How To Have a Healthy Marriage After Kids
How is your marriage doing? Smooth sailing or some heavy turbulence. Maybe a bit of both.
Especially if there are kids involved.
Having kids is amazing. But it is also hard. And it can knock you on your butt.
And hot dang it can throw your relationship for a loop. The loop de loop of all loops.
Couples have to learn how to have a healthy marriage after kids.
I am not a pro at this marriage gig. My husband and I are finding the balance of thriving to surviving on a continuous loop. That is just part of marriage.
There was a time when your spouse hung the moon. At least in your eyes. Flash forward to now. It may look like a quick peck on the lips on the way out the door. And a swift kick in bed because it is his turn to get up with the baby.
It is easy to get caught up in life.
And a little too easy to forget that you are a couple. But your relationship is the foundation of your family. The home you have built together started with the two of you.
Maybe you are feeling stuck on the struggle bus. Or maybe you just need to do a little tune-up. Either way, these tips are for you.
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Here Are 7 Tips on How To Have a Healthy Marriage After Kids
1) You have to make time for each other
This seems like a no brainer. But it is much too often something that is not made a priority.
You know you should be making time for date nights. But it just keeps slipping through the cracks. And before you know it months have gone by. And date night seems like something you only see in the movies.
They always have babysitters in those dang romantic comedies!
I get it. It is hard to make time for date nights and alone time. I do not have an endless list of babysitters on speed dial. I have a few family members to turn to.
But you have to make your marriage a priority. Especially when kids come along and life is beyond busy.
Ever find yourself guilty of just settling and saying this is the way things are? I find myself doing this.
Do not make excuses as to why your relationship deserves much less than your best effort.
There will always be a way to justify doing or not doing something. Do better.
Plan an at-home date night and make it a special occasion. Schedule time out together whenever you can.
I know this is no easy task. Here is a simple thing we do at my house. Get a small dry erase board that is just for writing down date nights. Stick it on your fridge and make sure it always has a specific date of when your next date night is. This is a perfect way to hold yourself accountable. Plan and follow through!
2) Talk about things other than your kids
Talking about your kids is great. And necessary. Kind of comes with the job description.
But that is not all you can talk about.
You are not just a parent. It may feel like that at times. But I can assure you there is much more to you than a one-word title.
And I am sure you have more on your mind than healthy snacks and potty habits.
What did you talk about before kids were there to dominate every conversation? I’ll give you a second to think about that. Talk about a challenge!
Break the pattern of listing off every cute or annoying thing your child did. Talk about anything else. Talk about everything else.
3) Accept that change is inevitable
Kids change your life. They change your relationship. There is no way around this.
And these changes are probably a little different than you pictured them in your head. That’s OK.
You have to find a new way. This doesn’t mean you have to completely forget about how you two were. But your path is definitely altered.
There are other actual human beings that need your attention. That’s a lot to handle!
Fighting the changes kicking and screaming will get you nowhere. But embracing what is thrown at you will make things a little easier.
You know the best part? You have someone right there that is on this crazy ride with you. Be there to support each other through it all.
4) Be grateful
Look around you. Think of all the things that bring you so much joy. Yeah, there are probably quite a few things that get under your skin. I’m looking at you socks right next to the dirty clothes hamper.
But think about the home you created. The life and the family you have built. Those are not things to take for granted. And I know this is easier said than done. Some days running off to a remote island by yourself sounds like a pretty fantastic idea. But you would (most likely) want to come back after not too long.
Find something to be grateful for every single day. Something in your day to day life. Something in your partner. Really notice these things. Say them out loud. Write them down.
Appreciate life and the person you chose to go through it with.
5) Look for the good in your partner
You know what is sexy? A good dad. A man who just ran to the store to get milk last minute. Seeing a man getting his hair and makeup done while playing tea party.
My husband has become so much more attractive to me since adding dad to his resume.
This is part of embracing the changes that parenthood brings. You get to see the person you love in a new light and this can literally make your heart burst.
6) Have your own life
This is about marriage but you are one of the key players involved. Just like you are more than a mom, you are also not just a wife. What do you say when you start describing yourself? You know what I always said first? I am a wife and a mother. Which is true, obviously. But I was having a hard time coming up with much else.
Women wear a lot of different hats. Are we ever wearing one that just says something about us? My hat would say a coffee loving chick who has epic one-woman dance parties to 80’s music. Might have to condense that a little to make it fit. But you get the point.
What would your hat say?
Do things for yourself. Bring your best self to your relationship.
This blog changed the game when it came to having something for myself. Read all about how to start a blog!
7) Work together… not against each other
Do not become so distant that you forget you are on the same team. It can get to the point where your only interaction becomes taking jabs back and forth. Listing off complaints and things to do.
Someone has to call a time out.
Marriage is hard. Parenting is hard. Put them together and holy freaking cow! Hard does not even begin to describe it.
Remember he was your boo, or bae, or whatever silly nickname you call him. The people you were before kids came around are still there. They just may look a little rough around the edges.
Having kids does not mean you have to completely abort mission. Forget about everything.
You are just taking a more scenic route now.
Marriage is messy. Marriage with kids is messier.
And there will be times when it feels like you two are a million miles apart. Even when you are in the same room.
Congratulations. You are in the same boat as most couples. At least I hope so. I do know for sure this is what my marriage goes through.
If all else fails, look back at old pics and reminisce. Think about how great it was when it was just the two of you. Have an open and honest talk about the good old days. And by good old days I mean the days before you had absolutely no privacy. The days when day drinking and hangovers were not such a big deal. The days when you did not have to plan weeks in advance for a dang date night.
Thinking about these things does not mean you love your kids any less. It doesn’t mean you aren’t grateful for your life.
Your life may be quite a bit different now. But is it safe to say it is so much better? Even if it is hard to see that at times. You know that the little people in your home have completely stolen your heart.
Just remember who stole your heart first.
Check out Marriage Fitness with Mort Fertel for a deeper look at ways to help your marriage!
Got any tips on how to have a healthy marriage after kids?
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