It's so easy to put your marriage on the back burner while you are raising kids. I've watched so many marriages fall apart because the mom is so focused on the kids that the husband feels so neglected he's just done. That's just heartbreaking! Some of the best advice I ever received was the reminder that my kids will be gone in 18ish years, and we still have to live together as husband and wife. We have three little ones, so this is SO easy for us to get sucked in to. Our life is a whirlwind of exhaustion, but taking time to focus on each other is the most important thing we can do for our kids. They will be so thankful someday that we took the time to spend together and cultivate a healthy marriage! It's not always easy, and sometimes we aren't very good at being intentional about it. But the important part is to keep trying!!
Here are a few things that help us maintain a healthy and thriving marriage!
Don't allow yourselves to become roommates. Don't just become two people that live under the same roof! Don't sweat the small stuff. If something is "bothering" me, I always ask myself "is it worth it?". Is it worth a fight over something silly like taking out the trash or unloading the dishwasher? 99% of the time, it's not worth it. It's best to let things go, keep communication lines open and not allow yourselves to become roommates.
Non-negotiable date night. This was one of the greatest things for our marriage! We can't always afford a babysitter and a fancy dinner (ok, usually never!), but date night in once a week is a must. The kids go to bed, we cook dinner together, sit and talk and focus on each other. It's a wonderful way to connect!
Flirt. Remember WHY you married each other! Our goal is to be those parents that our kids are always saying "ew, gross mom and dad!!!!'
Spice things up. It's easy to get in a routine. Get up, go to work. Come home. Dinner, wrestle kids, baths, bed time...parents pass out on couch. It is an exhausting season! BUT remember to keep the magic alive! Pull out a board game or find something fun to do together. Change up where you go for date night. Doing something new and different will break up your routine and remind you how much fun you have together! One of our favorite is the gun range!
Serve each other. We have a question in our house that we ask each other daily. "What can I do for you today? This week?" We make an effort to serve one another and keep the lines of communication open constantly. This helps break down "his and hers" chores. It allows us to let each other know what our needs are. And we are always happy to help each other when we are in it together!
How can you be intentional in cultivating a healthy marriage?