Moms live in a dangerous world where kids can quickly become the center of everything. Date nights are replaced by family movie nights and weekends away are exchanged for a family trip. And, that is to be expected to some degree. But, at the same time, we need to be protecting our marriages and making them our #1 priority. It isn't easy, but I believe with all of my heart that it is the best gift I can give to my kiddos. Marriages are forever, our kiddos are with us for just a short time.
I am by no means a marriage expert. I have been married 7 short years. But, I feel that I have learned a lot in those years and am happy to pass on any wisdom I might have started to attain!
In my life, practically, making my marriage a priority looks like, making sure that at least once or twice a year we get away overnight together. Even if it is just for a night (it usually is). I also try to make sure we get at least one date out once a month. It can be hard (and we are super blessed to have my amazing parents who are willing to watch the kiddos), but try to find a way to make it work. That time out, out of the house, not in your mom/dad roles can be such a sweet time in marriage and can really build your relationship up. It also says to each other, and to our kiddos that our marriage is a high priority. And hopefully, will teach our kids to do the same in their own marriages. Life is stressful, kids are a handful, and housework never stops. Get away from it all and focus on each other. I always come back totally revitalized and remembering "why" I do it all everyday. After our little date day on Saturday I have seriously had Super Woman energy around my house!
We also try to have a date night in at least once a week. We try to make this different from a normal night where we might be getting some stuff done or sitting watching a show together. A lot of times we will feed the kids early and then get take-out after they are in bed. We usually have a little picnic at our coffee table and talk and then play a board game or watch a movie together. This regular time is awesome. If the week is getting crazy and life is feeling out of control I can look forward to that night to talk to the hubs and I always know I will walk away feeling all better. We also make sure to tell our kids when we are having date night in. They know that this is special time for Mommy and Daddy.
Other ways that I make my husband my favorite person is by constantly pursuing our relationship. I do everything I can to avoid "room mate mode" (or friend mode). I have found that pursuing my husband probably does more for me than it does for him (although I think he likes it!). It keeps my heart focused... and love flows out from there. Here are some silly things I do (I am sad the hubs reads my blog and I am letting all of my secrets out! Ha!)
- I try to plan at least one or two dinners a week that I think the hubs will love. (And if the kids hate it, it is just one more way to show them that they are not the center of the world!)
- I e-mail, text, or call my husband at least once a day to let him know I love him, I am thinking of him, I miss him, or I appreciate him (or honestly, something less appropriate... just keepin' it real)
- I try to look nice when he gets home. Not really because he doesn't think I look great in sweats and no make-up, but making an effort to be loving towards someone else does more for you than them.
- When I do my husband's laundry or something else for him I use that as an opportunity to pray for him. Whenever I am hanging up his work shirts I am thinking God for how hard he works for our family.
- I let things go (I am really learning on this one). Every once in awhile he will say something that hurts my feelings, or annoys me, or something along those lines... It happens! When possible, I let it go! I don't say anything, take a deep breath, and the moment is over! 99% of the time I know he didn't mean anything by what he said and it came out wrong or was me being sensitive. Avoid an argument and let it go!
- I try to only speak highly of my husband (thankfully, he makes it easy). But, a wife complaining about her husband usually ends up just hardening her heart towards her husband, and honestly, it makes her look bad.
I am blessed to have a wonderful marriage. But, we have definitely had our hard times. And I have no doubt we will walk through more. But, doing my part to make my marriage great and a priority is all I can do. And never underestimate the impact that simply changing your own heart can have!