One of the assignments N and I were given, is to seek more opportunities to invest in our "couplehood". We've discovered over the years that living together side by side doesn't always offer the kind of moments necessary to nourish a relationship. Just like raising children, you have to make a conscience effort to schedule times for quality one on one moments.
Over the past year, the two of us slacked way off of our Wednesday date night, but recently made a decision to stake claim to that evening again. The other suggestion is to take opportunities to get away on weekends on a monthly basis. It sounds easy, but there are so many ambivalent emotions for me to deal with (can't speak for N): will Fran be okay on her own?; will Lise be disappointed if we exclude her from a camping trip?.
Do we ever stop being parents? I don't think we do, but I do agree that we need to continue to change our mental model as the stages of our lives change. Even now, with our renewed date night determination, N is helping Lise craft an important letter. Once they finish, it would be easy to say it's too late and wait until next week, but I'm determined not to let that happen.
No offense Fran and Lise, but your folks are going to start being more selfish. We'll still be here for you, of course, but we're going to guard the times set aside for just "us"--doctor's orders.