Get ready for the day, work, come home, make dinner while keeping Pumpkin occupied, clean up, play together, walk the dog, do the bedtime routine, the laundry, pay the bills, catch a tiny bit of me time, then finally… sleep. Wake up; repeat. Oh boy. So, when exactly are we supposed to find time for our marriage; our relationship?
Before I had my daughter, I was a firm believer that couples must (not should) make the time and effort to nurture their relationship with their partner. Remember that person you loved so much you wanted to create life together; one that would be half you and half them? Or that person you loved so much that you wanted to raise a child with them, whether or not that child was related to either of you, but just to be parents together, to experience the joy of parenting? Remember that?
Guess what – now that I am a mom, I believe it even more. My relationship with my partner must remain a priority. It needs to be up there, along with the other priorities – kids are happy, healthy and fed, a little me time here and there, and (not to mention) working and paying the bills. It cannot be at the end of a long list, you know, somewhere after clean toilets and laundry – it must rank high!
Yes, that means things need to be bumped, including stuff for the benefit of the kids (for example, maybe that second extracurricular activity can wait). I know not everyone will agree with me on that, but here’s why I feel this way:
- Your kids are watching how you treat each other, and they are taking it all in. “This is how I should treat my friends and how my friends should treat me. One day, this is how I should treat my partner and how my partner should treat me.”
- If you are able to support each other during those tough days, you’ll be a better team and you’ll feel better, be happier – a happy parent goes a long way with kids!
- I don’t think this necessarily means your partner gets priority – I mean the relationship between the two of you needs to be a priority. A relationship needs time and effort from the both of you.
- I really think parenting changes us. I want to change with my partner, to go through this parenting journey together. I want us to be friends during it all and I want us to still love each other when our kids leave the nest.
My Pumpkin is two years old and we have a baby on the way. There are lots of times when I forget to make our relationship a priority. It takes a huge amount of effort; a huge amount of self-awareness. If I think this is hard now, I know I’m in for a rude awakening upon arrival of #2. My motivation for writing this post is partly to help me remember just why I need to keep my relationship with my very own Valentine a priority, regardless of sleepless nights, extracurricular activities and that crazy thing called life.
I’m happy to report we have secured a sitter for this Saturday evening and we are going to spend some one-on-one time just chilling out together. I love the idea of swapping babysitting with close friends if you haven’t yet found a trusted babysitter. Either way, your kids will get to have fun while their parents get a chance to connect and recharge their batteries 🙂
Happy Valentine’s Day to all who celebrate it – enjoy each other.
How do you keep your relationship a priority? Share with us: