Statistically, one in four couples say that they are still together because of their kids, but what those statistics don’t show is how children themselves could be a factor in that statement. If you’re in a marriage, and you have young kids, how has it changed your life in ways you could have never expected? Whether your child is five months old, or five years old, the fact of the matter is that kids can throw a wrench in our relationships that we never thought possible.
So, instead of staying together for the kids, why not take a step back and understand how to stay together, in spite of the kids?
It may sound like a harsh reality – of course, we all love our children, but it can be difficult to find time to take a shower, or eat a decent meal, let alone make time to spend together as a couple. Over time, your lives as individuals can become completely engulfed in your children, causing you to completely ignore one another, and your individual needs. Unfortunately, your emotional and physical needs just don’t go away in a relationship once children are in the picture.
But, a strong relationship is going to showcase something incredible to your child. They’ll be able to pick up on how you connect with your partner, and how you do things together because you want to, not because you have to. This isn’t ‘staying together for the kids.’ It’s showing your kids that a relationship can work through chaos. Let’s take a look at a few tips when it comes to refreshing and resetting your relationship when you have kids:
1. Create ‘Mini Dates’: If you don’t have the time or energy to go all out for ‘date night,’ try a quick session of reconnecting with your husband or wife. This could mean a stroll around the neighborhood, or both of you going to pick up dinner with the kids, instead of just one person. Your life may be busy, but find more ways to incorporate each other into those daily activities.
2. End Of The Day Independence: It can be hard to get kids to go to bed at a decent time, but by setting bedtimes for your children that are fairly early, you’ll have at least an hour or two of alone time with your spouse at the end of each day to do whatever you’d like – mainly, to relax, and enjoy each other’s company. Your children don’t necessarily have to be asleep during this time, but knowing the routine of going into the bedroom early, relaxing, and winding down can also be beneficial for them, too.
3. Respect Each Other: Sometimes, when we’ve had a long day, just about anything can set us off into an argument. But, a good rule of thumb is to argue like your next door neighbors can hear your every word if you raise your voice. Even if they can’t, it’s a good way to keep yourself in check, and keep you from needlessly shouting and being disrespectful. Working out issues in this manner can be difficult at times, but the bonus is if your children see you arguing in such a respectful way? They’ll carry that with them, and learn how to treat others with the same respect.
These are just a few tips to ‘save your marriage’ from your kids, and there are plenty additional steps you can take to put your marriage in a good place without sacrificing your time and love for your children. Chances are, the stronger and happier your relationship is, the happier your kids will be, too.
We recognize how difficult it can be to create time for self-care and to connect to the important people in your life. We specialize in couples therapy Metro DC.