7 Tips to Keeping your Relationship Strong (even after kids)
I was excited when people asked for advice on how to make time for your significant other in the midst of the chaos that life throws at us and especially when you throw a kid (or 2) into the mix. If you haven’t read about our love story, we have been together since we were 14 and have been able to continue to grow together and not apart.
I am not an expert, but have learned a lot over the past 15 years with my huband and I want to share our story in hopes it can help others.
How have we made it work? We have always put eachother first and that has not changed even after having 2 kiddos.
Do Spencer and I still have our differences? Yes, but we are aware of how important our relationship is to not just us, but to the health and wellbeing of our family—so we have always made “us” a priority. Below are things that we do to make sure we prioritize our relationship and it has kept our flame burning brighter every year.
Don’t let anyone tell you that having kids “ruins” your relationship. Yes, there are hard times and yes, it is extremely stressful, but if you work at it and remember to put each other first, I promise it is worth it!
Here are the 7 of the ways we keep our relationship a priority:
I said it in our love story blog but even after kids, don’t forget who you were before and what your each other’s love languages are. If you haven’t read this book, every couple should! This is number one because if you haven’t read this yet, you and your significant other need to and then move on to the rest of list. :-)
2. We are huge believers in “date-nights”. We try to do weekly dates— this does not mean you have to actually go out out, but things even as simple as watching a movie at home, playing a game or going in the hot tub. I know this isn’t always easy, but I feel it is so important to reconnect after a long week of our chaotic lives. When we are on our date-nights or date days, we make sure to talk about things other than the kiddos. This doesn’t mean that we don’t bring up how much we miss them and how impressed we are with them, etc (haha), but we were “us” before our 2 little ones and there is so much more to talk about—past, present or future— that helps us to continue to get to know each other and keep the passion there. I can definitely see how couples can easily lose touch over the years after having kids because life with kids is chaotic!
3. Almost as important as date nights/days with your significant other is having you time. Finding a good balance between you family time and life outside of your family time will make you a better wife, better mother and overall a better person. For me it’s the gym, dinner with friends, and work.
4. Don’t be afraid to lean on family and friends. Building in a support system of family and friends has helped us tremendously to be able to make time for each other. If you do not live near family, lean on friends and find a reliable babysitter/nanny. It may take a lot of effort, but I promise it is worth it.
5. Spencer and I communicate all throughout the day whether it is a phone call at lunch, texts or sharing something funny on social media. To me, it helps keep that closeness, so that it feels like we are there with each other throughout the day. With that being said, while we do communicate about a lot of important things like finances, scheduling, and todo lists—we also talk about funny instances during the day, flirt with each other, and talk about other non-“business” topics. We are each others best friends and have many laugh out loud moments that remind me why we fell in love—and that we still are. That’s important. Never forget who you were before the kids.
6. We put our kids to bed early (6:30-7:30) and this works best for us and them. We created a bedtime routine for the kids from day one and still follow it so bedtime is “easy” not stressful. The only way to have a relationship outside of your kids is to have time away from them. It is so nice having just “us” time every night after they go down and we look forward to having adult conversations. :-)
7. Last but certainly not least, we make sure to make intimacy a priority even when we are exhausted and tired and could make a million excuses. Make sex and intimacy and connecting an everyday habit. Get creative, change it up and keep the flame alive.
Don’t forget to put your significant other first. Life gets crazy and kids make it even crazier, but embrace the chaos together and I hope you can use these 7 tips to keep the fire burning bright.