As part of my monthly column for My Domaine, I was asked to write about what marriage looks like a few kids in….thought you guys might also enjoy!
There are a lot of clichés you hear about that happen to a marriage once you have kids. Look, I am by no means an expert, but I’m here to tell you…they are ALL true! You can swear up and down until you are blue in the face that it will never be the case for you but I have yet to meet one parent who has it under control all of the time. Sometimes these little suckers get sick, act out or just plain take over and it can throw everything out of whack….including your marriage. It’s important to give your marriage some love however and find ways to keep the spark alive. Without it, everything can come tumbling down around you. Besides, the flame you share together is why you have children in the first place, right? It deserves a little fanning to keep it alive. So here are three things I try to keep in mind with my own marriage as a mother of two.
Sure, it might not be with the same breathless anticipation as your friend who is finally meeting that guy she has been texting with from Raya, but book a babysitter and go on a damn date with your husband! Get out of the house, away from some of the things you guys are bickering about (hello, why am I the only one who ever empties the dishwasher?!?) and I promise the feeling of being a normal person will return. Add a glass of wine and you might even remember that you really do love each other.
GUYS – ITS NOT BABYSITTING WHEN THEY’RE YOUR OWN KIDS
I’m pretty sure it was the ultimate feminist babe Gloria Steinem who said that women can’t be equal outside the home until men are equal in it. (She happened to also says we shouldn’t watch Bravo’s The Housewives franchise so you may have to exercise selective hearing) Anyhow…all that is to say that in addition to aforementioned date nights, it’s important that both you and your partner support each other in taking time for yourselves separately. Whether that is so you can workout, take a meditation class or go on a boozy MNO that you’ll regret tomorrow, it is integral to feeling like your best self. Ladies – We can often get left with a lot of the childcare responsibilities but remind your husband that he needs to pull his weight in this department too…and no, he can’t tell his friends that he is “babysitting.”
DRESS THE PART
I may be alone here but I think activewear can be a slippery slope. Yes, I’m down with the athleisure trend and I love me some Lululemon, but there is a time and a place for Calypso music. It’s great to throw on some leggings en route to a workout, for the school run or to chase after the kids at the park but I also think it’s important to dress in a way that makes you feel your best from time to time. This isn’t about dressing for your partner (although that wouldn’t be a crime) but more about feeling like you are more than someone’s frazzled mom at least some times.
TWO’S A PARTY, THREE’S A CROWD
If you are a family who has chosen co-sleeping as a way of life, more power to you BUT for those of us who have a habit of letting our little ones fall asleep in our bed or hear the pitter patter of tiny feet a few hours after bedtime (me!)…STAY STRONG!!! As delicious as it is to snuggle up to your kids throughout the night, it can often create a wedge, both literally and figuratively, between you and your partner. When possible, it is best to walk them back to their beds and let them know that they are safe and secure so you can have the private time that marriages deserve.
I get it…everyone is exhausted and sometimes your former red hot lover can feel like your colleague at a logistics control center when dealing with kids, schedules and household nonsense. It has, however, come (fine, been brought! ) to my attention that men appreciate being appreciated almost as much as I love Anita Ko jewelry. So even when you think things can go by left unsaid, SAY THEM! Tell them you love them, appreciate them, want them….it makes everyone feel good, even the person saying it! Give it a try, I promise it can’t hurt anything.
Any advice on how to get through this thing we call Life? Let us know in the comments section!!