It breaks my heart to hear about marriages crumbling after kids are brought into the picture. The kids become the number one priority, leaving mom and/or dad yearning for the love and affection they used to feel from their spouse. They feel obligated to give everything they have to be the best parents, forgetting that in order to be good parents, mom and dad must first be good spouses.
Do you feel like the flame has dwindled since you started having kids? Do you worry that you’re destined for the fate you’ve seen too many fall prey to?
It isn’t always easy keeping the romance alive after kids, but it is much simpler than it may seem.
Here are 5 ways to keep your love strong when kids come along:
- Know your and your hubby’s love language.
- Share your dreams.
- Take some time alone together to envision what you want your life to look like. Envision not only your family life, but also personal goals you wish to accomplish. Dream big. Share those “silly” things you think could never happen. The sky is the limit.
- Share your fears.
- Being vulnerable with your spouse can be intimidating. It’s also very attractive. Sharing our fears takes our relationships to a much deeper level. It opens our eyes to insights we may have never gained if we hadn’t taken that scary step to further understand each other.
- Laugh and be silly.
- There’s this awful assumption out there that once we’re adults, we have to act like adults all the time. Forget about it! Have a tickle fight. Run around outside in the rain. Play a game of Twister. Laugh until it hurts and then laugh some more.
- Keep regular date nights.
- Arranging date nights can be challenging (and expensive), especially when the kiddos are young, but don’t overthink it.
- Ideally, someone would watch the kids and you and hubs would go out and do something fun like seeing a movie, going ice skating, or enjoying a meal at your favorite restaurant. But let’s be honest, that isn’t always feasible. So keep it simple. If there’s no childcare available or you’re a nursing mom who can’t leave baby for very long, make an at-home date. Once baby/kids are down for a nap or for the night, have your date. Cook together or grab carry-out. Snuggle up on the couch and watch a movie. Be intimate with each other. Whatever suits your fancy, make it happen.
Husband and wife greatly benefit from keeping their relationship strong after kids. Not only that, but also there are notable benefits to the kids.
Here’s how children benefit from mom and dad maintaining a strong relationship:
- Children learn they aren’t the center of the world.
- Yes, your children may be the center of you and your spouse’s world, but they are not the center of THE world. Children need to know that other people besides themselves have needs, too.
- Children see a model of a healthy relationship.
- Your kids benefit so much from you showing them the importance of strong spousal relationships. You’re laying the groundwork for them to have healthy relationships themselves.
- Children learn that mommy and daddy have other roles.
- A friend of mine often refers to his wife as his bride when talking to his kids about an upcoming date night. This way, his kids understand that mommy and daddy are, first and foremost, husband and wife. While they cherish their roles as parents, they also highly value their roles as spouses.
Take some time to give your relationship a check-up. The few dollars you spend on The 5 Love Languages may be the best money you spend all year. Learn your spouse inside and out and strive daily to show him how much he is loved. The whole family will benefit for years to come.