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Don’t Let Your Marriage Take a Backseat After Kids

I’ve been thinking a lot lately about enjoying life where I am. It’s so easy to get into the “I can’t wait fors” and the “one days” and it becomes so hard to be present in the now. But I know I need to be present because one day it will all be different. 

We all know that one day the kids will be grown and there will be no more hands to hold or children to rock back to sleep. One day the kids will grow up and become adults and will move out. “They” say, “Time is fleeting!” or “Time is a thief!” We are reminded of this with each little milestone, with each new word learned, with each inch our children grow. Sometimes, something as simple as a look they give us can snap us back to reality as we are reminded that they are growing up into their own little people. We know we will one day miss these days so much, but there is also something else to consider. 

When this happens, when the kids grow, when they move out and move on… then it will be me and my husband. It will just be the two of us! Thus, it’s important we don’t forget to nurture this relationship too. It can be so easy to get wrapped up in the current fire we are putting out or in just getting through the days, that we put our relationship with our significant other on the back burner. 

My Realization

The other day, I was feeling exhausted and burnt out. I was feeling like I was just going through the motions to get through the day. I noticed that my husband and I’s relationship had taken a backseat. I was taking care of the kids all day and my husband went to work. By the time he got home, I was tired. He was tired. We struggled to get the kids to sleep… seriously, nighttime is a beast y’all… and threw on a show and fell asleep on the couch. There was very little interaction. This was a daily occurrence. Life was starting to feel lonely. As I thought about this, I suddenly realized, One day the kids will be gone and we will be able focus on us again… but what if there is no more us to focus on? What if we have gotten so used to surviving and getting through the day that the old “us” is missing—gone? 

Photo Credit: Lindsey Martin Photography

At this point, we decided to plan a vacation for just the two of us. It’s hard to describe just how much we needed it. There were a few things I loved about this trip. 

I was served food the entire time, and I didn’t have to serve anyone… not one kid! 

I saw true beauty. It’s so easy to see when you can sit there and stare at it without a single interruption. And bonus, I was reminded of the beauty of us!

I learned that I am still myself—even after all three kids—I was still under there.

And, best of all, I saw how much I missed my kids even in a time where I could totally have time to myself. I felt recharged and couldn’t wait to get back to them.

marriage after kids

Ideas to Keep Your Marriage Off of the Back Burner

A vacation alone is not always possible, so one of the best ways I can think to solve this issue is to be present in the now—not just with the kids—but with your significant other too. Try to find joy in the current moment, right smack dab in the middle of the craziness. Play with the kids, watch a movie as a family, or go for a walk outside. You like gardening? Garden together. You like working out? Work out together. You like ice cream—who doesn’t?? Go get ice cream together. We can still focus on the present in our daily lives. We can still find the true beauty in the mundane. We can teach our kids to slow down and look for the beauty—to take a moment to smell the coffee, if you will—WITH us. 

For each other, I found I needed to make an effort to ask, “how was your day,” even if it’s after the kids go to sleep… and then truly listen to the response. Other ideas to keep your relationship at the forefront are:

Spend an evening after the kids are asleep just talking, with no TV or phones. Get a sitter. Go on a date or a short vacation. We went for only three nights and it was glorious. If you hesitate to leave the kids overnight and you are working parents, take a day off from work and have a whole day date while the kids are at school or in childcare. Have a date night after the kids are asleep in the comfort of your own home… a movie with popcorn and boxes of candy, cook a meal together and sit down and eat it with no interruptions, play cards! Anything!

We hear a lot about how we need to find “me-time” these days, and how we need to take time away as a couple, and this is so important! But remember, we can’t just do these things and then live miserably in the present otherwise. So, find ways to enjoy the now as much as possible, no matter the crazy, so that there are no regrets!

Marriage after kids
Photo Credit: Lindsey Martin Photography

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8 responses to “Don’t Let Your Marriage Take a Backseat After Kids”

  1. Shauna says:

    This has been one of the hardest things about parenthood for me. Feeling like my marriage has taken a backseat. We’ve incorporated monthly date-nights, but it’s hard to have marriage not take a back seat, specifically during the first year of parenthood, I think. Thanks for the reminder to keep prioritizing the partnership that was formed before the baby came along!

    • admin says:

      Hi Shauna!
      Thank you for your sweet words! I agree, it is definitely one of the most challenging parts. I find I have to really focus on keeping my marriage at the forefront! Monthly date nights sounds awesome!

  2. Such a helpful read! I am very guilty of putting my baby first above my personal care and my marriage. It is so important to make time for yourself though! Great tips!

    • admin says:

      Hi Jordan! I agree, it is such a struggle. I am a constant work in progress in this area! Thank you for your kind words!

  3. Mama Kat says:

    My boyfriend and I trying to find time just for ourselves was so hard after our son was born! Our relationship being put on the back burner definitely effected both of our moods.

    • admin says:

      Hi Mama Kat! I feel the same way! And, we still have a hard time finding time for ourselves. It’s definitely something we try to keep focus on. Thank you!

  4. Krystn M. says:

    Finding the balance has been a challenge for us too! It’s nice to hear that this is normally but I think we are both ready to start making our relationship a priority again.

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Welcome to my blog. I am a licensed school counselor turned stay-at-home mom and writer. I have three wonderful children. I love the water, baking, getting creative, and traveling, especially to new places. I have a bachelor’s degree in science (Psychology major and Sociology minor), and a master’s degree in counselor education (M.Ed.). I wouldn’t call myself a parenting expert exactly, but I believe all parents are experts at raising their own children. After all, no one knows your kids better than you! My blog is about what “they say”—what we hear and read—versus what “we say”: using our own intuition. As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases.