Thursday, June 28, 2018

Invest in Your Marriage ~ Keep Dating Your Spouse, Even After Kids


So back in February, I did the Abundant Mama Program.  It has taking me on a journey of reflecting where I came from and how far along I have come.  It has allowed me to reflect while digging in deep, showing me where things needed to change going forward.

There are tough days in life, there always will be.  In motherhood, we face them more often it seems. It may be a day, it may just be a moment, or it may be a season or a phase.  It seems easy to balance you and your marriage, but when you add in kiddos, you are facing a whole different balance needed.

Often once kids are in the picture a lot of things get pushed aside.  Which completely makes sense.  They are totally dependent on those who are taking care of them.  But it is a phase.  They will grow out of it and things will change again.

Again and again we ride this wave.  Priorities shift and number one today maybe not be the same tomorrow, or next week, or next month.  Heck, it may not even be the same in the next minute or hour.

What happens over time when we keep it going that way?  Giving less and less to the other areas of our lives?  Yes, I know with changes, some stuff gets let go of because it has to.

But on a basic level, lets remember something.  There is you.  You got married.  Congrats!  Now you are a spouse.  Then you decide to grow your family.  Aw, such amazing, beautiful little miracles begin to be added to your family.

Now what?  Yes, it is the decisions you made.  But who says that once you have kids your marriage should get pushed to the side?  Yes, I know, you ask, how do I find time for my marriage? For myself?  For my career?  My hobbies?  And the list goes on and on.  There are many pieces to this life puzzle.

But, what happens when you don't keep connecting the pieces every so often?  Remember, it's you. then you added a spouse, then you added growing your family.

Kids need to see what marriage is.  How do mom and dad take care for each other?  How do they show love?  With a solid marriage, kids will feel safe, loved, and will thrive.

But how do we keep our marriage solid and still raise a family?  It's not as easy to go on a date night, or just have couple time often.  I will admit, my kids talk...a lot.  When we are all home, the two of them are going nonstop.  It is hard for my hubby and I to usually get a conversation in, let alone finish a sentence sometimes.  Doesn't matter where we are, what we are doing, or even in the car.  The kids voices are heard over everything, all the time.

How do you take time for your marriage at all stages so that when the kids are grown and moved out, you can still know each other, have a conversation, spend time as a couple, and continue your marriage?  Even if you can't get out of the house?

Do you remember before marriage?  Do you remember dating your spouse?  Once married, in a way you still continued to date each other.  You would find time for your work, yourself, and your spouse. 

When you have kids, you still need to continue this.  Even if that means finding a way to do date nights at home for awhile.  Still flirting.  Still leaving notes for each other.  Talk to each other when you can, snuggle too.  Give affection, hugs and kisses even when kiddos can see.

Keep dating.  Keep flirting.  Keep that spark going. 

At the end last year in the focus group I am a part of with author and speaker Jill Savage, we helped create an awesome resource called flirt alert.  They are simple messages or things you can do for your spouse.  You can print off the pdf list, pick which one you want to do, and when.  You can receive daily emails, which is a great way to then easily pass along to your spouse.  Or even sign up for texts.  Just copy and past and pass along.   You can find Flirt Alert here: https://www.jillsavage.org/flirt-alert/.  Maybe it give you inspiration and help create your own.

Another idea, because sometimes coordinating schedules, finding a babysitter, and trying to make things budget friendly is hard to do sometimes, is date nights in.

My hubby and I had one of these recently.  We sat on the porch, ate custard, and chatted.  I realized how important it is to give ourselves time to chat more often when we were in the car just ourselves.  The silence was different, as I have gotten used to having the kids chatting, music going.  But this time it was just us for a longer drive on a beautiful evening on the way to dinner.  The kids were riding in my parent's car.  At first, the silence was nice.  But then felt a little awkward as it was like, what can or should we talk about while we can have an actual conversation.

As hard as it is to let others watch our kiddos, it is what we need, our spouse needs, and our kids too.  I know, I have a hard time with letting go of control.  Letting others watch my kids.  Missing the bedtime rituals we have created, like rocking, snuggling, reading, singing.  It's hard.  I know it is.  It is something I am still working on, but I am getting better with it.

Just like you need to continue to invest into yourself and your kids, you need to keep investing into your marriage.  Because just like any investment, it takes time, patience, and consistency, but the reward later on down the road is well worth it, for everyone.

How do you spend time with your spouse since having kids?