How to Make Time for Your Spouse after Kids

It can be a lot harder to find time to connect with your spouse after you start a family. My husband and I used to do everything together and go everywhere together, but after having kids sometimes it is easier to divide and conquer. It can also be tempting after the kids go to bed to do our own thing especially after a draining day when I haven’t had any time to myself. But it is important to put time into cultivating your marriage even in the busyness of the little years. In this post I share some ways that my husband and I actively cultivate time together. In this post, I share some of my favorite marriage books.

Make time for regular date nights. If you have family nearby who are able to watch your kids, try to set up date nights at least twice a month if not every week. If this is not an option for you, you could hire a babysitter. Ask your local mom friends for babysitter recommendations or visit care.com to find sitters in your area. Care.com allows you to see local babysitters. The sitters’ profiles even include reviews and a background check to have a better idea if the sitter will be a good fit for your family. You can then set up an interview to ask any questions you have in mind, get references, and see how they interact with your kids. I used care.com after highschool for several years to get nannying/babysitting jobs and had pretty good success. Another option is to find a friend who is also wanting to make date nights more regular and swap nights with them–one night they watch your kids while you and your husband go on a date and then another night you watch their kids so they can go on a date. I share some of our all time favorite dates in this post.

Have your kids on a schedule. We know that everyday the kids have a nap/quiet time, so on the weekend we know we can have time together while the kids are down. The kids also have a set bedtime, and my husband and I have an hour or two after they go to bed to spend time together every evening. It is a blessing to know we have those predictable times to spend time together.

Find things to do together even with the kids. Go on walks, put together puzzles, go out to eat, etc. We often will go outside and the kids will play pretty contentedly while we are able to sit in outdoor chairs next to each other and just talk. We love to talk about how our day was or the dreams we have for the future or things we’re worried about/thinking about. Communication is key in fostering and growing a relationship. Talk about everything from the little things that happened in your day to the big things. For a couple of months out of the year, we move to another state for my husband’s job. During this time, we don’t have family available to watch the kids, and I have not found a sitter I trust yet. One of our all time favorite “dates” to do during these months is to go on a drive. We load the kids in their carseats and bring plenty of toys/snacks to keep them occupied. Usually this gives us at least 20-30 minutes of pretty undistracted time to be able to talk while we drive down country roads. We even will occasionally stop at a nearby lake and get out and walk around and enjoy the scenery as a family.

Don’t put your kids and their needs before your spouse. Make sure your spouse is your priority. Your kids will probably only live with you for 20 or so years, but you and your spouse will Lord willing still be together long after your kids have moved out. Don’t make the mistake of many couples who find that they no longer recognize their spouse after their kids move out. An example of this is in my meal planning. I tend to make lunches that are more toddler friendly, but I don’t cater to the kids for dinner. I try to make something that my husband will enjoy instead of only making dinners that my kids love. This has also helped them not be such picky eaters since they eat whatever we are eating for dinner. It may seem like an insignificant way to love your spouse, but even small actions like these can show that you love them.

Take occasional trips without the kids if possible. We have only taken one kid free weekend trip since having our three year old, but as the kids get older we are planning on trying to take one a year. This time away allows you to give your spouse your undivided attention for more than just a couple hours and to do fun things together that may be harder to do with little kids.

Find ways to have dates at home after the kids go to bed. We often have a movie night with popcorn or snacks after the kids go to bed or we have a favorite tv show that we watch together. We also occasionally will go sit around the fire pit in the backyard after the kids go to bed. There are also several board games we play together in the evenings. Our favorites are Rummikub and Sequence. There are so many at home date ideas that you can find on Pinterest if you want to get creative!

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