Parenting young children can be a joyous experience, but there’s no denying that it’s a lot of work. Done right, though, it doesn’t have to take a toll on your marriage.
Date Each Other
A weekly date night can be a lifesaver. It doesn’t have to break the bank: Cheap and simple dates are easy to maintain over the long run, so find a sitter you trust, and take time to just be with your partner. Don’t be afraid to try new things during your date nights. Some couples find that the routine of daily life can sap energy and enthusiasm, and doing new things together adds an element of fun, excitement, and yes, even romance.
Check In Daily
Check in with each other every day. Take five minutes to share your high and low point from the day, so you can celebrate and/or offer support. Some couples find that an early bedtime for the kids helps with this, but whenever you choose to do it, make sure it happens. Doing so will ensure that the two of you connect at least once during the day, and that you share something meaningful and personal—not just talk about who needs to pick up the kids from preschool.
Studies have shown that most tensions between parents of young children arise from disagreements about the work load. One or both parents may become tired or feel that they have the hardest job and their partner doesn’t understand everything they do. Oddly enough, taking a few minutes to work together, even it’s just doing the dishes or folding laundry, can ease resentment over who does the most work.
It’s a balancing act, but by focusing on your partner and making your relationship a priority, you can make it stronger than ever, and grow closer through the ups and downs of family life.