On the weekends and during holidays, you would love to go on family outings to the park, the beach, a museum or just riding bikes. This means you, your husband and the kids, engaged in activities together. But every time you plan something, your spouse finds a way to excuse himself. In the end, family outings become increasingly, just you and the kids while your partner stays home on the couch watching CSPAN, or working on home improvement projects.
Believe me, I know. Sometimes it’s hard for me to break away from my laptop if I’m on a roll writing. Or I’d rather read a book than go to the park with the family. That doesn’t mean I don’t enjoy their company or that I don’t care. But I’m a guy, and I see weekends differently—just like your spouse probably does.
Following are a few tips from a man’s perspective that will hopefully help coax your guy off the couch and get him outdoors with you and the kids.
One of the most important things to remember is that men don’t like extra work, and if the outing involves labor of any kind, it might turn us off. We toiled away all week, and now we want to chill. Even going to the park may seem like working overtime for us; packing the soccer ball, drinks, snacks, getting the kids dressed appropriately, feeding the dog… Just the thought of it makes us tired. Maybe keeping it simple would be better. Just get in the car and go!
Involve your husband in the planning and bring up ideas for things to do that he might also like. So, instead of going to the art museum or the library, suggest fishing or going to an antique car show, if that’s what he enjoys. Once in a while, think of something both he and the kids will love, even if you dislike it.
Read Related: 8 Free Family Outings
Prepare everything yourself. I know what you’re thinking… You already do it all. But if you really want him to come along, you may have to make this concession. Keep in mind that an activity like taking the bikes to the trail usually means the husband has to install the bike rack, load up the bikes, and get it all ready. That doesn’t exactly sound like a day off. If you and the kids take care of loading the bikes, he won’t have any excuses.
Keep it short and sweet. “Honey, let’s go to the beach for a couple of hours with the kids. We can come back before the game starts.” Yes, instead of making it a whole day event, make it a few hours. You both have the weekend off, so share it. Some time at the beach or the park, then the afternoon at home watching the game. It’s all about family bonding.
Offer him an entire schedule for the day: ride bikes along the trail, have a picnic at the park, then enjoy an ice cream at the farmer’s market and wrap up the day at a family friendly sports bar. A little something for everyone, and he didn’t even have to plan it.
Finally, don’t force it. Sometimes husbands are just not in the mood. To nag and argue about it is not going to help. Come up with new ideas, suggest them and then just walk out the door, with or without him. In the end, we all have our own ways to decompress and relax.