Did you get married just to have kids? I sure didn’t. I mean, I wanted them, but the reason I got married wasn’t to have kids. I married my amazing husband because, well, he’s amazing and I love to spend time with him and I see forever with him.
Fast forward to parenthood and boy do kids throw marriage in for a loop!
I love my kids, but they sure change E-V-E-R-Y-T-H-I-N-G! From the second they’re born, it seems like immediately become the boss. Boss Baby that is!
They dictate when you eat, sleep, go pee, shower leave the house, talk to your husband, hang out with your husband, I mean… what don’t they change about your marriage?
Someone once asked me how they can have a full conversation with their husband. Whoa!
If a wife and husband can’t even finish a conversation in front of the kids, something has to change!
So, if you are struggling to find quality in your marriage, I suggest you take a good look at how you might be allowing your kids to get in the way of your marriage.
Here’s a list of how you might be doing that!
Letting your kids interrupt
Honestly take a look into how much you prioritize your kids over your marriage. When your kids interrupt your conversation with your husband, do you drop your conversation with your husband and give all your attention to them? You might not realize you’re doing it, but I’ve seen this a lot and I get it! We’re so used to having to tend to their every need as a baby because they are literally helpless. But… is it a life or death matter if they have to wait to get your attention? Most likely not. Will it teach them great life skills? Absolutely! Plus this is a great way for you to practice boundaries.
Letting them define how much time you two have together
Do you wake up when your kids wake up? Are you loose about bedtime or let them hang out in your room if they’re having trouble sleeping? Boundaries are a great thing to have to protect your time with your husband. When date night outside the house isn’t an option, then the time your kids are asleep is where the gold is. Can you set a rule where they are to stay in their room until a certain time in the morning? For kids who are too young to tell time, they have these amazing lights that you can set to turn a certain color (ex: green) when it’s OK to get up. We’ve used this for both kids and it has been life changing!! Here’s the exact one we use, click here!
If they go to sleep late now, is there a way to adjust your schedule or routine so that they can go to bed earlier? Imagine if you started having them go to bed 20-30 minutes earlier once a week. That could be your extra time together! Heck, what if you set an earlier bedtime every day from now on?! This is the beauty of being a parent, YOU set the rules! They get rest and you get quality time with your husband! Win win.
Letting them define where you hang out
Do you think your kids need to be with you every single day? You need to read this section especially if you have not ever had someone watch your kids for you so that you and your husband can have a date outside of the home without the kids.
If you have someone nearby that you trust, say a parent or a sibling, ask them for help! The worst thing that’ll happen is that they’ll say no. But what if they say yes?! What if instead of looking at it as if you’re abandoning your kids, you see it as a way for your kids to bond with family and a way for you to nurture your marriage! The kids will be OK without you for a few hours or even over night! They may miss you, but distance makes the heart grow fonder. Maybe they’ll appreciate you more or maybe they’ll LOVE the time away hanging out with someone else that loves them.
Don’t have family nearby? Consider doing trades with your dear trusted friends! If they have kids, you can take turns watching each other’s kids so that everyone has a turn to get quality time in with their spouse.
Letting them define when you each get alone time
Part of having a successful marriage is having time for yourself. Having your own individual free time is critical to showing up as your best self. Do you wake up when the kids wake up? What if you could start your day feeling AMAZING and set yourself up for success?
Shifting when I woke up has made a huge impact on my mood. I wake up 30 minutes earlier than my kids and this gives me time to do my self care routine. Having this time alone helps me feel like I’m not just a mom. I’m still a person with her own wants and needs and dreams. During this time I journal, read, and drink my water. Do what lights you up! Exercise, meditate, listen to music or a podcast. Whatever you want, this is your time! No interruptions, no one tugging on you, no one needing anything. Just you and yourself. Doesn’t that sound incredible? You don’t need to do a solo trip to Target for your vacation!
Letting them control how you spend your time as a family
Mama, you do not have to go to ALL of the birthday parties! You really don’t! Especially if you get nothing from them except for just saying you went. If your family just ends up getting all stressed out over it and you’d benefit using your time doing other things together, then just skip out! It is ok to say no! Make the decision that best serves you and your family how you and your husband see fit. You can always choose to celebrate the birthday person at a later (or earlier) time.
These are just some ways you can start to take back the control that you’ve given away to your kids so that you can nurture your marriage. So next time you think you don’t have the time or energy to spend with your husband, think again and review this list! I’m sure you can find a way, because we always do when something is truly important to us.