Mamas Tell All hosted by That Southern Mama, The So-Called Homemaker, and Everyday Thoughts. Go here for a list of the upcoming topics and check out the other mama's involved!
Today, our topic is "How to keep your marriage alive after children".
This topic is so, so important. Mainly because it is hard. Marriage is work - most people would agree on that. You get out of it what you put into it.
Now, I'm not going to profess to be a marriage guru or pretend like we're doing everything right. Our relationship, like any, has its ups and downs. But I think there are a few main points to follow in order to get this right.
|Not just a Dad - role model and teacher of "cool"|
1. Love & Respect the Person you Married- Well, this seems like a no brainer, right? Should be. Obviously you love the man you married (or woman - holler at my male readers, and LGBT readers!) But the respect thing is huge, too. I love and respect my husband for the man he is, which is not just my partner parent and someone to shoulder the parenting with. It also includes supporting him in his goals, interests, choices, and decisions. Even when they maybe don't align with mine. He respects and supports the goals I have, and vice versa.
|"I wuv you baby"|
2. Talking it Out - Discussion and communication is key. Not just "how was your day?" or "did Emily eat her whole lunch" or "did Emily poop today?" (don't lie - this is usually topic #1 in our house right now and I know it is in your house, too), but "how did you feel about X happening?" and "did you hear about Z on the news? What are your thoughts on that?"
|Way before baby - Cardinals Game in 2009|
3. Date Night - Even if this is just on the couch in your home, carving out time for each other shows each other that you still value them as a person that you want to spend time with. Not just someone to change a diaper or pick up the kids from school. I think we can get so wrapped up in going through the motions of our days with kids involved, that having that adult time really makes a difference.
|Day Date pre-baby|
For us, it's popcorn (wine) and a Netflix show or movie. When we're lucky, it's a real dinner date, or even a day date!
|First trip away after having Emily - Bayfield/Ashland 2012. Ignore the crazy creeper guy in the background.|
I think the overall idea that I try to work towards each day is remembering that I have to invest in my marriage and my partner to keep things working. I will admit that I can get wrapped up in my own wants and "needs". It's good to have reminders sometimes to slow down, take a look at the person standing by your side and say "Hey there good looking! Tell me all about your day, what are you thinking about lately, and oh yea - maybe we could have this conversation after some much needed 'alone' time?"
How do you balance marriage and parenting?