Marriage is hard work. Let’s face it: it’s not all roses and sweet text messages. There are rough days. Life is messy. Josh and I have been married almost 6 years and we have been through a lot the past 6 years. We’ve weathered storms that not every couple has to weather. We’ve also worked hard and accomplished a lot in our years together. We have a beautiful family and I can’t wait to see where the next 6 years take us. That being said, having young children can really take its toll on your marriage, if you are not careful. I see so many couples getting divorced after having children, and before we had Levi, I never really understood why that is. Now, I 100% get it. If you are expecting your first child, here are some things you need to know about having young children and how it will affect your marriage.
Young children are needy creatures. They’re messy. They don’t sleep much and they tend to take most of your focus and attention. I’m not saying at all that young children are bad or having them is a bad thing, but what I am saying is: it’s a huge adjustment for any married couple. Your focus turns from each other to those sweet babies who depend on you.
No matter how much you ‘prepare’ for kids, you can never be ‘fully prepared’ for what life is like after children. I could never imagine my life without Levi, and soon to be, Rebecca. That being said, I don’t think either of us were just the slightest bit prepared for what life with kids would be like. Sure, we knew about the diapers and we saved money, but you can’t prepare yourself and your marriage fully for what it feels like to be solely responsible for a sweet little baby.
You will lose sight of each other. I firmly believe it happens to every couple with young children at one point or another. You get caught up in the daily ‘to do’s’ of life and days, weeks, months even go by and you realize you are simply going through the motions of breakfast, life, dinner and bed. It’s easy to lose sight of your partner and what you were before you had children.
You have to choose each other. Every. Day. Losing sight of each other happens. There have been days that Josh has walked in the door and I haven’t even looked up from cooking dinner, because my brain is fried and I’m exhausted. Making it a point to choose each other daily is so important. This looks different for each couple and it doesn’t always have to come in the form of grand gestures. For us, it means, me stopping whatever I am doing and greeting my husband when he walks in the door. It means him surprising me with flowers when he knows I’ve had a rough week.
You Have to Make Time For Each Other. I know, this isn’t easy for all couples. It’s difficult to find a sitter, or you may work opposite schedules. Trust me when I say this: you HAVE to MAKE time for each other. For us, this means date nights at least once a month. My parents are gracious enough to keep Levi when they are in town, which means we head out for date night. This is a time for us to reconnect, enjoy each other’s company and usually, enjoy a delicious meal.
Recently, we headed to our local Cheddar’s and the experience was wonderful! We were able to reconnect, have a quiet dinner and enjoy the delicious food that we always enjoy when eating at Cheddar’s. Josh opted for their new Bourbon Glazed Pork Chop and he said it was the best pork chop he has ever had! He didn’t even have to use a knife to cut it, that’s how tender it was! We both enjoyed our delicious food, spent some time catching up on life and were able to reconnect. Cheddar’s is the perfect location not only for date night, but also for a family meal! Our dinner was so great, that we ended up meeting for lunch at our local Cheddar’s one day the following week and taking Levi with us!
What other tips do you have for married couples with young children? I would love your input!