As a father of three children, I understand how hard it is to grow and cultivate your relationship whilst bringing up children. Here are some ideas that I have found helpful to help you create time in your relationship whilst not neglecting them. Some of these may seem quite obvious, but to others they may be something that hadn't been thought of.

1. Hire a baby sitter

This is the first choice for many, but for some couples it is a big step to arrange a baby sitter so they can go out and spend time together. Its quite a step to ask a someone else to come and look after your child. Ask friends and neighbours who they recommend and don't be afraid to pay out. Your relationship will benefit for the expenditure.

2. Go for a drive

This is something that we've discovered. We often have our most in depth conversations whilst driving. That's because there are no other distractions, the kids are occupied most of the time and we are free to talk issues through. Some of our most productive conversations have been out in the car, and we've often just gone out for a drive to talk

3. Set strict bedtime hours

Assign a time that your kids need to be in bed and stick to it. Let them know in no uncertain terms that this is the rule and the normal routine and they will respect it. There are times when you will have to be firmer than usual, and there may be tears occasionally but stick to your guns on this one. You will then have the rest of the evening to yourselves to spend with each other, apart from the odd occasion when a child is sick and we have to attend to them.

4. Teach them to play together

We have 3 children who are very close in age, so a good thing we have taught them to do is to learn to play together. This has meant that they often can entertain each other and play games together. Of course, we have to step in and stop an argument or if they fight but often this has meant we can sit and chat while they play.

5. Learn to communicate discreetly about difficult issues when they're around

Sometimes we just need to talk about issues that are difficult and there is no delaying it. If the kids are around, then find a place in your house where you can talk while the kids play. A usual place for us is in the kitchen, whilst the kids are playing elsewhere. But be aware they may interrupt you at any point.

6. Make the most of your parents

If your parents or parents-in-law are nearby, use them to babysit. Most Grandparents love to babysit their Grandkids and will make time to support you in this, so you can make arrangements to spend time together

There are many more creative ideas you can implement to create time for your relationship. If you are both willing to carve out the time, your relationship will benefit from the effort you put in.