Romance doesn’t have to stop after having kids, but all too often, it gets prioritized last after the kids are born. So much so, as of March 2023, studies have shown about 50% of American marriages end in divorce after having kids. Here’s ways to keep the spark with your spouse even after parenthood begins.
In this article:
- 3 Major Things To Avoid
- Common Arguments When You Have Small Kids
- 10 Ways To Keep The Spark Going
- Recommended Products to Help Boost Confidence After Child Birth
On average, couples who marry and have small children have a difficult time adjusting to parenthood and the challenges that may arise. This isn’t uncommon, but the most important thing to note is preparation and knowing what to expect can help change the outcome of your experiences.
I can attest to the difficulties of raising two small children while being a newly wed. The mental adjustment was so new and so challenging to wrap my mind around that I felt like I had to choose between being an amazing mother and being a supportive wife.
I thought I was alone with feeling like this until I spoke with other women in my community and learned that fighting to get out of ‘superhero’ mode will present you with ultimatums that just aren’t realistic or beneficial for the marriage.
I’m here to tell you that you CAN have a strong marriage, happy children and a great foundation in the home. After 18 years of being with my spouse, here’s a list of things that helped me and tons of others.
3 Major Things To Avoid In Marriage After Having Kids
There’s no surprise that if you truly want your marriage to work, there will be some give and take. For starters:
1. Stop Keeping Score.
When you have small children, keeping score of who does what tasks will eventually lead to resentment. There will never fully be an even distribution of the load, and you have to learn to be okay with that. Some days you’ll carry more of the load around the house, managing kids and balancing work, and other days, your spouse will. If there’s employment restrictions that cause for these tasks to be unevenly balanced often, create a new narrative for yourself that “I get to” do this versus “I have to” do this. That small shift in mindset will help you stay in gratitude more often and less angry that your partner seemingly gets more free time. Trust me, there’s always an unspoken load to even those who go to work and come home and can’t help as much as they’d like.
2. Stop Putting All Else Above Your Spouse.
I know, easier said then done when you’re staring down a long to-do list and everyone is seemingly counting on you to make it happen. I’ve been there. The important thing to note is that when you’re constantly pouring into your spouse and your spouse is pouring into you, you’ll BOTH feel full enough to handle everything else together. There’s less friction, less arguing about a need going unmet, and a decrease in feeling unappreciated. I’ve learned that frustration is built up when needs go unmet. Your spouse is NOT optional. Continue to fill their cup too.
3. Stop Withholding Sex And Treating It Like A Reward System.
I get it. You have to be in the mood to have sex and be intimate with your partner. It’s easier to have energy when you haven’t exerted so much into every other area throughout the day. Feeling pressure to muster up intimacy when you just want a moment to yourself after the house is cleaned and the kids are down for bed can seem like another task on the to-do list if you let it. So stop. Instead of waiting until the tail end of the day, try beginning your day with intimacy. You’ll find that your energy levels are improved, your mood is better and you’re not checking off the list to see if your spouse “deserves” intimacy with you or not. Intimacy is an important part of reconnecting spiritually and emotionally with your spouse. It should not be used as a reward system.
Common Arguments When You Have Small Kids
Juggling marriage and small kids isn’t always easy. There’s tons of adjustments and feels like there’s always something new to learn. You’re not wrong feeling like there was less of a load to manage before kids, but you can do it. Once I identified common arguments, I realized there was a solution to what I was facing.
1. Who Deserves “Me Time?”
The answer is simple: you both do! It’s not uncommon to start logging how many hours you’re dedicating to kids, house chores and work when you’re looking for more time for yourself. The thing is, you and your spouse are BOTH carrying a load that won’t be 100% familiar to the other partner because the fact of the matter is, you’re not in one another’s position. You can talk until you’re blue in the face, but until each of you ACTUALLY experience the demands that the other carries, your fight to prove to them you deserve me time will continue. Just don’t forget…Just as much as YOU want to break away from responsibilities, so does your spouse. So take time to ditch the responsibilities, hire or plan for a babysitter, and plan a date night away where you can focus on relaxing and enjoying one another.
2. Does My Spouse Love Me Or Want Me Anymore? We Barely Touch.
The truth is, everyone measures love in different ways. Some people appreciate physical touch, words of affirmation, and quality time, while others prefer acts of service and receiving gifts. These can be identified as “Love Languages” and despite what your love language is, intimacy is so important in marriage. If there has been a lack of intimacy, consider the weight and stress levels of your spouse. It can be hard to get in the mood after you’ve had a long daunting and demanding day exerting energy in areas that you’re just not happy in anymore. Ask your partner if there’s anything you can do to help reduce their workload or if there’s a possibility to make a shift in your schedules so that you both have energy to please one another. Remember, your spouse is NOT the sacrifice to leading a better life. Keep each other as a priority.
3. Who Should Get More Sleep?
When my husband had a job that required he leave home to come into the office and I was the dedicated stay-at-home-parent, I automatically made myself the person to wake up in the middle of the night. If the babies were crying, I overcompensated in areas so that he could be fully energized and ready to tackle the work day. One thing I had to realize is that my sleep was just as important. My role at home was no less important than his as work. Although I could create my own schedule, getting adequate sleep was determined my mood, patience levels and the overall well-being of my entire family. There has to be a balance so that collectively as unit, you and your spouse are both tending to your health and mental wellness.
4. Feeling Unappreciated.
Have you been experiencing disagreements between you and your spouse about not recognizing the hard work you’re putting in or comparing your work load to theirs? This happens. Unplug from responsibilities. When you get to this point, it can easily be identified as being overstimulated, burnt out, or just feeling unhappy. If you feel this way, your spouse may feel this way also especially if they’re working just as hard to do their job and feeling like nothing they do can make you happy. Remember your workloads are different. It has to be you and your spouse against the problem, not spouse against spouse.
Scorekeeping is pretty self explanatory but it’s a necessary argument to mention. Loosen the reigns. If you both have a common goal in mind and your routine is no longer serving you, just have a true sit down without emotions and come up with a new plan. Everything in our lives are constantly evolving, so don’t expect for your original agreement to work forever. Check in every 3-6 months to discuss what’s working and what isn’t and make the necessary shifts so that everyone’s happy.
6. The “Right” Way To Take Care Of Baby.
As new parents or renewed parents of a newborn, your parenting style will never be exactly like your spouses. There’s typically a “fun” and playful parent and a parent that is seemingly more structured and “the disciplinarian.” Use these differences to your advantage to give the child(ren) the most well-rounded upbringing. A balance is needed and chances are, if you found your spouse to be the perfect person to spend the rest of your life with, you pictured what it would be like having children with them. Give each other grace and time to figure it out what parenting should look like. There is no manual to this.
I know this is a mouthful, but avoiding roommate syndrome is critical if you want to have a successful, long-lasting marriage. Give these suggestions a try and see the whirlwind of difference it begins to make.
10 Ways To Keep The Spark Going.
Let’s dive right in.
- Frequent date nights.
- Laugh often together and at each other’s jokes.
- Get some time alone without the kids.
- Give spontaneous gifts to let your spouse know you’re thinking of them.
- Do something brand new together.
- Talk about future goals often. Planning together adds a level of security to letting them know you want them involved in new endeavors.
- Hug more. Non-sexual intimacy draws you closer together.
- Express your gratitude. Even if you think they know how you feel, tell them anyway.
- Prioritize sleep. It’s healthy.
- Set earlier bed times for the kids. The sooner they’re tucked in, the more alone time you can get with your spouse and to yourself.
Top Products That Has Helped Boost My Confidence
After kids, I was self conscious about my body and this led to a major reduction in intimacy with my spouse. Some items that helped me gain my confidence back are as follows.
1. MUSCLE UP MOMMY® POSTPARTUM COMPRESSION BELT
Postpartum is the most critical time for recovery. The amount of weight you lift can directly impact your core muscles. Muscle Up Mommy® Postpartum Compression Belt helps to support your back and core muscles after childbirth. Highly recommend!
2. MUSCLE UP MOMMY® FUPAERASER
After your recovery period, the snapback journey begins. Muscle Up Mommy® FupaEraser helps to support workouts and aids in reducing the appearance of belly and back fat. It has been crowned the #1 waist shaper for moms and women. Highly recommend!
3. MUSCLE UP MOMMY® TUMMY CONTROL ACTIVEWEAR
Looking great and feeling your best after childbirth is always a goal. Muscle Up Mommy® Tummy Control Activewear helps to support workouts and aids in reducing the appearance of belly and back fat. The tummy control waist bands help hold you in and hide troubled areas. Highly recommend!
**Disclaimer- Our editors love providing moms with the best products to make their journey easier. We may earn commission or earnings when you choose to shop any of the links provided.
I sincerely hope this insight helps you create a long-lasting marriage and to avoid roommate syndrome. Though I’m no love expert, these things have successfully helped me and many others who are connected to me.
Let me know what you think in the comments.