There is no doubt that having children changes a marriage. Not only are there the added responsibilities and the change in financial situations, there are the little things, too, that add up. No longer do you get to lounge in bed on Saturday mornings, snuggle together on the couch for long periods of time, or make love whenever the mood strikes. You also don’t get the luxury of going out together, alone.
Before kids my husband and I were free to come and go as we pleased. “Want to go to dinner and a movie?”
“Sure! Where do you want to go eat?”
Off we’d go. After all, we didn’t have to find a sitter for the dog, and we certainly didn’t have to be home at a certain time to put babies to bed. Life was a little simpler (though I dare say not as full of squeals and giggles). But once we became parents it all got a lot more complicated. For one thing, I breastfed both children, and although I went back to work at first after our daughter, she hated the bottle, fighting it with a passion, no matter what type of bottle or who tried to feed her. She would take just enough to not be hungry when I was at work; then she’d spend the evening making up for it. Add to that the fact that after not being with her all day I hated leaving her again in the evening to go out. So we’d either take her out with us to dinner or not go out at all. This didn’t allow for much time for me and the husband to go out alone and really talk.
We’ve learned that couples need that alone time. You need it to reconnect with one another and not have to worry about bills, work, or how much the baby ate that day. Months of not getting to have that time alone can pay a heavy price on a relationship. Pretty soon you start to feel a little more like roommates and less like the loving couple you once were. Throwing in a second child didn’t help that situation. Something had to change. We wanted more for our kids and for ourselves.
We started looking for answers, and thankfully we stumbled upon a site for Marriage Fitness. The free emails we received were a stepping stone to where we wanted to be, and we chose to find a copy of the book Marriage Fitness: 4 Steps to Building & Maintaining Phenomenal Love
as well and began working on the book’s four steps to help strengthen our marriage. In the first step, Putting Love First, we were reminded of the importance of date night. Not only that, but we learned how to make date night more effective. I have come to really look forward to those nights, when my husband and I can be alone together, even if only for a short period of time.
Not only is date night important for our relationship, but as a SAHM my sanity often depends on it. I didn’t realize how true that was until these past few weeks where we haven’t gotten to go out alone – work commitments, health concerns with my mother-in-law, the lack of another baby sitter… My temper has become short and I’ve found myself snapping way too easily with the kids lately. I hate that. I don’t want to be “that mommy”. Thankfully my husband’s aunt was able to come over yesterday and watch the kids while we had our very much needed date night.
I am recharged, ready for the upcoming week, and ready to be the mommy I want to be and the one my kids deserve.
How do you recharge?
I have chosen to begin an affiliate partnership with Marriage Fitness because I truly believe in the book and the teachings in the program. The free emails are really free, and most importantly, they really did help my relationship with my husband.