I must admit that having kids has shifted my thoughts completely, as I feel it should for most parents. We no longer come first, second, or even third at times. Our whole lives can become consumed with our kids and there are times where that is okay. However, as I’ve said in other posts, it’s unhealthy to lose yourself or your marriage, due to your children. As taboo as it seems nowadays, your marriage should come before your kids! Now most people might take this to the extreme and think that I literally mean we shouldn’t take care of our kids’ direct needs first. That’s not where I’m going with this. I’m simply saying that our marriage needs to be a priority too. In Ephesians, husbands are asked to love wives as Christ loved the church, wives are asked to submit to their husbands. If that is not happening, I can almost guarantee that our marriage is no longer a priority. Someday our kids will be gone, living their own lives (I can’t even fathom that right now), and we must due everything in our power to keep our marriage healthy for when that time comes.
I’m not even going to act like this is an easy task. Keeping our marriage healthy and alive shouldn’t feel like a task but sometimes it can be. At the stage of life that my husband and I are in right now, it can feel at times like their is no energy left in us to even talk before we go to sleep. He works all day and I keep the house together and the kids alive all day. Those are both huge responsibilities that are mentally and physically exhausting! So how do you make your marriage a priority in whatever season of life you’re in?
Don’t forget to communicate. Travis and I set aside time to talk to each other at dinner or before we go to bed everyday. Even though that time may be interrupted by the needs of our kids, we talk. Communication is so important and for me, I crave it. After being home with two babies all day I need to talk to an adult!
Now that our youngest is getting a little older, we’re venturing out a little more when it comes to dating each other again. Sometimes when the girls go to bed, we’ll stay up later and play cards or watch a movie/show together. It’s a lot easier in the season of life we’re in to stay home and spend time with each other than try to find a sitter and hope no one wakes up asking for mom or dad. Another thing we like to do is have date nights with other couples. However, this doesn’t mean we leave our kids with someone. Most of our friends have young kids too so we simply all go to someone’s house or they come to ours. We make a big dinner and the kids keep each other entertained while the couples play a game and enjoy the company.
Going from dating without kids to dating with kids can be difficult and sometimes even upsetting. I’d be lying if I said there weren’t times that I missed being spontaneous and going on an adventure with my husband, without the worry of what we would do with our kids. It’s just important to remember that those days are not gone forever. Travis and I have already planned some dates for just him and I when the girls are a little older and there will be plenty more to come. Understanding that this season of life with babies doesn’t mean you forget about your marriage, is important. You never want to stop talking with your spouse, being affectionate with your spouse, spending quality time with your spouse (however that looks at this time), and making your spouse feel important. Learning your love language as well as your spouse’s love language, is a great way to plan dates and show each other how much you care in a way that is appreciated the most. Allowing God to be the center in your relationship is a reassuring way to balance it correctly and effectively!
“As the Scriptures day, ‘A man leaves his father and mother and is joined to his wife, and the two are united into one.’ So again I say, each man must love his wife as he loves himself, and the wife must respect her husband” (Ephesians 6:31, 33, New Living Translation).