Kids take up a lot of your time. So much so that you might be finding it hard to make time for your husband and your marriage. The worst thing you can do for your kids (and yourself) is to ignore it. Your children need to see you both modeling a positive, healthy relationship. And that means, that after God, your marriage comes first…and your kids are next in line. Whether you are new parents or have teenagers running around the house, we could all use a few tips for a healthy marriage.
Modeling a good relationship to your children simply helps them understand what to look for in a spouse later in life and will also make them feel more secure as they navigate the sometimes tricky road of childhood.
So what can you do to help focus more on your marriage? Especially when you barely have time for yourself let alone your husband? Here’s a list of things that my husband and I have tried. We don’t do all of these concurrently, nor do we do every week perfectly, but the key is to keep trying. Because your marriage and your family are worth it.
Nine Tips For a Healthy Marriage…After Kids
- Date Night – If there’s one thing you have to do regularly, it’s date night. Hire a babysitter, call your sister, or your parents, or a neighbor and have them pop over to watch the little ones for a bit while you and hubby go grab some dinner. I’m not saying you have to go to a five star restaurant, but go somewhere with table service. Order appetizers and dessert and treat yourself to some time out. You’ll have the benefit of conversation with the man you love and a shared experience. Do this fairly regularly – at least twice a month if you can swing it. You will thank me. On a related note, overnight sleepovers with the grandparents are amazing!!! While you can’t manage these twice a month, once in awhile these are heaven.
- Leave Each Other Love Notes – This is probably one of my favorite tips for a healthy marriage because it’s simple, free and fun! Just a little thing like leaving a love note let’s your spouse know you were thinking of them. There’s nothing better to keep romance alive than telling the other person how much they mean to you. Be specific too! Tell them you love how they provide for the family. Or how they are an amazing father. Or how handsome you think they are. Flirting is fun and this is just a throwback to those dating days.
- Turn Off the TV – After the kids go to bed, resist the urge to turn on the TV. Take a night or two a week and talk. Read together. Have a glass of wine and chill out on the porch. If you want to grow together and not apart, communication is key. You can’t do that while binge watching Netflix.
- Pray Together – A couple who prays together stays together. Ok, I know that’s overused, but it’s true. Find time to pray. When you’re going up to bed, carve out even 10 minutes before you hit the sack and pray. It’s an awesome way to know what’s on your spouse’s heart and vice versa. Plus, connecting with God, together, is intimate and something very special to share with your love.
- Take Care of Yourselves Too – Whether it’s time for a bubble bath, girls night or a spa day for you. Or going to the game with the boys or an afternoon at the golf course for him, do it. When you’re happier and taking time for yourself, your marriage will reap the benefits in big ways.
- Stay Intimate – Yes, it can be hard to have the energy, especially in those early months when sleep is at a premium and you’re feeling anything but sexy. But intimacy with your husband is a gift from God. I didn’t put this towards the end of the list on purpose…this should be a priority for both you and your husband.
- Be Affectionate – Cuddling is just fun! And how awesome is it for your children to see you and Daddy kissing or holding hands. Just being sweet and tender with one another. Remember what I said about modeling a happy, healthy relationship to your children? This is part of it. I know you want that for your kids when they grow up, so show them what it’s like and they will be more likely not to settle for anything less.
- Be Supportive – You’re going to have decisions to make together about your kids, so work on it together and whatever you decide support each other always. Even if it’s not about your kids, be supportive of each other in general. Always have your spouse’s best interest at heart in everything you do and say. And always represent your spouse in a positive light to others.
- Stop Keeping Track – Yes, you’re mom and, to be honest, you’re probably changing more diapers, feeding more bottles, doing more of the nurturing for baby. But let’s face it, that’s just the way mom’s are wired. Yes, Dad should absolutely be helping with baby and other things around the house, but by no means should you ever keep track. You aren’t in a competition with your husband. You both want the same thing, happy healthy children and a marriage that lasts the long haul.
Comment below and let me know if you have other tips for a healthy marriage and what has worked for you.