The Date Your Spouse Challenge

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The Date Your Spouse Challenge | Duluth Moms Blog

It’s no secret that, as the journey through the years of dating, marriage, trying to start a family, and juggling the day-to-day tasks with said family continues, many parents forget how they started their relationship in the first place.

For my husband and I, the adventure–starting with of saying “I do” to now raising our two beautiful kids–was a whirlwind of six short years. Don’t get me wrong, it’s been an amazing ride, but somewhere along the way, the daily routine made me forget where it all started. It started with a strong chemistry and attraction I felt for my now husband back during that house party on College street and it wasn’t until I recently whisked him away for the weekend that I realized how much I miss making him a priority in my life.

The overnight vacation we took near the cozy town of Hastings, MN re-lit the flame for my forever crush in just the way we needed. Between the day-to-day race of holding down career(s), keeping our house somewhat presentable, and the challenge of raising our toddlers, I forgot just how important it is to date my husband. I’ve done a lot of reflection since we’ve been back to reality and decided to intentionally influence my friends, who are also in the thick of motherhood, to bring a little seduction back into their lives.

(Insert 5 minute pause from writing so I could smooth out a “lumpy” ponytail in my daughter’s hair. Really… in the thick of it, people!)

The Adventure

For our short, but much needed, vacation (and surprise for my husband’s 30th birthday), I set up overnight babysitters (thanks, Grandmas!) and a place to lodge in a city where we would be forced to do something out of routine or character for our current season of life.

When we first met, snowboarding was a huge hobby of ours and we loved it. We’ve since then taught our 5 and 2 year olds how to ride, but never get the chance to go by ourselves. I thought it would be a great way for us to connect, and do something we love together. I had to think hard about how to execute our overnight as a surprise for my husband and I ended up telling him that we’d be spending one night away and hinted that he’d needed to pack his gear.

We dropped off the kiddos and headed south, while I urged him to play a fun game of “guess our destination” along the way. He was stumped! After we reached our destination, Afton Alps, we hit the hills for six hours of uninterrupted shred time. It was ten degrees at most, but didn’t upset our snow session. We were just thrilled to be in each other’s company and reminisce about earlier times in our togetherness.

The Date Your Spouse Challenge I Duluth Moms Blog

After the snow conditions had turned and the temps dropped too much for my liking, we headed to the Afton House Inn in a tiny town just a few miles away. The Afton Inn was romantic, quiet, and cozy… and it was completely unlike any other experience we have had before. When we walked into the room, it wass was dim with mood lighting set. There were chocolate-covered strawberries with champagne nestled on top of a large jacuzzi tub that was screaming our names after a day on the slopes. There was a dreamy fireplace crackling in the background. It was kidless heaven.

I have to admit, I felt my heart palpitate a little when we walked in. It was so different from our norm that it made me a little nervous, but I decided to embrace the moment and fully enjoy the change of scenery. Change can be uncomfortable for some people, but the outcome can carry so much value.

Ladies, if you sweat at the idea of being in a situation like this, please don’t. Embrace your new skin, live in the moment, enjoy your partner. Life is too short to stumble over body imperfections. Be you and be unapologetically fearless. The seductive goddess is still in you, underneath the stretched skin, yoga pants and tired eyes. Give yourself the grace you need to reconnect with her.

Back To Reality

The ride back home from our experience got me questioning, “Why is it that so many couples find it hard to connect once they have added a family into the equation?” It also made me wonder what interrupts couples intimacy the most? Is it women uncomfortable in their postpartum bodies and unable to feel sexy with new scars or weight? Is it the lack of daily hygiene opportunities we have with kids in the picture (shower time has lowered exponentially)? Is it the timing… waiting for the quiet moments after the kids go to sleep or when our other half gets home from working difficult hours? Maybe it’s that some parents just feel too guilty to take a monthly date night into consideration.

Out of curiosity, I asked my village of women and friends and then asked them to find out what their husbands’/significant others’ thoughts were. I wanted to know what kept them from finding more passion in their relationships.

This little survey of mine (see below) included over 30 people I see and relate to on a daily basis. 41 percent said their lack of intimacy was caused by “hormonal issues” including periods, mood swings, and other situations hormones naturally influence. The second leading cause with 29 percent (which was not a surprise to me) was “presence”. Many couples had opposite work or school schedules, or weren’t making one-on-one time a priority.

The Date Your Spouse Challenge I Duluth Moms Blog

I heard from many friends that this was a fun question/topic to ask to bring up with their partners. It can be intimidating to bring up on your own, but doing it for an informal survey sparked a great conversation among couples. Ask yours and see what they say! What is your leading cause? What can you do to improve intimacy in your relationship? I’m not asking to open a can of worms, or spark the great debate. I’m only hoping to inspire, and hopefully make couples feel more connected to each other. 

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Meet Sarah Anne; She is an endorphin chasing adventurer. Believer in the power of positivity. Raised down South, but she grew wise up North. Happily married to a beautiful soul. Currently on a mission to do adventures vs. collecting things. You will catch her and the family (yes,even the toddler!) strapped to a snowboard on Spirit Mountain. She's convinced sunshine, a good cup of coffee and exercise can cure anything. If obtained unlimited expendable cash, she would use it for traveling and wandering through thrift stores. You will most often find her exploring places around this beautiful city with her two littles, Ara (2) and Orion (5 months) in tow. Passionate hairstylist turned stay at home mom for the present. You will mostly find her family outdoors no matter what season it is, chasing both sunrises in their backyard and sunsets throughout the city. You can catch almost all of their adventures through her Instagram.