Monday, December 3, 2012

Making Time for Marriage

When you are pregnant, people love to give you advice. One thing that my husband and I have heard over and over again is to continue to make time for us as a couple, now and once our baby girl arrives. I would love to live in my pretend bubble thinking that "we won't have any problems" and "our marriage is too awesome to suffer any," but realistically I know that it can happen to anyone, anytime, anywhere. 

One of the biggest things that we can do for our marriage is to pray. Pray for each other, for our marriage, for guidance, for love, for forgiveness. The best way to have a healthy and happy marriage is to base it on the Lord and love each other as He loves us, not just when we have a baby, but all the time. 

Photobucket

I can definitely see how easy it is going to be to get so preoccupied with our new little baby girl that we forget to really focus on each other, so I'm determined to make "us" a priority. So tell me moms, how do you keep the love fires burning? For those without children, any advice looking in from the outside? What is most important to keep the love alive?


26 comments:

Laura said...

Like you said, most importantly, center your marriage in the Lord. In addition to that, continue to do nice things for each other, dont keep score when it comes to who did what for the baby/house cleaning/etc., make time for each other, get a babysitter and go out, even if just for an hour. Talk and hold hands. Remember that you loved each other first, that's why your little lady is here! My husband and I went through a rough patch after our daughter was born because we were tired and never went out alone. We had to take a step back and reevaluate how we were treating our relationship. We're better now, but still a work in progress.

carlyrae said...

Great post! Since my hubby and I are also expecting our first I don't really know what we will do either.. except that we are trying to be conscious of it already..

and enjoying our last couple months of just the two of us by trying to have a date night every week!
xoxo

Ashlie said...

One of the best things I think to do is to reaffirm one another. My husband and I constantly tell one anther how amazing the other is. For example, he tells me quite often how I am such a good mother to our daughter and such a great wife to him. I, in turn, tell him all the wonderful things he does for me and our family. Intimacy also plays a huge factor. Not just in the bedroom, but everywhere it's important for me and even my husband to know we still got it even though we're parents now. Lol. Everyone loves to hear how much they're still wanted by their spouse, especially after a baby. So happy for you both this is such an exciting time. It can get overwhelming with a new baby, but being there for each other definitely helps to overcome the challenges of those first few 'getting to know baby' months.

Jenna said...

As an outsider I must say that this is one of the things I worry about most in terms of having kiddies one day. The thought that Jurgen and I will grow apart completely freaks me out and from the get-go I want to make sure that we commit to continue to make each other a priority even once baby arrives. I think just voicing the concern before the baby is here is a great start!

xxx
Jenna

Kari said...

Such a good post and something Jon and I have talked about often. We've noticed that even during pregnancy, Cooper is the main topic of our conversations these days.

We're making it a priority to go on date nights at least once or twice a month. This is easy for us because my parents live down the street so finding a baby sitter isn't an issue for us. On the other hand, one of our couple friends who have an 18 month old told us they've only went on 2 date nights since their son was born. My friend said,"Both times we've went out we talked about how much we missed our son and how we wanted him there so we figured why not just take him?"

Maybe Jon and I will be like that, I'm not sure. But I do believe that alone time is important too.

P!nky said...

I'm someone looking from the outside, so you could probably take this with a grain of salt :)!

But, I would say, make it a priority after the 2nd month or so to try and at least monthly go on a date without the baby. Remember to praise each other and say thank you.

GOOD LUCK!!! xoxo

Karen said...

One thing that I have found having a colicy baby demananding to be held all the time. Is sleep. Although making time for dates and such is important, if you are tired, rather sleep. Sleep brings forth patients. The non sleeping parent can go for a week on survival sleep and then it creeps up on you without you even noticing it, releasing a monster. A great date night for us now, is basically dropping of our daughter at her grandparents for the night. Get Pizza and a movie and relax at home. Just togetherness without demands.

Samantha said...

In addition to the date nights and centering your marriage in The Lord, the only thing I can add is spend time with each other after she goes to sleep too. I know the common saying is to sleep when she sleeps. Where that is sooo true, some of the closest times me and my husband have had is just laying in bed talking. Talking about Amelia, us, the future, praying... Most of all just be patient. Y'all are gonna do great!

Julie said...

One of the ways you can easily forget to focus on you and your hubby is if you don't have people you trust to watch your baby. So you'll need to invest in a few good babysitters that you feel safe leaving your baby with. My SIL will only leave her children with family, even though she has a few good people in her neighborhood, and she will easily get upset if family can't/won't watch the kids when she wants.

Nicole said...

Clearly, I have no real advice. :) But, I recently had a conversation like this with my mentor/pastor's wife and got some really great thoughts from her! We talked about how so many marriages suffer because the children become first priority, but marriage is supposed to always take first priority. She told me the story of another pastor she knows that when he leaves for the office everyday he kisses his two little girls and then kisses his wife. His daughters always asked him why Mommy got the last kiss and got more kisses than them and he tells them it is because she is his wife and he has to love her more. The more that he loves their mommy, the more he will love them. I just love that! I love that he is able to teach his young girls what a godly marriage and family looks like. I know that I want to keep this in mind as we begin our marriage and start our family. I know that I will be so encouraged by the way YOU approach this!

Colleen said...

I have three little girls....and we love the Lord....met on admission trip....however you are right once those little ones come in it is even more important to Satan to drive a wedge between you. Now not only are you responsible for your walk but you are now raising another to love Jesus! And faith like a child, there is none like it....so sometimes the more you do it right, the more you are "attacked". I periodically write about that....
Anyhow yes, a few things we do, this one is VERY hard....go on dates weekly....3 at home...just time carved out, and one OUT....this is sooooo important. Another one that becomes hard as time goes on but we do every night, is go to bed at the same time. You will always have that time together, that closeness.....and that is hard as peanut grows and so do your demands....a book we do is. Dobsons "night lights" great night devotional....lastly praise him....even when you are tired and crabby and don't feel like it....
Congrats on your ill girl growing.....girls are the best, I should know!! :)

Lauren said...

great post! I'm not sure about your family situation, but thankfully Hubby & I have both of our parents living nearby so we have plenty of time for date nights! Even if you don't have close, free babysitters you can take advantage of the times after Emory goes to sleep to reconnect or just cuddle on the couch.

We also make sure that when we go on dates we dont' talk about JUST Elyse, we talk about traveling and the future and current events. This helps us to remember who we were as a couple before Elyse arrived.

It is so, so important! We went on our first date night before Elyse was even 2 months old and I'm so glad my parents pushed us out the door that night...one of the best things we've ever done!

Sara Bell said...

Thank you for sharing this! These comments have been some of my favorites to read!
I also purchased a book recently called Babyproofing Your Marriage and I'm pretty excited to read it and get some more ideas!

Bon Bon said...

Be intentional with your time together, and also respectful of needing time apart (you'll find that sometimes all you need is a girl's night or a trip to starbucks by yourself!) AND get in the habit of regular date nights, early on. We've been blessed to have eager grandparents living close by, so we have tried to get out by ourselves at least once a week since the Bean was born! xoxo

Michaela said...

No doubt you'll be great parents and be able to sustain a healthy, Godly marriage with keeping Christ at the center! :)

sandi said...

we have been married for 14 years and have three children (9,8,4). one a year around our anniversary we head out of town... just the two of us. let me tell you, that first trip was HARD! hubby plans the odd years and i plan the even years. we usually stay two nights but we did take a short cruise on our ten year anniversary and were gone four nights.

if you are going to nurse (please give it a try!) the first few months can be hard to get away since the baby is very attached ;-) to the mom. by month 3-4 when you can go longer stretches of time plan a date night. it doesn't have to be long, just a few hours away. get ice cream, go to a book store and browse ~ anything just to get use to leaving the baby with a trusted person.

most importantly ~ TALK. when the baby goes to bed talk about your hubby's day. asking him how he is doing with the changes, etc. because really, so much attention is focused on the mom and baby that dad can sometimes feel left out.

i could write so much more just based on experience, but at least you are thinking about this now and not later when it's too late! so many people think that life will change when the baby comes along; it does, but only for a short time. if you travel before baby, travel after the baby. if you enjoy sports before the baby, go to sporting events after the baby. don't stop doing what you enjoy as a couple just because of a little one. they are adaptable!

*stepping off my soap box now*

Emily grapes said...

total outsider's views, I think what's so so so important is to keep your husband elevated above your kids. I see all too often where the kids come first in mom's eyes the moment they're born, leaving the husband out. And then lowering their husband to a "kid status" saying I have '2 kids at home' vs your 1 actual kid. Its incredibly degrading.

Taking time away w/him is great, but even going away on overnight trips with your husband alone. Of course it takes needing to trust someone with your kid all night long, but I think its so important to have that sole time with your husband without any little distractions.

Any way..that's my 2 cents. =D
Emily at Amazing Grapes

BeckyJo606 said...

I was just thinking about this yesterday! Rob and I celebrated our dating anniversary and I thought that it might be one of the last "big date" nights we have before baby. I think date nights are crucial--and I'm sure you'll have lots of willing babysitters! :)

TwoFourFive said...

Having just had a baby a few months ago (who is trying to attack the keyboard as I type), this is still something we are trying to figure out. One trap we fell into was having almost no time to ourselves because family and friends were constantly visiting. I'm so grateful for all the help we received, and for all of the meals and visits provided by friends, but there came a point when we had to say "no" and start adjusting to life as just us. When they are really little, you are still able to focus on your husband because they don't really do much. It's once they become aware and want to play (like now with Penelope) that you have to do some readjusting and make it a point to even say "I love you" to him. I agree with others that date night is a must!!!

Faith said...

I loved reading this post and the comments. I often think of this since Sean and I don't have kids yet. I really hope that we will always make time for each other even when we have kids. It will be interesting to see what changes will happen in the future.

Fran said...

From what I've learned from watching friends, I think it's important to start thinking/looking for babysitters now. I know you probably won't want to leave your little one anytime soon (I wouldn't either) but from what I've seen what tends to suffer the most is alone time, which I think is important in order to "keep the flame going". So if you already have a list of names of people you can trust then you can venture out for dinner or something ;)

Rach @ This Italian Family said...

I 100% agree with Fran above! I've heard that from several of our friends!

Ashley said...

i dont have any real babies, but back at home i have about 75 baby dolls. seeing as i've abandoned them all i might not be the best mother BUT my parents taught a marriage class at our church and i always heard them say......make a consistent weekly date night?! take the little muffin with you until you can leave her alone....and then when she's old enough, get her a responsible babysitter (i promise i'm better with real life kids than i am in with cabbage patch dolls) ;) you guys are gonna be juuuuuust fine!

Courtney B said...

This has been on my mind so much lately! What a perfect reminder to keep our marriage centered around the Lord! I've been trying to think of simple date nights we can have at home while we adjust to having a new baby... I've asked for games, movies and date night gift cards from family (for Christmas) so that we'll have new things to do at home together. And my dad told me that we'd better plan on driving down (they live 45 minutes away) and dropping off baby girl once a week so that we can have a weekly date night, ha ha! That probably will only happen once a month :) But we'll make it a point to have stay at home dates, dates with baby in tow, and dates while baby is with her grandparents!

Ashleigh Nichole said...

If either of you have family close let the grandparents have the little one overnight maybe once a week which then will allow you two as husband & wife to spend quality alone time together. Go out have fun do fun adult things again :) & if no family is around then I am sure there will be plenty of friends whom will be more then willing to have sweet little miss for a night lord knows I would be more then willing hehe! I love babies... I know I do that for one of my friends & her hubby & they are so thankful that I love their daughter enough to keep her overnight & when they go on trips out of town with just the 2 of them :) & just remember even though the baby will be here make sure to still tell each other every single day how much they are loved :)

The Heart Of A Woman said...

It is easy to be preoccupied but I think it makes marriage sweeter. I was so afraid of how it would affect us. That fear was straight from satan! Love you and when it slows down I am calling you!