3 Things That Have Helped Our Marriage
Real talk time. Marriage is hard. If you can believe it we met when we were only 19 years old. 19!!! That’s not even legal drinking age in the US. Dating at such a young age meant that we had a lot of growing to do both individually and together. Today we want to share the three things that we have implemented into our relationship since having kids and how they have made our relationship stronger.
Tip 1: Weekly Date Nights
This was the first thing we impletented into our relationship after having kids. We knew before Neva arrived that we wanted to get out just the two of us as soon as was reasonable. Luckily about 8 weeks post-partum we had a wedding to attend in downtown Chicago so it was a perfect moment to rip the bandaid off and dive in. Since that time we have been having weekly date nights almost without exception. To make this happen we have a standing babysitter and when all else fails we plan a fun night in for after the kids are in bed. A night out for us can be anything from a nice dinner to a walk to get ice cream. A date night in usually consists of ordering in and playing a game. The point is to make it intentional kid-free time together.
Tip 2: Shared Calendar
How it took us so long to start this I will never understand. This stemmed from us both feeling like we had to ask permission every time one of us wanted to do something. With the shared calendar we can see each others schedules and plan our haircuts or doctors appointments accordingly. There are so many shared calendar apps out there but we simply just have a shared calendar on the iPhone’s calendar app and it does the job for us.
Tip 3: Allowing each other to have our “me time”
Now when we say allowing each other to have their own time, we mean guilt free. If Joe wants to go golfing and I say yes I can’t later make him feel bad for going golfing when I told him that day and time worked. If I want to go grab drinks with girlfriends then I go without worrying about the kids or feeling bad for leaving Joe with both girls for a few hours. Just because we are married and parents together doesn’t mean everything we do has to revolve around each other or our kids. By having independent hobbies we have found we are more excited to spend time together and with our kids.
What all three of these things have in common is that we actively choose to respect each other. We are choosing to respect each others time, prioritize our relationship and know that by having our own identities outside of the home we only grow stronger.
If you don’t already do these three tips, try them out and see how different your week feels. Because at the end of the day, happy parents makes for happy kids.
We’d love to hear from you. What things do you and your partner do consistently that has helped your relationship grow stronger?