Posted: Apr 20, 2012 8:00 AM
When getting out for a full-blown date with your spouse seems next to impossible, try the next best thing – a mini-date at home! Start finding time during the week to carve out 20 minutes here and there to spend together – the time adds up quickly when it comes to doing some good for your relationship.

Why you need to date your spouse

It's not like we need to tell you, but spending time alone with your spouse, where you can focus on something other than the day-to-day of raising kids and running a household is so important for your relationship. It makes you better parents, better to each other and more prepared, as a team, to take on that day-to-day stuff that is inevitable.

Make it happen: How to find 20 minutes to spare

That being said, finding the time to actually get out of the house can seem impossible — especially when you need to plan for a babysitter and fit in a date night around the t-ball/gymnastics/tutoring schedules of your busy kids. While date nights out of the house can certainly be more fun, squeezing in a quick 20-minute date at home can do your relationship just as much good.

Now, where to find that 20 minutes. Sometimes, it's going to be planned — rent that new movie that your kids are dying to see and pop them some popcorn. We know, as parents, that even though the movie is an hour long, you're only going to get a solid 20 minutes of uninterrupted time before someone needs you, so get them set up, then get your date started.

... you'll look at your spouse and realize that everyone is happily occupied and you'll need to act fast. Take advantage of it!

Sometimes, that 20 minutes is going to come spontaneously — you'll look at your spouse and realize that everyone is happily occupied and you'll need to act fast. Take advantage of it!

20-Minute date ideas that you can use

The 20-minute dinner date:

Feed the kids an early dinner, tuck them in and then sit down to dinner for just the two of you. Don't even bother doing the dishes from the kids — throw them in the sink to clear the table for your date and enjoy.

The 20-minute outside date:

Is it almost naptime? Throw your sleepy kiddo in the stroller and let him doze while you get in some quality time together. Not only will you lull your little one into dreamland before nap time, but you also get to squeeze in a date, some Vitamin-D and some exercise!

The 20-minute game date:

Do something fun for 20-minutes together! Grab a glass of wine and a pack of cards and sit down somewhere kid-free for a few rounds of whatever card game you love playing together. Or start a new game or a huge puzzle that you can keep working on together, and before you know it, you'll be searching for 20-minutes here and there to make some progress!

The 20-minute date with no talking:

Interpret this however you will, but sometimes, the best kind of 20-minute date you can take together is one that doesn't involve a lot of chit-chat. And, especially when you're parents, quiet time is a rare commodity. Go in your room and shut the door... we'll let you take things from there.

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