I am a firm believer that our marriages should be the relationship priority in our lives. Yes, our role as mothers is crucial and demands and deserves our whole hearts. But the interesting thing about raising kids is that they don’t just need a caretaker; they need parents who love and respect each other.
Our kids sense things that we don’t think they can. For instance, how Daddy treats Mommy. And how happy Mommy is. They yearn for the stability and comfort of parents who laugh together, play together, cherish each other, and show physical affection.
So often our marriages take a back seat to parenting after kids come along. But this is very dangerous. You and your husband founded your family. It is because of you that your children exist. And the children won’t be around forever. If you neglect your marriage while you are raising kids, what happens when these children leave home and it’s just the two of you again?
Bottom line: Your spouse should come before your kids.
An article on FamilyShare.com, written by a marriage and family therapist and an author (husband and wife) shares four reasons why it’s important for spouses to put each other first:
- “Your children need to see how marriage works
- “It creates a feeling of romance in your marriage
- “Children who are continually number one become self-centered
- “It helps everything else in your life go better”
The way I see it, no matter how good of a parent you are, YOU will be happier, more fulfilled, and less stressed if YOU have a healthy, stable, loving relationship with your partner.
So what things can us as mothers do to put our husbands FIRST? Here are some ideas:
- Always greet and say goodbye to each other with a kiss.
- Be excited when your spouse gets home, and talk to each other about your day.
- Go on regular dates with each other. (At home dates count too, as long as they’re deliberate!)
- Strive to come to a consensus about all of the big decisions in the family. And tell your kids that you and your spouse discuss things with each other before making big decisions. Make it known to your kids that you two are always on the same page and that you cannot be divided.
- Take care of yourself enough to feel good about yourself. This helps your self-esteem overall and can help you feel more up to spending quality time with your spouse.
- Keep the spark alive in your relationship in simple ways, like writing him love notes, instigating intimacy, and talking about things he enjoys.
- Be open and honest with your spouse about your feelings, your hopes, your dreams, your fears, your frustrations, your desires… Everything.
I also have some ideas on how you can make date night a priority in your marriage! This is something my hubby and are I always trying to work on. We LOVE date night, and we honestly try to make it happen, even if we can’t do it every single week.
For one thing, The Dating Divas are an amazing resource for all things “dating your mate”!
Another suggestion I have is to start a date swap. This is such a fun way to go on dates, save money, and get to know other families! Ask a family that you already know well enough (you want to feel comfortable letting your kids be babysat by them), and set up a schedule where you trade date nights. If you do it every weekend, one couple gets Friday night and the other couple gets Saturday. The couple taking their turn babysitting watches your kids for you, for FREE, while you go on your date. Then when you swap, you watch the other couple’s kids while they have their date night. Pretty simple, right??? I think the hardest part is finding a couple that you know and trust enough to set this up with. And these date swaps are definitely easier to with a couple that lives fairly close to you.
Our marriages are SO important, not just for us, but for our children as well. Balancing everything in life is hard, but these important relationships (marital and family relationships) are always worth the effort, dedication, sacrifice, and perseverance.
Here is another article on strengthening marriage while being parents: