My husband and I are about to reach a major marriage milestone: 10 years. For the past three months I’ve been fumbling through a strange period of awe, reflection, and an overwhelming sense of Time. Photo’s remind us of where years have gone, but suddenly we find ourselves with three children [update: four!], and the struggle to maintain the beautiful and unique marriage relationship is at a new high.
But the marriage must remain at the heart of our efforts. Becoming a parent we learn to value “time” immensely. We long for a few undisturbed moments together and getting out seems like another life..
But when the kids leave home, it’s just you and your beloved again. Take time to sow seeds of love.
Refuse to take each other, and all you are both doing to keep things sane, for granted.
I by no means have all the answers, but here are some tips from our experiences that may bless you:
- Recognize things are different and don’t kick yourselves for not getting out.
- Don’t refuse a babysitting offer. If its with someone you can truly entrust your children to, do get out and don’t feel guilty about it.
- Find “a single moment” together. When all the kids are in bed, even if that’s just 10 minutes before the littlest awakes for a feeding, take one single, intentional moment together. This can even be the few seconds after you get the kids in the car. The doors are closed, you are alone, and no one is fighting, yet.
- Make a date, even in your own house! When the kids are in bed, avoid doing the usual things…cleaning, catching up on work or reading…Take a moment together, if your time is short, put two cups of coffee on the table, catch up with an enjoy eachother. Have some hours? Get the popcorn and have a movie or programme night.
- Discuss and maybe even plan what you would really like to do. That way, when an opportunity arises you are ready. Otherwise, the chance will come and you may be so brain-dead and indecisive that you just end up on the couch again.
- Savor the little, hidden moments. After you put the kids in the car, or nudge a foot under the the dinner table, make eyecontact when passing eachother, linger at any “welcome home” or “goodbye” greeting. It’s so easy to miss these when the kids are jumping around you. Try to stop and notice.
- Don’t forget to kiss! Stealing away a moment while little ones are running outside or baby is playing in the box is special! A good kiss moment can make you forget, for an instant, the troubles of the day. They are good reminders of your oneness, kind of like someone saying “snap out of it!” when your brain feels like mush and there’s spit-up on your sleeve.
Good luck….this is worth fighting for!
Do you have tips for maintaining intimacy after kid(s) enter the picture? Please share!