all the work. Then you go out and then you come back in the house is like destroyed, you know, like not worth it.

I know our oldest two are girls and I'm trying to teach them like, Hey, when you babysit, you need to clean up the house, clean up the dishes, clean up because the mom wants to come home to a clean house. So I'm trying to train them.

Yes. We kind of mentioned it early on, but that we, you know, we call it the, the kidless time from it's usually ends up being more like nine to 10 when we go to bed that is important time to us. And we're starting to feel it slip away as we get tweens and teens. So what's that like for you? Like, do you go to, do your kids go to bed after you or at the same time as you? Cause that feels stressful to me.

Uh it's unimaginable, but yes, my kids tuck me in.

My husband is a night owl. So he he's usually is still up. Um, my kids happen to be late nighters as well. Me I'm not. And so yeah, by nine, 10 o'clock I'm like night everybody. Um, but yeah, they're up? No granted, um, just to calm your nerves about your kids staying up later, they usually may be talking on the phone with their friends. Uh, homework gets a little harder and it also it's much harder for me to even help them because I don't understand anything they're doing.

So they are busy with their own things. So they're not as much like in your space and there is that quiet space that you can be just doing your own thing and probably connecting to.

Yeah. So we have tried that a little bit when our girls want to stay up, we're like, that's fine, but you need to stay in the basement so that me and mom can still have us time. Like, we're fine with you being awake. You're you're old enough to take care of yourselves, but we need space, you know? And so we've tried to like, we're trying to set up those boundaries. So, um, but I like that that's helpful.

Yeah. And I love that. You're see.  I think we missed the boat on the boundary. We missed a few boats, I have to say. Um, but that's okay. That's okay. But I love that you're making boundaries because I think if they, see you connecting and see that this is your time, you know, after whatever seven o'clock you are, it's your time. I think they do realize that. Okay. I am not going to bother you that like my kids do know when it's my time.

They know Iḿ down in the basement, they know not to come down and bother me right now. Um, while I'm doing this. So I guess they, somehow I they know those boundaries. But once again, somehow I forgot my husband.

It's easy to do.

It's easy to do, but it is sad because yeah, he, this is the most important person in the group. Um, and like I said, you know, he gets the last of me. So I am, I'm going to change a few things here. I love, I love your texting during the day ideas. I love the note. I do. I think I might even start hiding notes in a random places. And I know he'll find like the fridge.

Yeah. Something that, you know, he's going to use that day. Like he'll often put it in my planner or you know, something that I know I'm going to open and see it. Yeah. And one thing we like to do, I have to say my husband and me, we do take walks together. Like I have to give a hooray because, um, so my car had an issue and I had to bring it into the shop, but it made my husband have to drive me or pick me up from work. Right. So that special time, and instead of needing to like run you know, try to do something with the kids or whatever, but then we took a walk. And just, even if it's just half an hour, it was just so nice just to have a cup of coffee and just go for a walk and then come home. Yeah. Sometimes I think it's just a matter of slowing down and having a little less on my schedule.

100%. This is bad to say my favorite part of the pandemic, but my favorite part of the pandemic was there was a minute there where, you know, we were all forced to work from home for a minute. And, and you know, like we hadn't figured that out yet. So I had this kind of hour in the morning where I usually would be commuting to work, but now I was home and meetings hadn't filled in that space. Now they have, but, for a minute we had that time. And so for that first summer, we would go on a walk every morning and that was magical.

Like, walks are walks are great.  Because you're out in nature, you're getting your, your blood going. And you know, it's a quiet time when it's easy to talk to each other. I miss that. I think you're right just as a matter of slowing down and prioritizing it.

Right. Because I mean, during that pandemic, I agree it was, or it's still going on. But I mean,  it was slower. There was less to do. And I do miss that. I so enjoyed that quiet slowness and why do we automatically fill the space. So yeah, I agree. Let's make a little bit more time and I feel like my husband and I will do things like, uh, we're embarrassed to say, but I'm going to say it. We watched the bachelor together.

Yes.

Okay. We get involved. And because you can cheer people on, you can get involved with the show we do together, but we're connecting, but it's not the same as that talking and taking a walk and, spending that quality time. So it's time to get, but I don't know if we feel filled after that. Sure.

Yeah. I'll tell you, this  I don't even know if I've told Alexis this, but I'm, my love language is physical touch and there's a huge difference to watching a show together and she's on her computer or her phone two inches away. And when she puts the phone and the computer away and snuggles into me, there's a huge difference. Like in the amount of connection I feel during that time. So it's still a show we're still not really talking together that much, but just like knowing that  she's leaning into me and we're getting that,  physical connection I think is  huge for me.

So it's like a matter of good, better, best, right? Like, yes, it's probably better to go like have a deep conversation together, but sometimes all you've got in the tank is snuggling on the couch. And so you snuggle on the couch, you know.

And I think that's good to know is to learn your spouse's love language. And I mean, there's lots of tests like the tests and resources to figure out what that is and whatever, but really knowing what it is and finding ways to show them love and the way that they want to be loved, I think makes a big difference. Notes are awesome for me because I'm a words of affirmation, girl. Like I love when he tells me I'm doing a good job that he loves me or whatever. So notes mean a ton to me, more than the physical touch, you know, but that's his love language. And so we do, so he enjoys that, you know?

So I think that was super important.

Yeah. And you know, it's so funny. My husband is so you, Alexis, um, he, we are big love language fans,and his is also words of affirmation, which is why I'm loving those notes and texts. Um, mine of course his services. So he did the dishes after I cooked dinner tonight. And I said, thank you. I love you too.

Yeah.

Yeah. But I think that is a good point. Um, because you're right. Like we can watch a show together and maybe my bucket isn't being filled. Not that I need them to do services during a show. Um, but neither is his right because I'm not saying anything but someone who is more physical touch that kind of laying really, that can be filling and, enough, oh, such good stuff. You guys are awesome.

Thank you. This has been great.

Any advice for parents or anyone struggling out there that you would want to say to them?

I think just be intentional about it, as best as you can find one way each day to do something small for your partner, you know, and whether that is a note or a text or just, I don't know, saying hi, you're finding some way to connect in, a small way. So it doesn't feel overwhelming. Cause I think kind of like what we talked about where date nights can feel overwhelming. Cause it's big, it feels like sometimes it has to be a big thing, but just doing those daily small things makes a big difference. I think starting there is the best place.

The other example we almost always give is, um, set lower expectations. And that is like, we, say that and we laugh because it sounds pessimistic. But the reality is so many of our problems with our kids or even with our spouses or ourselves are we have this idealized view of what it should be. And I think we would have that anyway, but social media and podcasts, you know, like all of these things around us are telling us how to do everything. And it's so easy to be like, man, that's not my life. That's not how, how things are for me or are part of my partnership or whatever.

And so I think also give yourself the benefit of the doubt. That's maybe the positive way to say that is give yourself the benefit of the doubt, and give your partner the benefit of the doubt. You know you got into this together because you thought it was a good idea. It probably still is a good idea. So, so just be patient with each other. And like I've said, most of the good things that we're doing in our marriage are because Alexis has coached me there. You know? And so, um, so it's, it's definitely a learning process. So I think that's important. Yeah.

And I love the takeaway of that. It doesn't have to be big, you know, I, I think when I came into this today is like how to make time, how to make time for my partner. I really was thinking like I gotta go out and and do all these things. Okay. You guys showed me today, it's really that it doesn't have to be that big it really is those small moments that are very meaningful and yeah, it can be so much more than going out.

Yeah.

Little drops, fill big buckets. I love that. But this was so helpful. So thank you for talking with me today on this topic. Um, I've so many takeaways and I am going to totally implement those into my daily life. For sure.

Thank you for having us. This has been great.

Thank you for listening to today's episode, Alexis and Alan have really helped me see that it is the simple things that really go a long way. So even if you can't go out on a date every week, just spending time snuggling on the couch, watching a movie, or hiding a note in your partner's planner, even a text or a call to let them know you were thinking of them really goes a long way. Come join us on our Facebook group. So we can hear ways that you connect with your partner and don't forget to follow Real Life Momz So you don't miss an episode.







Alexis & Alan Tanner Profile Photo

Alexis & Alan Tanner

Parenting in Real Life Podcast

Alan and Alexis Tanner are the parents of 5 kids ranging from ages 11 to 4. They are podcasters at the Parenting in Real Life Podcast where they discuss all things parenting. They love to take parenting tips and ideas and try them out on their own family and share what really works. They love to add fun to parenting while also making it more simple.