We remember it all too well.
The way your husband looked at you whenever you gave birth to that beautiful baby.
The way he leaned in and said “thank you” for giving him the gift of being a father. You kissed and it was that picture perfect moment!
Then, reality sets in.
You are both up at 3 in the morning with a screaming newborn, already pressing ‘Start’ on the coffee pot because you can tell that nobody is going to be going back to sleep anytime soon.
You begin to bicker and become irritable at the simplest of things.
This was NOT what you expected.
You knew there would be some changes, but you had no idea it would be THIS DRASTIC. What happened to the couple who forgave, loved unconditionally, and enjoyed one another?
Well, they had a baby.
When you have kids, it’s really easy to get so in to the flow of things that you completely neglect your partner.
It’s easy to become rivals, instead of team mates. Some days, it’s easier to neglect your problems than to actually work them out.
Let’s talk about how to combat that.
1. Say “I Love You” Even When You Don’t Want To
My husband is really great about this. We could be in the midst of an argument, and he’ll just stop and say, “I love you.”
It honestly brings me back to earth and makes me realize that our love is way bigger than our problems.
Not only should you say, “I love you,” but don’t forget to kiss!
I think so often, we get swept up in the insanity of marriage with children that we forget to kiss one another. Taking 10 seconds to kiss goodbye is so important.
2. Stay Up Late Together
I know, this one isn’t always easy.
By the time you put the kids together, you’re just about ready to pass out yourself. Even if it’s just 20 minutes, make sure to stay up late with your spouse.
Your marriage NEEDS that time away from your kids. Pick a show that you only watch together, snuggle up on the couch to watch an episode, and make it happen, mama!
3. Have Spontaneous Date Nights
Scheduled date nights are good and all, but every now and again, find yourself a last minute baby sitter and go out on a whim!
When we do this, we like to make it a pretty quick date like going out for ice cream or walking around the mall for a bit. Whatever it is, make sure you are spending time with each other WITHOUT your kids.
4. Take Your Kids Out Together
We love to watch our kids play because it’s the life we’ve created together.
Even if you’re both extremely busy, take some time to take your kids to the park or to an indoor play place so that you can watch the life you’ve created from your love.
Just listening to your kids giggle and play is a testament that you are doing something right. Plus, there’s nothing better than creating a positive image of marriage for your children.
5. Do the Deed
Yep, I said it. Have sex.
Most every marriage goes through a massive valley in this area, especially those who have kiddos!
You’re tired, cranky, and just don’t feel like doing anything too physical, but it is SO IMPORTANT. This is the best advice that marriage counselors give because sex will literally change your entire mindset.
It produces healthy endorphins and a positive outlook on your love.
6. Talk On the Phone
You probably spent quite a few hours on the phone with your significant other before you lived together.
Whether you were in a long distance relationship, or just wanted to debrief at the end of each day. Do that whenever you can!
My husband gets home later in the evening from work and he works about an hour from home, so every night, he calls me on his way home from work. It is some of the sweetest time that we spend talking to each other because I’m either half asleep and just listening to him talk, or I’m sitting there waiting for him to get home.
I get to hear about his day, his struggles, his excitement and it pulls me back in to that exciting phase of dating.
7. Cheer Each Other On
We all need someone to help us celebrate our successes in life. This is one of the most important things that you can do in your marriage because no matter what…that person is your teammate.
You win together and you lose together, so never leave one another behind.
8. Cook or Clean Together
Look at this as a team building activity.
In order for a team to function correctly, they need to be able to work together under pressure. I’m not sure about your house, but cooking and cleaning is always something that we have to prepare ourselves for because it’s SHEER CHAOS.
The kids are screaming, throwing things around, fussing, complaining, etc. If you can work together while you cook or clean, you can do ANYTHING.
9. Go On Trips Together
There is NOTHING better than waking up with your husband in a sweet little hotel room with no kids around, exploring unknown territories without having to check after a few little ones and make sure they’re not running off anywhere.
Mama, you NEED to take some away trips with your spouse where you don’t have to worry about being home by a certain time. Carve out a really good weekend trip where it’s just the two of you and take some time to really connect!
Having children is HARD.
It adds a whole new component to your marriage that you could never have anticipated. That simplicity of love does not exist anymore.
You have to consistently work on building a life that never stops. You don’t get to take deep breaths and think about what you say before you say it. Your house is messy and your showers are not nearly as consistent as they used to be.
Babies take up space in your bed and in your heart.
Remembering that your spouse is yours is so important.