The theme for this week's Mommy Style Monday is how we stay connected with our spouses once there are kiddos in the picture. I love this topic because I know my husband I have certain things we do that I'll share, but I am also looking forward to hearing what works for other couples out there!
Recently, a woman at our Church was encouraging us to be sure to go out on dates at least once a month. When we politely tried to disagree for various reasons, she didn't seem to understand that there are other ways for couples to stay connected and reconnect once you have kids. We didn't press any further, and just kind of 'smiled and nodded' and moved on with life.
You see, I married my best friend whom I love very much, and we were married for almost 7 years before we became parents. We had always wanted children, and we got to spend those (almost) 7 years building our lives together as a foundation for our forever family. We didn't get to choose when we'd have kids (I don't think most people really do, right?) and looking back I'm so glad we had all that time together to continue to date, converse and get to know each other before another little human was added into our family. Now that there is a little one, we love to spend time together as a family! We had those 7 years as just us, and we love sharing time as a family of 3 now!
Here are three things we intentionally do to connect in our marriage:
- Alone time/Dates at Home. Our son also goes to bed a couple hours before we do. So, we get all that 'alone' time after he goes to bed and we fill it with some chores, chatting, show watching (Love Amazon Prime! Have you seen This Is Us?!?! We love it! (Get the NBC app and watch it free!)) and whatever else we'd like! (A couple other things we do play scrabble or rent/watch a movie (redbox or Prime!))
- Couple meeting. On Sunday nights we have a little couple meeting after our son goes to bed. It's a time where we go through what's going on in the coming week in our schedules (like any important dates/birthdays/parties/etc.) and how we are doing. It's also a time where we really reconnect and can also talk through any issues that may have come up during the previous week. We find that when we set aside that time on Sunday nights we are less likely to feel like we have to hash through something haphazardly during the week that can wait until we can calmly discuss it and that there is an actual time to bring things up. We got this idea from our Sunday School class at Church, and we've really enjoyed how it encourages us to stay on the same page in life, our marriage and our parenting!
- (Family) Getaway. At least once a year we try to take a (family) getaway, sometimes just for a day, but preferably overnight somewhere fairly close. We generally try to unplug from technology, spend time together enjoying God's creation. When we lived in NC we went to Charlotte, the mountains or the beach. Before we had a child we would stay in cute little bed and breakfasts. Since most aren't kid-friendly (fair enough) we've decided to find places that are kid friendly and also fun for adults to patron! So this past fall we stayed in a Yurt at the YMCA Snow Mountain Ranch and really enjoyed being in the mountains together. Just yesterday we got back from the YMCA of the Rockies near Estes Park where we had the BEST time! On our drive home my husband and I both commented that we wouldn't have had as much had it just been the two of us. I mean, we would have had fun for sure, but our little man just makes the world SUCH a brighter place. Love my sweet guys.
|Little picture collage of our weekend getaway. Scenic drives, snow picnics, sledding, rollerskating (our son's first time and he was great!!), some of our favorite pizza, lots of time together and no schedule!!|
I think you have to do whatever works for you, your marriage and your family. If you have a sitter you love or family super close who can watch your kid(s) for date night--great! If you carve out time to nurture your marriage with kid(s) around or asleep--great! You have to find what works for you, your comfort level, your spouse and your kid(s). I don't think there are any one size fits all plans for marriage or parenting, but these are the things that have worked for us!
Check out all the other ladies participating below and if you'd like to sign up for the next Mommy Style Monday go to Kiana or Madeline's blogs.