Stay at Home Mom

7 Surefire Ways to Sabotage Your Marriage after Kids

I get it. Kids change everything in life. We love them to the ends of the earth, the depths of the ocean, and with our entire mind, body and soul. It’s powerful—the love we have for our children. Some days I find myself just wanting to hug my son all day long. I just want to touch his pillowy cheek to my cheek.

Funny enough, I often recall wanting to touch merely my husband’s cheek back in the day as a form of instant gratification. You know, when you first start dating, and you just want to be as close as possible?

7 major marriage pitfalls you need to avoid! Love these tips!

Somehow, no matter how hard you try, things change after kids. Some good changes, some not. One thing I know for sure is keeping a strong marriage is really important to me. So even though marriage is tough after kids, there are several major pitfalls I’m avoiding like the plague.

1. Focusing only on the kids.

Nowadays it’s all too easy to get wrapped up in the craziness of a household and the needs of the children only to forget about the most important person—the husband. Because without him, there wouldn’t be a marriage, a best friend, or a family at all. A strong marriage equals a strong family foundation, which leads to stronger parenting in the long run.

2. Not taking any time for just yourself.

Even if it’s just an afternoon or a day away, taking a little bit of time to recharge can go a long way. I’m way more intentional with both my husband and my son when I take time to focus on only me. Sure, it seems selfish, and I often feel guilty for leaving, but at the end of the day, it truly is a good thing. I cannot become a better parent or wife without working to become a better person, and that means taking time to invest in myself.

3. Allowing kids to stay up too late.

I know this isn’t for everyone, but an early bedtime for our son has made a HUGE difference in our marriage. Regardless if my husband and I are able to take regular date nights, we are able to enjoy a few hours together every evening talking or just being adults.

4. Avoiding regular date nights.

Okay. We are totally guilty of this, but sometimes you just have to pull the trigger and get a babysitter. I always try to think of it like this: if I don’t invest in my husband and my marriage travels into troubled waters, I will surely regret it. Bonus: if you are able to put your kids to bed early enough, you can go out for dinner after the kids are asleep. Stress-free. You’re kids aren’t missing out on anything, and you are still getting some quality one-on-one time with your husband.

5. Forgetting to make your spouse feel special.

It’s so tough to let the chaos take over, but taking a little bit of time each day to tell your husband what he means to you can make the world of difference. I try. I’m not the greatest at this. Words of affirmation is not my strong suit. It’s a work in progress.

6. Allowing quality communication to fall by the wayside.

So you know how I just mentioned the whole early bedtime thing? Well, there are nights when my husband and I seemed to get lost in our phones and tablets, as opposed to each other. So make a commitment to shut it all off just for a night and really have a conversation just like you did in the good ‘ole days.

7. Working as individuals, rather than as a team.

Marriage is all about sticking by each other, supporting one another through the thick and thin. When you are parenting with another person, it’s tough to always be on the same page. My mantra: Communicate, communicate, and then communicate even more. I try to simply share what is on my mind, and listen to what my husband shares in return. Being a team and staying united with your spouse makes all the difference in the long run.

Bonus tip: Start enjoying more date nights at home after the kids go to bed!

I’m all about being healthy, and maybe I’m the only one, but when I’ve had a challenging day or week, take out and a date night works wonders for our marriage. The convenience of it all makes me happy. Plus, connecting and really investing in our marriage is really what it’s all about.

Want more on life after kids?

What other marriage pitfalls do you think are good to avoid? Let’s chat in the comments!

 

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13 Comments

  1. Lauren, great post! This is so true. Even though my hubby and I have some time together before the kiddos, things changed after. I must admit that I feel prey to a few of these (putting the kids first, not taking care of myself and date nights….). I do love having a date night after the kids go to sleep. That is one of my favorite times with my hubby. That’s why I don’t often get much done on my blog at night, because I like to spend that time with him. I think another one is having realistic expecations about one another and sex. Sometimes, you have expectations in your head that are not communicated (goes along with quality communication) and then one or the other or both are disappointed. Being able to talk about sex and how that changes sometimes as well is super important! Love this post. Great ideas.

    1. Yes! That is an awesome tip–unrealistic expectations. I think sometimes it’s easy to get caught up in the fairy tale of marriage and think that it’s peaches and cream all the time. Far from it actually. Thanks for sharing.

      Lauren

  2. Once upon a time I wrote a post about marriage after kids on my blog too (it’s not super organized, as it’s from “way back when” in my blogging endeavors) – http://www.whatsupfagans.com/2011/09/marriage-after-kids/ and now adding on a few more years, and another child, I have to say, these tips are great. I am planning on making another Year of Dates for my husband again for Christmas. Doing that made for a GREAT year of dating and getting out. But it also made for fun date night INs. I recommend it. 🙂

  3. Another bad one is telling your friends every frustration you have with your husband. I am not talking about actual concerns like abuse or things like that. I mean the little things that needle you that are best handled in-house. Going over it again and again with your friends adds to your discouragement.

    1. I completely agree with this! They other issue with this is when you have a frustration with your husband, you eventually talk it out and forgive and forget. Your friends, however, aren’t as forgiving and can start to dislike your husband. I definitely agree things need to be handled “in-house.” Great tip, Lynne!

      Lauren

  4. Great tips! My husband I try to make a point to do something together at night at least a few times a month, and we’re very fortunate to have his parents nearby so we can go out on dates. The hardest things for us is we have such different internal clocks. I like to go to bed early and he likes to sleep in, so we often don’t get in as much time together in the evenings as I would like since I like to go to bed so much earlier. Thanks for sharing, stopping by from Mommy Monday Blog hop.

    1. Hey Bev! It’s great to hear from you. How is linkouture doing these days? I will stop by for sure after this! Yes, having close family or friends nearby definitely helps with the babysitter situation if you are looking for a night out. Thankfully, my husband and I are now early to bed and early to rise (I’m a night owl convert 🙂

      Have a great day,
      Lauren

  5. Very good points! Having been married 16 years with four kids I can tell you these are all no-no’s 😉 Thanks for posting. I am featuring you this Friday at our IBA Weekly Roundup. #ibabloggers

  6. These are all very true and value tips that everyone should take to heart when it comes to their marriage. Date nights and the kids going to bed early is a huge deal in our home. (The kids going to bed early isn’t always for us to be together. Sometimes it’s just for me to be able have my batteries recharged and for me to unwind.)

    1. Totally agree Crystal. I think nurturing your marriage ahead of time can really prevent issues down the road…you know, before it’s too late to repair the damage. And yes, sometimes the early bedtime is just for me. Every mom and dad needs a little recharge 🙂

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