When children enter the picture, your life changes forever. We all know that to be true. The change is not a bad thing, but all of a sudden your life is revolving around the baby. Your sleep time is changed, your diet is changed, your schedule is changed and the amount of laundry you do definitely changes. As your child grows, some of these areas in your life get back to normal, except for your laundry … that continues to build!
The addition of children changes your marriage too. So how do you balance life with children and your spouse? It’s hard to do, and let’s be honest, sometimes our spouses are put on the back burner because we don’t have the energy to put in the “extra” time with them. Here are four tips to keep your husband and marriage front and center in your life:
1. Carve out the first 5-10 minutes back together at the end of the day to connect.
This activity honestly saved my sanity when the children were little. I needed those precious minutes! Greg would get home from flying and I would follow him to the bedroom while he changed out of his flight suit and into normal clothes, and I would tell him about my day and he would do the same. In those few minutes I shared with him the highs and the lows of my day and asked how his day went. After that, I would usually work on dinner while he would play with the kids, but I was good until after bath and bedtime routines were finished with the children. When I started working again, we did the same thing. Even when Greg was traveling, we would connect at the end of each day.
2. Don’t skip date nights. Ever.
It is hard dating your spouse! I guess because in the back of our minds we feel like we have them, so what’s the point? The point is…you want to keep them! You should try to go on a date at least every other week with your spouse, and while on the date TRY not to talk about your kids! What to do on a date can be as hard as figuring out when to go. Sit down with your husband and write down several things you like to do, even write down things you like and your husband likes. Put all these ideas into a jar for date night ideas and when it’s time, pick one. You could even set a low budget so that you are forced to get creative and break out of the dinner & a movie rut! I knew one couple who would budget $20 per date night and then they would try to go on as many free dates as they could and saved up all of that money for one big splurge date. The point is, you don’t have to spend a ton of money or even a ton of time, but you do need to get away without the kids regularly to maintain your connection with one another.
3. Get away with your spouse over night at least once a year.
You honestly need at least three nights away because it takes 1-2 nights for you, as a mom, to finally relax. Greg talked me into a cruise one year and it was wonderful because everything is done for you, meals, cleaning of the room, and there are a lot of activities to do on and off the ship. Try it! We can’t say enough good things about WinShape Marriage retreats if you want something special, intentional, and all-inclusive for your next trip together.
4. Marriage is like exercise – consistency is key.
If you don’t exercise your body and take care of it, eventually you’ll encounter health problems. The same is true of marriage: if you don’t pay attention to your spouse, the flame will eventually go out. Of course, some seasons are harder than others, but after the hard seasons, give your marriage the extra attention it needs to thrive.
If you want to hear more about marriage, hard seasons and reconnecting with your spouse, listen to these episodes of Wire Talk with Karen Stubbs: