Married with Children

Last night while I was feeding Will, I picked up my Kindle and started reading a mushy-love-story of a novel–one of those where the hero and heroine love each other so much that they literally cannot survive being apart from each other–and instead of making me feel all romantic, it made me sad.

Sad because my husband and I haven’t spent more than 10 minutes alone together since the baby was born.

Sad because that must-spend-time together romance disappeared about 12 seconds after our firstborn was born.

Sad because there was a time when we were that hero and heroine back in the day when we were 21 and had no responsibilities aside from going to work and hanging out with each other.

So much has changed.

And I’m not sure how to get the old “us” back– but I know we have to somehow, someway.  Because the truth is that I can’t stand the thought of my kids growing up in a home where their example of marriage is what they’re seeing right now:  Two people who do love each other but never quite have time to make that love grow.  Two people who are so focused on just surviving that they never focus on each other. Two people who once had that mushy-love-story type of love, but lost it along the way.

Does anyone have any tips?!

6 Comments

  1. I think you’re right it’s important for kids to ‘see’ that love. What about a designated play time on a weekend where all mobile kids are given a favorite dvd or toy, promises for ice cream in an hour, and Mom and Dad have a coffee together in the dining room?

    Make sure and laugh loud :)

    Don’t beat yourself up about the new-baby phase though. This is a season. The trick is checking in with each other during that time so you don’t lose so much track by the time baby’s old enough to function that you don’t remember HOW to get your groove back…

    Praying for you babe – and for us. We could all use this kind of recentering. You’re not alone.

  2. I have to believe that if the love, friendship and mutual respect is there… you’ll make it through. I think that first year after a baby is born is just really hard. A year is a long time. But eventually, there’s a point where you start to feel “normal” and the prospect of going out on a date doesn’t seem out of the question. My tip is to hold on.

  3. I’d say fake it till you make it. I’m in a similar situation. I have been so tired/fat/lazy for a year after my son was born….feeling everything but attractive and not feeling very attracted to my husband at all (actually not attracted to the work that had to be done to make our relationship better and stronger). Although we’re not back to where we were, after a few forced dates, we’ve gotten better. Just like praying or reading your Bible: sometimes you don’t want to. But you have to, TILL you want to.

    That’s how it’s been with us, anyway.

  4. It’s so hard when the kids are little. I think being aware that you want it to be different is HUGE. We try to do date nights, but it’s real hit or miss for us. (And getting a sitter means it will be expensive, no matter where we go or what we do).
    The only advice I can give is keep trying to make couple time. It is worth the effort.

  5. My husband asks me all the time to go out on dates. Up until lately, it’s been hard for me to want to go out alone with him (although I wanted to) because I didn’t think our littliest one would understand mommy and daddy leaving her and her brother alone with someone else (granted, it was family members). But now our littliest one is 2 and her brother is 4, and since my in-laws have been begging to baby-sit for years, my husband told them they could when they came to town last Saturday. So my husband and I went to Starbucks around the corner from our house and just sat and talked for about an hour. I found that, once I got out of the house, I was fine – and we left the kids playing happily with their grandparents. Seeing them happily playing and not crying at the door, like they would have been doing when they were littlier, comforted me. I really enjoyed being alone with him: no interruptions in our conversation, no spills, no sharing food (although normally I don’t mind doing this for our kids, but you know – everyone says we have to have a break as parents). We got to talk about things that have been on our mind lately and what we would like to have happen next in our lives – things that we’ve both been thinking about lately but only been able to talk about here and there around the house.

    We picked the morning to go out on our date because it’s the best time of day for our kids. And we told them that when we returned, we’d all go out to eat lunch. The kids did a great job, my husband and I enjoyed talking and relaxing together (and having Starbucks food and drinks – what a treat in itself!), and now, I very much look forward to going out with my husband again! He said we need to make it a once-a-month habit, which I think it reasonable and attainable. If we tried for, say, every weekend, that would probably be too much for our kids right now. But once they’re older, we can do it more often.

    We really need these dates to rekindle and reconnect with our spouses.

  6. My best advice is to let grandpa and grandma take the kids for a weekend and get a “honeymoon” in and rekindle (pun intended) that flame. You need time as children of Christ who were made for each other to share in each other’s bodies and love. Take time for a weekend away from the house and romance each other like you would have back on that first honeymoon. I’m talking champagne, chocolate covered strawberries, big jacuzzi suite. You NEED this!! You don’t get the moments in life to rekindle that flame and passion once kids are there without taking some away time even for just one night. Then bring the kids home the next day (you’ll be mushy in love again) and have a HUGE family night spending tons of loving time with all of them together again.

    Good luck and praying for that spark!

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