Let’s face it!
Life changes from the moment we welcome home our first child. Yes! It’s filled with joy and happiness. But as a couple, we are also tested like never before. As mothers, we want to cuddle with our newborns every second we have. This natural obsession leads to marital strains. Of course, as moms, we may not notice this because we are too busy soaking up every moment with our little bundle of joy. This busyness of ours can raise havoc and create tension in our marriage. Eventually, these minor tensions manifest into a storm that can rock our marriage.
Last month, my husband and I celebrated a decade of marriage. While I’m proud of this milestone. Let me tell you – it hasn’t been an easy road for us. Like many, we’ve had our ups and downs. However, we’ve been able to overcome them with courage, patience, and strength.
I may not have all the answers regarding maintaining a strong marriage after kids. But from my experience of ten years of marriage, one miscarriage, and two adorable kids – here are a few lessons I have learned through my journey as a wife and mom of two.
1. Maintain a strong marriage after kids by evolving your relationship
Change is something hard to accept. But it’s not always a bad thing!
Give yourself permission to grow and accept this new version of yourself as you embrace this new and sacred journey of motherhood.
Accept your spouse as he changes, and he takes on this new role of fatherhood. Fall all over in love with him as he grows into his new role of becoming a daddy. Allow him to make mistakes while supporting him in mastering what works and doesn’t work for him as a dad.
Let go of your pre-baby relationship and accept your post-baby relationship. Look forward to the new and many adventures that both you are your partner will be undertaking.
2. Expressing gratification will strengthen your marriage
There is no more lovely, friendly or charming relationship, communion or company, than a good marriage. – Martin Luther
It is so easy to take our spouse for granted when we step into motherhood. Maintaining a strong marriage after kids involves remembering to say thank you and show appreciation to our spouses for everything they do for us. Admire your husband as he does the dishes for you, helps put the baby to sleep, or changes his/her diaper.
Whisper thank you to him and give him a gentle kiss on his cheeks – allowing him to feel your gratification. Compliment him when he does something that you love or admire.
The more you appreciate your marriage, the more it will thrive.
I get it!
It’s so easy to compare your marriage and spouse to others.
You know, like when you’re scrolling through social media and your friends and influencers are posting all these gorgeous pics of their hubby going above and beyond for them and their babies. Maybe you feel a tad bit jealous, angry, and feel your spouse is not doing enough, compared to what other dads are doing.
Social media makes it quite difficult to see the bigger picture and what’s happening behind the scenes. So focus on your marriage and the things your spouse is doing for you, rather than what he’s not.
I wasted too much of my time focusing on what my husband wasn’t doing for me rather than what he was. And this wasn’t good for our marriage or my emotional health.
My friend, don’t waste your time doing it as well.
3. It’s we in marriage, not me or you
Marriage was ordained for a remedy and to increase the world and for the man to help the woman and the woman the man, with all love and kindness. –William Tyndale
Sometimes our ego gets the best of us. We use terms like – “me” and “you” rather than “we” or “us”.
It takes two to make a marriage. Stop the blaming and pointing of fingers when something goes wrong in your home.
Forgive each other, learn from the mishap, and focus on finding a solution and making things right.
A lot of unexpected situations arise when we have kids. They fall and get bruises. They get sick, takes forever to fall asleep, and the list goes on. Don’t blame each other when these things happen (and it will). Deal with these situations together and come to a mutual understanding.
Stop using terms like me or you and use words like ours and we. How can we fix this? Let’s figure this out together? It’s ok; we will get through this together!
Reminding each other that you are both in this together will help y’all get through whatever life throws at ya.
4. To maintain a strong marriage after kids – you need to have open communication
Communication is so important in any relationship. Yet many of us suffer alone silently. You don’t have to!
After becoming a mom, our bodies go through so many changes. We experience so many different and unexplainable emotions. Don’t be ashamed of your emotions. Let it out! Discuss what and how you are feeling with your spouse openly. Don’t feel ashamed or worried about being judged. You’ve planned to grow old with this person, so start sharing everything with him.
Have him share his emotions with you and actively listen to him. Assuring him that you’re there for him and these emotions are normal.
Life gets busy when you have kids, but your partner is the one you will be with long after your kids have left the nest and is off to university or have started their own family.
Make time to communicate with him daily. Don’t let this one slip through the cracks and shatter your marriage.
5. Make time for each other
As much as you probably want to spend every second with your baby and may find it a bit hard to detach. You have to!
I’m so guilty of this. When we had our daughter. I wanted to be there for her every second. I didn’t trust anyone with her (maybe this was due to my miscarriage). We rarely did things together as a married couple.
Spending time with kids brings grandparents so much joy. If they live close by – call them up and ask if they can babysit for a few hours while you and your hubby get some time to go on a date. If not, consider a close family member or a babysitter. When all fails, and you live miles away from everyone. Then resort to ordering dinner for two.
Once you’ve put the baby down or the kids to bed, have dinner together and enjoy each other company.
Switch your favorite Netflix show on. That’s right! The ones you both enjoyed before the kids came along. Or, maybe you can pick a movie and look at it together.
Don’t find excuses as to why you both can’t do things together.
We make time to do the things we love! Make time for your significant other today.
6. Don’t give up on intimacy after having kids
Intimacy is such an important part of a relationship. When we become mothers, we are buried with so many responsibilities that we often forget this one. We are either too tired or have no time to be intimate with our partners, which can insult our partners. He may feel a sense of abandonment that can lead to him finding comfort elsewhere. It’s the truth! So, I’m not going to sugarcoat it.
Yes! The baby will interrupt. You will be tried, but finding time to be intimate with your partner will save your marriage and be so good for you. It will help you decompress, feel loved and enjoy a healthier and happier marriage long after your kids are grown up and have left the nest.
7. Maintain a strong marriage after kids with trust
Just like communication. Trust is super important in every relationship.
Without trust, there’s no relationship. That’s my opinion, at least!
Whenever you feel insecure in your relationship, be brave and openly share these concerns with your husband. When we become mothers, our bodies change. We are surrounded by little ones and may miss out on the adult conversations and freedom we had – before becoming mommies.
On the other hand, your husband may still go to the bar for a drink and hang out with his buddies. This may make you feel uncomfortable. Maybe even envious of his freedom. Why can he still have time with his friends while I’m stuck with the kids? I don’t hang out with my friends, so should he? This is not fair! He should be home helping me!
While all of these thoughts and emotions are normal. They may haunt you and drive you insane.
Just bear in mind that he’s adjusting as well. And maybe this is his way of decompressing. Nothing is wrong with that. Allow him this time away, as this may very well be his self-care time.
If you desire the same freedom. And miss hanging with your girlfriends, then share this with him. Open communication and trust nurture healthy relationships.
8. Keep surprising each other
Remember those early days in your relationship when you guys enjoyed surprising each other? Recreate some of those. Flirt with him in text messages. Call him, just to say hi and love you. Give him a back massage, and make his favorite dish. Do something nice for him, and he will reciprocate.
Being spontaneous will help with maintaining a strong marriage after kids.
9. Spend time as a family
Have fun whenever you’ll are together. Whether it’s bathing the kids together or at dinner time. Go for morning and evening walks as a family. Sit in your backyard playing and enjoy every moment with each other. Have water fights, play I spy, or tell jokes and riddles. Just have fun with each other!
Spending time as a family doesn’t require an expensive vacation trip or fancy dinners at a five-star restaurant… Sometimes the little things in life can mean the most to us and create memories to last a lifetime.
10. Be open to making mistakes
Marriage is not always a bed of roses! It involves arguing over things that don’t even matter. Feeling jealous or left out. Figuring out making payments on time. Planning for the future. Sometimes, it involves making mistakes. And when you do – be the first to admit it and to learn from it.
Practice giving and receiving forgiveness. You’re in this for the long haul.
No marriage is easy. We all have our moments where we feel like it’s not working out. We are no longer happy or it’s not what we want.
Before you consider the “D-word.” Pause, take a break, and reflect on your marriage. See what areas need to be improved. Are you willing to make those changes? Is your spouse willing to own up to his role? Should you both get help from an expert, or can you both work it through with small lifestyle changes?
It’s so much easier to walk away, but if it’s not something you really want. It can lead to so much pain.
Maintaining A Strong Marriage After Kids Require
Kids are the biggest test for any marriage!
Yes! They bring us so much joy and happiness. And is so worth it. But having kids is also a turning point for any married couple. Our lives change forever after their debut.
We are stressed over money, and not having enough time in the day. Unable to take care of ourselves as moms. Having to choose between staying at home with the kids or putting them into childcare so we can fulfill our careers.
With all these lifestyle changes, it’s normal for married couples to lose connection and struggle to keep up with their marital duties.
Don’t let that be you!
Evolve with your marriage. Be open to making mistakes and learning from them. Communicate with your partner and build on the trust and love you both have for each other. Express your love through gratification and intimacy. And most of all – make time for each other.
There you have it! 10 tips to maintaining a strong marriage after kids.
How has your marriage transformed since having kids? Share with me in the comments below.