Tag Archives: husband

Married with Kids – It’s OK Not to Like Your Spouse Sometimes.

This piece originally appeared on Perfection Pending.

This is what being married with kids looks like – sometimes you don’t like each other and that’s okay.

Sometimes, I think back to the first couple of years after my husband and I got married. It was so… easy. We didn’t fight like many newlyweds might, over who should take care of dinner or why there were clothes left on the floor next to the hamper. However, when we started having kids, we realized the times of things being quite that simple were over.

For starters, we were exhausted. Correction: we are exhausted. There hasn’t been a day (that wasn’t some sort of child-free vacation) that has gone by since 2012 that both of us have felt “well-rested”. Either one of us gets the rest, or neither of us do. Which, as you can imagine, leads to some stress in our household, and our relationship.

But what we’ve figured out (and learned from wise friends) is this: even though some days you don’t like each other, it’s important to still love each other, and furthermore, to show it.

You have to prioritize your marriage, even though in a lot (let’s be honest, most) situations, you’ve got to put your kid – or all your kids – first. Their needs seem more pressing (butt-wiping, feeding them, keeping them from falling off ledges, you know the drill) and so you neglect the other relationship in the household while you’re meeting the more immediate needs – or simply, the ones that are shouting at you more loudly.

You see, there are more than a few reasons to take care of your marriage, even when it means putting aside the other stuff for a little while at a time.

One of the most, if not THE MOST  important reason to show the love, spread the love, and take care of your marriage even after you have kids is because those kids are always watching.

You’re setting the number one example of a marriage in their eyes, and you want it to be a positive and healthy one, right? Set an example for them of the importance of marriage, the teamwork it requires, and the love that it stems from. Show them a healthy relationship so they know what it looks like. Even have healthy disagreements in front of them sometimes; they need to know about that, too. They don’t need to see only the “good stuff” or they’ll have unrealistic expectations. Healthy dialogue, PDA (yes, affection is important to show!) and the importance of spending time alone together are important things for your kids to know about!

Among the myriad of other reasons to nourish your relationship with your spouse, I think the next biggest reason is this: one day, your kids will be grown and live in their own homes, and it’ll be just you and your spouse. Again. Alone.

Don’t wait until then to try to fall deeper in love with your spouse.

Don’t wait until there’s not the glue of parenting young children binding you.

Don’t wait until your lives have been growing apart for years to really cherish your relationship with your spouse.

I won’t say that won’t work – but I will say I bet that it’s harder that way. Communicate with your spouse, about big stuff and small stuff. Practice honesty – even when it hurts.

Say “I’m sorry.” and “I forgive you.” Do the easier things too, like dating your spouse! Have date nights or early breakfast together. Chat on the phone when you’re in the car. Send sweet text message to each other during the day.

Take a weekend away somewhere from time to time if it’s possible for you. Those things aren’t reserved for “dating” relationships unless you let that happen. “Dating” your spouse is a way to rekindle, reconnect, and intertwine your lives again when you feel like you haven’t been so “together” recently.

Make time in your schedule and room in your heart for your spouse. Even when you’re exhausted, feeling frumpy, and thinking it’s the last thing you want to do. Chances are, you’ll be so glad you did. Make sure to kiss, to chat, to hold hands, and to have sex! Those things are important… Don’t let them wait until the kids are gone.

Fathers’ Day

I’m privileged to be married to the kindest, most patient father there’s ever been. He’s selfless, fun, giving, and loving with our kids, and I couldn’t be prouder to call him ours.


He routinely works late at night, but never complains about being woken up early to give snuggles, read books, or play trains. 

 
He teaches them about life and love and anything they come across. 
He disciplines them when they need it, it strength and love. He cuddles and sings and cooks and reads. He provides for them emotionally and in the physical realm, too. 

In short, I admire him as a dad and as a person. He is ultimate compliment to my crazy, my hard, my mad, and my difficult. He’s the perfect other side to all my personality, my parenting style, and my ever-fluctuating emotions. He is a rock, an encourager, a comedian (and sometimes jester), and a comforter. Happy Father’s Day, Hubby. I love you. 

The Boy I Loved. 

This post also appeared on My Big Jesus!  
Not that long ago, I was a silly, young girl, head over heels for a boy I had just met. Not long ago, that boy was a breath of fresh air to a girl who’d sworn off dating for a while. Not long after that, the boy and girl decided they’d get married. And buy a house. And have kids. And never sleep again. 

Really, 8 1/2 years -since we met- isn’t long in the grand scheme of things. But it feels like an eternity sometimes, when I think of what’s happened since then. When I think of places we’ve traveled, jobs we’ve had, people we’ve grown closer to or drifted apart from, it feels like a lifetime already lived. There’s so much water under that bridge we’ll have to raise it if anything else happens. 

But every now and then, there are glimpses of the silly, young girl and the boy who was a breath of fresh air. For instance, last week, Hubby and I had a lovely date night planned, going to a nice restaurant in the neighboring city where Hubby attended college before seeing a concert. Long (frustrating) story short, dinner at the nice restaurant didn’t work out, and we were a little too pressed for time to try making new plans. We ended up at a pizza and beer joint where we ordered dinner by the slice at a counter, and ate in a dirty booth. Not that I had anything against pizza and beer (I love it! Promise!), it just wasn’t what we’d had in mind. We were dressed up and ready for a fancy meal. But you know what? We had a great time. We’d gone to that pizza joint a hundred times while we were dating, with and without friends, and it was a fun little throwback to our younger, freer selves.

You know what else? After a couple of hours of music and dancing, before we headed back home to responsibilities and a babysitter to pay, we went to the location of our first “hang out.” (I’m hesitant to even call it a date.) We ended up right there in another dirty booth, eating gargantuans at the Jimmy John’s on the edge of his college campus. We giggled and flirted and touched our feet under the table with butterflies in our tummies, remembering who we had been 8 1/2 years ago. We reminisced about those old times, and talked about how we love where we are right now, even when it’s hard. 

I looked right across the table and into the eyes of the boy I loved. And I was thrilled to see that my husband looked just like him. 

Hubby Is 30!

In honor of my amazing, talented, hilarious, handsome, wonderful, giving, loving Hubby’s dirty thirtieth birthday, I’d like to show this little collection of photos…

Before this happened…

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There were these two kids, on the night they met, at a Halloween party (right after the church service they played together)…

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You know, just trying to make scary faces with the cute guy you just met.

They were together a lot after that…

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This is our “college formal” face.

And I mean a lot…

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Our “middle school dance” date. He put a lot of work into that one!

Until one day, he proposed for real…

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This remains the only picture of us from that night. And we’re still making that stupid “college formal” face.

Practiced getting married…

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Post rehearsal dinner shenanigans.

And really did it…

This is totally characteristic of our relationship.
This is totally characteristic of our relationship.

Then we bought a house…

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We bought our house on the way to the airport to go to Italy. Obviously.

Shaved his head for children’s cancer…

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He’s done it several times, but this was the year he also raised $200 for his trashy mustache.

Went to this bar, our favorite bar, for 90 days in a row… three times…

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Finnigan’s Wake will always be home base for us.

And then we got pregnant and had this sweet gal…

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All of a sudden… parents!

I watched him become the most amazing dad…

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They’re still besties.

And then we did that a time or two more…

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I’m a little bit pregnant with J in this one…
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And I’m a LOT pregnant with him here.
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And here I’m a couple weeks away from having D!

With a few breaks for being awesome in between…

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Singing in his wedding band was still one of the most fun nights of my life!
Just a little family partying.
Just a little family partying.

All in all, I wouldn’t do life any differently or with anyone else. Hubby’s my rock. He’s my personal chef, my confidant, my treasured friend, my only lover, my companion, my “I need to tag out!” or “I can’t do this alone!” rescuer. He is my everything, and I can’t wait to spend the next thirty years with him. 30 looks good on you, babe. Happy birthday.

Reconnecting With Your Spouse

Photo Cred. our amazing wedding photographer Eleise Theuer (http://www.eleisetheuerphotography.com)
Photo Cred. our amazing wedding photographer Eleise Theuer (http://www.eleisetheuerphotography.com)

How is it that Hubby and I can live in the same house, have mostly the same friends, work often from home, raise the same kids, and feel like we haven’t had a real conversation recently?! It seems silly that we could spend a lot of time together, and not feel like it’s quality time. I’ve actually heard, in the past two days, two other couples say that same thing: we haven’t gotten to really talk recently. For Hubby and me, it goes like this: sometimes, by the time we are alone together, it’s 8:30pm, there are dishes to be done, laundry to be folded, and we are bone tired. Other times, it seems that we have so much to talk about that we can’t stay on one thing for very long. We’re trying to talk about life and feelings and opinions, but we end up talking about grocery lists and “don’t forget EK has preschool tomorrow.”

As a wife who needs some connection and conversation from her Hubby (who also craves that connection), I’ve thought of a few things I’d like to try.

First of all, Hubby’s going to be out of town this weekend. That means that the only way to connect is to talk. We can’t snuggle, we can’t do things for each other, we can’t share a meal together. But we can ask some of those questions, or share those feelings over the phone. It’s definitely a different beast to talk on the phone rather than in person (can’t see the body language or facial expressions, can’t get hugs or see smiles – aka the worst) but it’s a start. Sometimes, conversations can be started on the phone and finished later.

Secondly, I’m going to try to keep the “housekeeping” items concise and necessary only. I have realized that I can use up all of Hubby’s energy and patience on what needs to be cleaned, where the kids’ this-and-thats are, and what we are doing for dinner tonight. I can clean it, I can find it, I can make a plan, and require much less of him in that department. I’m not saying he won’t have input about dinner and that he won’t have to clean anything. But I’m saying I’m going to nag less and communicate more intentionally.

Thirdly, I need an attitude adjustment. Sometimes my role as nag (see #2) can drown my role as wife. I neeeeever want that to be the case, but my OCD and planner’s brain take hold of me, and all I can see are to-do lists and calendars. It’s a vice, for sure, to always think this way, especially because I really do love spur-of-the-moment activities. I love when my sisters-in-law call me and invite us to dinner or to a play date on the spot, and I love when Hubby wants to go out for drinks or to hear music in two hours, leaving me scrambling for a last minute babysitter. I am okay with it! But sometimes doing that too often creeps into the “I never know what’s going to happen” realm, and I freak out.

Last one… speaking of going out for drinks or to hear live music, Hubby and I often go on dates with friends or to places where we know we will run into people we know. We have wonderful friends that we love, and we really like going out on dates to places we can’t take our kids. But it has dawned on me that we need a few dates soon that are just the two of us. Luckily, we aren’t one of those couples that those words (just-the-two-of-us) scare us. We love time with just us, we have great conversation, and (at least) I always feel fuller and more complete when we’ve had time to connect and talk by ourselves. So that’s on my radar for the next week or two, also. At least one date. Hubby and me, out together, alone. That’s it.

How do you reconnect with your spouse during a busy season? If you’re a parent of small kids, how do you find time for adult conversation, past grocery lists and holiday plans?