Fight for Marriage
Written by: Katie Sprunger
“Mommy when daddy comes home from work all you want is to be with him more than playing with us. I think you love him more than us.”
This was what my daughter told me one day. I had the privilege to explain to her that she isn’t the center of my world (SHOCK!) and though I love her with all my heart, my marriage and relationship with her daddy is and always will be more important than my relationship with them.
Parenting takes a lot of energy and a lot of time. One of the hardest adjustments after having each of my three kids was finding my new normal with my husband. Some of the best advice I received early in my marriage was to nurture my marriage, because my kids will leave some day but my marriage will remain. So I had to figure out how to make us more important than trying to meet every single demand of my kids.
It is sometimes easy to go about my marriage side-by-side. Instead of truly cherishing one another we become like business partners. “I’ll change the baby’s diaper. You feed the big kids. I’ll clean up the house and morning dishes. You run the kids to school. I’ll get the groceries while you’re at work. You take the oldest to t-ball while I put the other kids to bed.” And on and on it goes. By the end of the day you’re exhausted from the schedules, running, and doing life that it becomes easy to stop making your marriage top priority in the midst of day-to-day-life.
So, I quickly learned after having kids that I had to fight for my marriage. This meant setting aside quality time to be together. This meant extra money in the budget for monthly date nights (and ugghhh...paying a babysitter). This meant telling my kids to go play so that daddy and mommy could talk (YES, play by themselves). This meant enforcing a routine bedtime so that we could have time together at night. And it meant choosing to say no to more things in my life so I could say yes to my marriage.
So I say to you, FIGHT for your marriage! Don’t allow guilt to make you feel as though you must be and do everything for your kids. It is GOOD for them to play by themselves. It is okay to clean your kitchen while your kids play ALONE in the other room, so that you can have time with your husband after they go to bed. It is okay to leave your kids with a sitter so you can have a date night! It is okay to tell your kids that your relationship with your husband is top priority. Be committed to making your marriage more important than your kids! I believe it will make your household run more smoothly and model for your children what a healthy committed marriage looks like.
*Disclaimer: I am not suggesting that you neglect your children! YES- play with your kids! YES- meet the needs of your kids! YES- love them with all you’ve got! I’m just suggesting you help them realize they aren’t the center of your world and make your marriage top priority!
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