After having children, your wallet, time and patience all may take a bit of a hit, but your marriage should never follow suit. Kids are great, but the process of caring for them sometimes means that it is easy to subconsciously put your marriage on the back burner. While making your children’s needs a priority is understandable, shunning those of your marriage is not, and it could be detrimental in the long run. When your mate feels ignored or held responsible for faults related to the children, bitterness and negativity can ensue, resulting in the worst-case scenario of irreparable damage and even divorce. Fortunately, there are plenty of methods to relieve these natural tendencies and keep your marriage as flourishing and joyful as it was pre-kids.
Texting a Love Note, Catching a Flick
Staying in for the night doesn’t have to mean sacrificing a date. While some couples admit to texting throughout the day to keep the romance alive, others opt for in-home dates, like movie nights, after the kids go to bed. The children and their commitments to soccer and piano lessons may tie up your dinnertime routine, but there is much to be said for the time spent together once the children have fallen asleep. Go the extra mile by making an effort to surprise or impress your mate with ideas like bringing home a special dessert to share. Whether opting to light candles for your dinner or committing to spending at least just one weeknight staying “up late” to watch a favorite show on the couch, the possibilities for alone time are endless if given routine attention and effort.
Find a Babysitter or Nanny You Trust
When you finally get used to the idea that there is no fault in going out for the night as a couple, the satisfaction of doing so will be made easier if you are able to find a trustworthy and reliable babysitter. There is much to be said for hiring a dependable caregiver that will relieve concerns, and having someone you trust allows you to focus on your date. If needed, you could even get a close family member or friend to sit one weekend night.
Stop Making Excuses
Perhaps most applicable, one of the easiest choices for which many are guilty is allowing obstacles to impact intentions. Too often excuses — such as the inability to find a babysitter or exhaustion brought on by work or life — are accepted as good enough reasons to not follow through with plans made with your mate. Some parents even guilt themselves into believing that the children come first and dates can wait, but doing so actually means accepting that your marriage can wait, and in the end, it can’t. If you don’t regularly tend to your marriage, you’ll notice it start to wither, and your children will, too, no matter how much you may try to hide it. Fighting, separation and divorce are all situations that are distracting, confusing and frustrating, and can be detrimental to the potential your children have throughout their development.