You and your spouse can thrive in your marriage after having kids. I want to share with you quick and easy tips that have helped strengthen my marriage with my husband as we balance our marriage and parenting responsibilities.
Then one day, everything changed.
He wasn’t the same happy man that I married, he was often anxious and stressed. I wasn’t the same girl he married either, I was constantly busy with making sure our home was beautiful and the children were being cared for.
It wasn’t until we realized the real reason for the change in our marriage. We had young children in our home (and a lot of them).
When my husband and I first realized our marriage was evolving with children in our home, we took some time to come together and really talk through things.
Our conversations must have been interrupted more times than I can count from the cries of newborns to the sticky hugs of toddlers. But this is the life we wanted. We wanted children more than anything.
We just didn’t realize how crazy this adventure was turning out to be, and how our marriage could make or break this new life experience we were sharing together.
It wasn’t until we got through some of the hardest times in our marriage (including the adjustment stage of having and adding children into our home) that we finally figured out a way to strengthen our marriage with kids running underfoot.
I want to share with you what has been working great for my husband and me in our marriage together. My hopes are that something I share will help strengthen your marriage and your relationship with your spouse.
How To Keep Thriving In Your Marriage After Having Kids
Don’t Let Your Husband Become An Afterthought – Let Him Be Your Thoughts
Having kids is like being stuck on the craziest parts of a rollercoaster ride (look at you go, you thrill seeker, you). You’re having a blast, you feel a little sick to your stomach, then you feel like you’re going to throw up, and then when it’s time to tuck the children into bed, you’re completely exhausted!
(Oh no, you’re still on the ride. You have kids, remember?)
It’s no wonder it’s so easy to put your marriage on the backburner!
“Oh, we will have our date night on Friday,” you say as you fall asleep on each other’s shoulders.
One of the worst things I did for my marriage was allowed my husband to become an afterthought. I became so busy with caring for the children and making sure their needs were met that I kept telling myself, “Oh, he understands. He won’t miss me if I go to bed early tonight.”
Your husband cannot become an afterthought, you need to make him your thoughts. You need to spend time with him just as he needs to spend time with you.
Can you expect to have a beautiful rose garden if you don’t take time to water the flowers and pull the weeds? Then how can you expect a beautiful marriage if you don’t spend time together?
You don’t need to spend time in the marriage bed if you don’t want. Not all of the time you spend with your husband needs to be spent this way. You can easily play a silly video game with him, simply talk, or enjoy a bowl of ice cream together.
No matter what you decide to do, do something that will strengthen your marriage together.
Communicate, Communicate, Communicate
You and your husband are two very different people trying to be on the same team. But if you don’t take the time to communicate so you’re on the same page, you’re going to start building up resentment in your marriage. I don’t want this for you.
And I know you don’t want this in your marriage either.
Now, I’m not talking about “communicating about the kid’s” conversations. My husband and I can talk about our children until the cows come home (and we don’t even have any cows). But spending our time this way won’t help our marriage at all!
You have to spend time communicating with your spouse in a way that will strengthen your marriage and keep you learning more about each other.
My husband and I love asking each other questions.
These questions allow us into the hearts and minds of the other person and for a brief moment, we feel like we did when we were dating. We are getting to know each other, we love being with each other, and we love growing closer together in our marriage with one another.
Enjoy the Kids Together, But Don’t Let Your Children Consume Your Entire Life
Remember when I said that I allowed the children to consume my life and I would often go to bed early to catch up on some needed sleep?
My husband, although an incredibly sweet support, never once complained. But I can’t take back the times when he felt unloved and unwanted by me and in our marriage.
I never intended for him to feel this way, but because I was putting the children above his needs, our marriage suffered.
And I had a choice to make. I could keep doing what I was doing (wake up, keep little people alive, make dinner, and go to bed when the kids did) or I could sacrifice an hour or two of sleep and spend time with my sweetheart.
I’m not going to lie, the first few nights of staying up were hard. Part of the hardship came because my husband wasn’t use to seeing me up that “late” (yes, 7:30 pm is horribly late after you have babies) and he would often invite me to go to bed.
But over the course of a few days, we connected again with each other.
Having and building on this connection ultimately allowed us to enjoy time together as a family. My husband didn’t harbor his subconscious resentment towards the children for taking me away from him anymore.
We started to realize that our marriage can thrive with kids as we spent time together. And we had lengthy discussions on how to best spend this time together to build our marriage.
Keep Dating Your Husband & Enjoy Quality Time Together
One of the conclusions we came to about spending time together is enjoying quality time (versus quantity time) together.
You can spend an hour with someone (quantity) but not do a thing, or spend 20 minutes of quality time and have this experience be a reprieve for your soul.
My husband and I missed going on dates with each other but at the time we didn’t have family close by, and our children were too young for us to leave (especially with one always nursing).
When we were in our 20s with young kids, it was often hard to have intimacy as much as we did when we were newlyweds (mainly because we really needed sleep).
If you find yourself asking how often do couples in their 20s make love, then you might be surprised.
So we enjoyed having date nights at home and in those moments when we could get away with just the two of us (such as Christmas shopping for an hour), we took advantage of holding each other’s hands, flirting like we did when we were dating (who says flirting has to stop after you’re married?), and strengthening our relationship with God.
By choosing to spend our time dating each other and coming closer to Christ, we began to notice that the foundation in our marriage was strengthening.
Our foundation was strengthened in Christ, but the “home” (our marriage) on which was resting on the foundation was becoming more beautiful each day.
Draw Closer To God And Ultimately Come Closer To Your Husband
Having the foundation of our marriage centered in Christ has strengthened us during some of the greatest trials in our married life.
I don’t doubt for a minute that if it wasn’t for Christ, our marriage would not have lasted some of the trials that we have gone through together.
There have been times when the adversary has buffeted us to the edge of the cliff, but as my husband and I open our hearts to Christ, he has come and carried us through.
This isn’t to say that our trials have been easy to go through together. Quite the opposite!
But what else could we do? We could either give up on our marriage, shake hands and say, “Well, we tried” and allow our family to be torn apart.
Or, we could cling onto each other a little tighter, allow the children to see us depend on the Lord for strength, and ultimately preserve and save our family unit because we know that Christ is at the head of this marriage.
Having Christ at the head of this marriage and my husband and I partner with the Savior, we have not only strengthened our marriage but have been blessed with inspiration, guidance, and comfort in knowing how to raise our children together.
Refocusing on your marriage after having kids will be one of the best things you can do for your relationship.
Remember, you aren’t married to the same man you said, “I do” to all those years ago. You are changing and so is he.
As you give your husband your time and attention, instead of allowing him to become an afterthought, you’ll find that your communication will improve, you’ll enjoy your time with the children more, resentment for your family life and marriage will decrease, and you’ll find greater happiness in your marriage.
How do you make time for your spouse after you have kids? What has worked well for you? Share with us in the comments below.
Micah Klug is a wife, homeschooling mother to five children, and author. She teaches time-tested solutions to help parents remember what matters most in life, including strengthening their home, faith, and family relationships. To learn how a child who grew up in an authoritarian home is now creating an environment of peace and joy in her own home visit this page. If you want to contact Micah, send her an email here or email [email protected].