Raising children involves a lot of hard work on a daily basis, we all know that. But what some people don’t realise is that while they are busy raising their kids, they forget the most important aspect of their life- their marriage! Don’t beat yourself if you do this. Its very easy to forget the romance and marriage when you are spending time with your bundle of joy and being rewarded by toothless smiles and smelly nappies!
Nevertheless, you still need to maintain your marriage and your relationship with your spouse. Don’t get alarmed if you haven’t been doing so, here are some top tips on how to keep your marriage strong after kids.
Spend time together- Alone
If you have got a child whose less than a year old, it will be difficult to do this. If you have got help of grandparents or friends who are willing to look after your child for a couple of hours, take their help. Just do simple things like going out for dinner or going for coffee. It will go a long way. Make sure that when do go out – have proper husband-wife conversations. Don’t play with your phone or fight about trivial issues.
Help each other out
If one of you is sitting idle and the other is just overloaded with housework or nappy changes, this might lead to animosity between the two of you. Be considerate, help out the other if you are idle. That way if both of you have finished all your chores and your baby is asleep, you can spend time together, for example watching television together.
Early bedtimes for kids
From a very early age (as soon as possible after birth), try to follow a fixed schedule every day for your child especially evenings- Establish a routine. Dinner, bath,bedtime. If you cultivate this habit in your baby or child to go to sleep early (7ish) , you and your spouse will have plenty of time to relax and spend time together every evening. What would seem impossible like putting your feet up, would be easy to achieve!
Appreciate each other
In every relationship, appreciation for each other is very important. Same goes for couples. If your spouse helps you with your share of chores, just so that you can relax after a hard day, make sure you appreciate the help! Kind words always work wonders.
Remember your pre kids days
Once you have a child, try remembering the fun and romance in your life you had before you had a child. In case, you used to do certain activities together like playing cards – continue the same after your child is born. Make time for yourself and your marriage.
Think of yourself too
Once children are born, parents tend to think of the child only. They do not think of themselves and their marriage which in my opinion,is not a good parenting skill. If you are happy your spouse is happy and then your children will be happy too ! I am not saying that you think of yourself only but it is ok and normal to take some time out for yourself and for your spouse. Initially you will find it hard to juggle time for everything and everybody but if you make a conscientious effort, you will not only succeed but also be very happy!
Keep your bedroom child free
By the age of 1, try to shift the cot out of your bedroom. Let your child sleep in their own room. Again, this will be hard but keep persevering. Your goal here is to make your bedroom free of children and their items! This is necessary as you need to have your own space as a couple. When your child gets older teach them to knock on your bedroom door before entering. As your children get older and more aware of things, you have to teach them to respect your (parents’s) privacy.
Have faith in each other
Whether you have children or not, having faith in your spouse is a must in every marriage. Continue the faith once you have children. Respect each other even if you are very tired and frustrated with bringing up kids. Respect each other especially when kids are present. Even if you have disagreements do it in a normal tone and don’t get into a shouting session.
Keep the romance alive
Keep the romance alive. Buy your spouse a surprise gift, nothing expensive, just a token to express your love. Don’t stop cuddling or kissing each other or even holding hands when you go for walks in the park with your kids. When my husband and I hug each other, the kids come and hug us and it becomes a family hug. Children like it when parents express their love for each other in their presence. This also provides more security to your child and therefore they will feel even more loved.
Always keep in mind each others likes/dislikes
For example if you are cooking dinner , don’t always cook what your children like or eat. Try to remember and cook your spouse’s favourite dish and your spouse would then show her/his appreciation and this would do wonders to your relationship. Children on the other hand would learn to eat different dishes and not be fussy eaters!
As per my previous post, parenting tips for children, children always copy their parents. If they see their parents having love and mutual respect for each other- they will also learn to love and respect their parents. Even though you haven’t been doing any of the above – it’s never too late ! You can start today or now! In case, you would like to share some more tips please put them in the comment box below. I would love to take suggestions from you too !