Tips to Maintaining a Healthy Marriage after Kids
To whom it may concern,
So girl, here's the deal. As I've said before, being married is just NOT for the weak. You either do it or "get out of the kitchen". I can only speak for my own marriage when I say there are days when I daydream about our most memorable events together, and other days when I secretly roll my eyes behind his back. But that's just it- there will be days for BOTH of those situations! You just have to know how to behave and move on on those not so good days.
Let me tell you when life really changed--When those Strickland Littles came about. (Kisses teeth) "HAVE KIDS" 'they push, "Do you want more kids?'.. 'they' ask. TUH! Those littles came along and we suddenly realized it's not just all about US anymore. Back in the day, life was easy. We made it easy. But when life gets tough, AND IT WILL...
Here are my tips for maintaining a healthy marriage after kids.
Date your Mate- "Kid's aren't the only ones who need to play." I knew having kids would mean less time for each other. I also knew early into motherhood, having kids would not totally stop my show. Those days of spontaneous dinner dates are long gone. We now need to schedule and create alone time to date each other. Think about times when having dinner, your conversations are filled with topics related to the kids. "Guess what the kids told me last night" "What's for dinner" or "Tell Daddy...blah blah blah" Really, this happens way too often, right?! Before you have even asked about your mate's day, the conversation shifts in the direction of kids and their antics. Together, we counteract by setting aside time JUST FOR US. No interruptions and no small talk about the kids. We take this time together to talk about adult topics (Goals, Finances, etc.) We recharge best outside of the home sipping frozen daiquiris on a beach.
Ask for help- Outsourcing is a big one! Having an open line of communication to have this tough talk was major! I spent so many nights upset watching my compliment rest on the couch catching all the Zzz's while I slave over dinner, oversee homework, referee fights, etc. After one day of losing my cool, we agreed this situation could be avoided if I'd ask for help. No one person wants to feel like they are carrying the weight of the relationship. Now, the agreement stands: I cook, he washes dishes, I give baths, WE do homework, and meet later in the bedroom! No one person is more tired than the other, Most importantly, we both have enough energy to offer of ourselves by the end of the night. WIN! WIN! And girl, don't think we leave those littles out. Everyone has a chore in this house.
Make time for yourself- There are days where I feel like I need to quit being a mom and a wife. The job is demanding, the hours are long, and the pay is not always all so well. If you know me, you know I'm all for taking a day to myself. (Sidenote-I only quit in my head, but never out loud.) Sometimes, a girl just wants to be alone! At least this girl does. I'm ok with a few hours away at the nail salon or the mall, but I'm speaking about a day or two away. Furthermore, I take great pride in the way in which I carry myself. I'm a firm believer that I have to fill my own cup first before I can even fathom of offering the leftovers.
Be Intimate- Yes, this one has to be included. Being intimate is a real important part of most relationships because it's a way to bond and feel connected. Long gone are the days where this was less complicated. However, remember, this does not always have to be the physical act of sexual intercourse. I don't know who needs to hear this but, she needs a break. Keeping this in mind, the act of intimacy also includes being tactile and close to one another. This is a reminder you are still attracted to one another. It can be demonstrated merely by holding hands or snuggling. I'm always open to a few snuggles under a blanket or as my husband likes to put it, "locking up like crabs" for a quick nap.
Keep Laughing- Girl! BE HIS PEACE! Keep the air light. If there are no reasons for arguments, don't allow it to creep in and breathe your air. Aht Aht! Not over here! I have been shacking with a jokester for 11 years now. Even when I'm mad, he will find a way to slide in a joke. His sense of humor reminds me of all the reasons I fell in love with him. If you're doing marriage the right way, there should not be many reasons you can't find humor in any given situation.
So there you have it. These are just few of the mottos I live by to keep my sanity in this relationship, especially after factoring in kids. Besides, my guy is the only guy that is known to handle me and HANDLE me at the same time (let that marinate and perchlorate in your brain); therefore, I don't plan on going anywhere anytime soon. We vowed to keep this marriage alive and will do all in our power to keep on the same path heading to forever land.
Now I need to hear from you. Did you write back? Tell me what you're doing to keep your own marriage or relationship alive.
Until next time,