If you've poked around this blog even a little bit since the beginning of this year, you know that the goal I have for my writing is to encourage other couples (and myself as well), to make their marriage a priority through every stage of their life. Joe and I have always had to put effort into putting our marriage first because we have so many other things on our individual schedules. Now, with a new baby in the house, we really have to work to keep putting each other first. Yes, Bensen is a huge priority for us and he requires a lot of our attention, but that doesn't mean we get to put our relationship with each other on hold.
Weekly Date Night
One of my goals this year has been to be more intentional about our date nights. I set this goal as one of my five intentional areas at the beginning of the year with this life event in mind. Getting into the habit of planned weekly date nights was important to me because I knew that it would be harder once the baby was here. With our new work schedules, Joe and I will have a guaranteed date night every Friday or Saturday which is actually a lot more consistent than we were having date night before. Whether we're out by ourselves, out with the baby or having date night at home after Bensen has gone to bed, I want to keep our date nights regular.
Daily Time Together
Three days a week, I'll be leaving for work early and Joe will be getting home kind of late. We've tried to arrange our schedules so that someone is able to be home with Bensen as much as possible and so that we are also able to see each other as much as possible. With both of us working full time, Joe running his lawn care business and me in school, this can be tricky. I want to make sure that even on the days when we don't see each other for the entire day, we still set aside our phones, turn off the TV and make time together a priority.
Spending intentional time together will help us continue to make our relationship with each other a priority. I loved this post from Life Could Be a Dream about the importance of media free time with your spouse and 10 ideas of things you can do together after the kids are in bed.
This activity includes all of us, but long walks together have been one of mine and Joe's favorite things to do together since the beginning of our relationship and I want it to be a tradition of ours forever. Late night summer walks are our favorite, and I know that with our schedule we won't be able to take them daily, but I plan on fitting them into our daily routine whenever possible. Joe and I may not be able to hold hands the entire time anymore, but we can still have quality conversation and enjoy spending time together. And when our kids are old enough, we can leave them home and go on walks just the two of us.
I love this resource from One Extraordinary Marriage to help keep the conversation going in your marriage. It would be great for date nights, long walks together or late night chats over a cup of hot chocolate or a bowl of ice cream. (This is an affiliate link.)
We love spending time as a little family and Bensen is a good baby so taking him out with us isn't inconvenient, but time with just the two of us is extremely important too. Since his birth six and a half weeks ago, we have been fortunate enough to go on two baby free date nights. My mom offered to take him when he was a week and a half old so that we could go to my company movie event together and my mother in law asked if she could tend so that Joe could take me out to dinner Mother's Day weekend. People are so eager to spend time with our sweet little man that we even have our first baby free 24 hours planned for our anniversary weekend coming up. A lot of new parents may not feel ready to leave their baby as soon as we did, and that's totally ok! Quality time is both of our love languages, so that time alone is a priority for us and strengthens our relationship more than anything else.
As our family grows and our kids get older, this list may look a little different. No matter our stage in life, we will always find a way to make our marriage a priority, even if something, like a newborn in our home, comes in at a very close second priority wise. The longer we are together, the stronger I want our relationship to be and I know that can only happen if we are constantly working on it.
More great posts about making your marriage a priority after kids come along:
I'm 49% Mother and 51% Wife - And it Has to Be That Way by Ashleigh Slater
When Kids Take Priority in Your Marriage from One Extraordinary Marriage
Where Are Your Priorities from One Extraordinary Marriage
10 Ways To Keep the Romance Alive After Kids from The Dating Divas
What things do you do in your marriage to keep that relationship a priority when you have kids?