My husband and I had been married for five years when we brought home our first little baby boy. Our first five years of marriage were filled with many adventures and laughter. Looking back now, I see how we had so much time to connect, communicate, and relax together. Fast forward into almost twelve years of marriage, we have 3 little kids. Over the years, we have seen how you need to be intentional in your marriage in order for it to be growing and strong.
Once kids enter the marriage equation, there is a lack of sleep, stress over learning to be a parent, and all of the little decisions that must be daily made as a parent. Marriage brings out our own personal selfish nature and becoming a parent can cause it to push through even stronger. It is so important to being taking steps in growing your marriage.
1) Connect every day. Being parents naturally produces a busier schedule and you have to be intentional about connecting with each other. Make it a point to find ways to connect every day. This does not have to be a lengthy conversation or anything major, but taking the time to communicate throughout the day will make a difference. If you find it difficult to connect each day, it may be time to recheck your schedule and commitments.
2) Take care of yourself. We are not able to pour into others when we are not caring for ourselves. Purposefully take care of yourself and encourage your spouse to do the same.
3) Have a regular date night. Once kids enter the scene, dating does become more tricky. We have made it a point to have two regular date nights per month. Some months these are dates at home and other times we get a babysitter and get out. It is so good for your kids to see you making time for each other.
4) Speak your spouses’ love language. If you have not read The 5 Love Languages, I highly recommend you pick up a copy and read it. This book was such an eye opener for us. After I found out my husband’s love language, I was able to intentionally find ways to show love in that specific way.
5) Put your spouse before your kids. It is natural for there to be a struggle between being a wife and a mom. It can be hard to switch gears, but it is so important that you put your spouse first. This is the relationship that will remain once the kids are grown and gone, you need to invest in it.
6) Laugh together. Let’s be honest, life with kids is filled with many unexpected moments. Sometimes, all you can do is just laugh. When you make a point to laugh together, you connect over the stressful situation rather than grow apart.
7) Never give up. Marriage is full of ups and downs and there will be disagreements. You will disappoint your spouse and he will disappoint you. Never stop fighting for your marriage.
Having kids does not have to mean the end of a growing marriage or that things go downhill from there. You can have a strong marriage and have kids. When your kids see you and your spouse growing closer together, it will create such a strong sense of security in them. It is worth it to invest in your marriage, so start today!
What tips do you have for keeping a marriage strong even after kids?