Lucky No. 7: 7 Ways to Nurture your Marriage as Parents

This past weekend, my husband surprised me with a night away to celebrate our 7th year. (You can read more about us here.) I was excited and also had some of those butterfly nervous feelings because honestly, we've been parents first and foremost lately. I am not saying this is a bad thing, though I know there is great debate over whether a marriage or kids should come first.

We try to balance both, and I think we do it well, but lately balancing it has become more difficult. S has been sick and therefore, caring for him has taken a front seat for us. This past weekend gave us the opportunity to put ourselves first and focus on our marriage, if even just for a very limited time.

It felt great. To just be husband and wife. To be pampered (thanks, babe!). To just be together. I highly recommend parents get away and do this, too.

It's no secret that parenthood changes and challenges a marriage. If you find yourself trying to balance your marriage and parenthood, here are some things I've found helpful:

1. Help one another. 
A marriage is never 50-50 but spouses can alternate who carries the "weight." Don't let your partner feel like (s)he is drowning in housework or parental duties alone.

2. Write love notes.
They can be on social media or hidden in your partner's lunch. Don't forget to remind your partner why you love them, what you love about them and give them praise where praise is due. It's cute, can go a long way, and takes very little effort.

3. Take time to focus on yourselves.
This means both as individuals, as a couple, and as a family. Of course, you love your kids, but it's important to practice good self care and to nurture your relationship. If your relationship is thriving, so too will your little family.

4. Practice empathy.
Try to understand where your partner is coming from. Communication is a big key to success in this area.

5. Communicate. 
Let each other know how you feel and why. Speak to--not at-- one another, and be sure to actively listen to your partner. Empathy ties in here.

6. Be goofy. 
Just because adulthood and parenthood demand much responsibility doesn't mean you have to be serious all the time. Laugh at missteps and mistakes together. It's much more effective than yelling at one another over them.

7. Remember why you fell in love in the first place. 
Your love has likely evolved during parenthood--that's normal. Trust that your foundation is strong (if not, work to make it strong) so that you can rely on it when you're feeling frustrated.

1 comment

  1. I love this! Too often as parents we wrapped up in so many other things and it's important to focus on each other.