By Marla Enhelder, PhD
Do you sometimes feel like you are sleeping next to a roommate that you hardly know anymore rather than the love of your life? Did you know that 66% of working moms say that their marriage has taken a backseat after their baby was born? Do you find that to be true for you? If so, you are not alone. Many of my coaching clients express to me that since baby, their marriage is suffering. This is often due to the fact that we spend so much attention on our children, making up for the time when we are at work or frantically trying to be the best, most diligent mothers we can be, that sadly it’s easy to slip into the mode of practically ignoring our spouse. Or, we only pay attention to him when he irritates us. In fact, many people mistakenly prioritize their lives as follows: 1) Children; 2) Career; 3) Spouse.
When you have so much to juggle already, it’s not surprising that finding time to really connect with the one you married falls to the wayside. In your heart, you know it’s important. However, reality dictates something else. You’re overwhelmed, your exhausted beyond all measure, you’re annoyed-you forget the beauty of the love you shared when life was a bit easier to manage. And, to top it off, you feel guilty if you are spending time alone with your husband when you “should” be spending that time with your kids. You are gone all day at work and savor the time that you do have with your child. Your husband is an adult, let him entertain himself.
Well, now for the good news. Guess what? It does not need to be this way! With just a few simple tweaks that you make and easy systems you can put on autopilot, you can have a wonderful marriage AND thriving children. You no longer have to be living with that roommate 🙂
Here are the top 3 ways to rediscover the bond with your hubby:
1. Daily connection time: Designate a regular time each and every day, after the kids have gone to bed, when you connect with your spouse. This is YOUR time to unwind together, whether you chat about the day’s events, read the newspaper, or watch your favorite TV show. The importance is just being alone together!
2. Sneak away…at home: After the children are tucked away into their bed, devote the next few hours engaged in a date night with your husband. Light some candles and open a bottle of wine on a Friday or Saturday night. Bring out the fun board games and engage in a little friendly competition or simply sit back, relax and enjoy one another with no distractions (that means, no television watching).
3. Spice up your date nights: It is important for the two of you to have some time away from the kids and all of the household responsibilities. It doesn’t have to be extravagant, where you go away over the weekend to a bed and breakfast. Perhaps the last Friday of each month you arrange for a babysitter. You and your husband get out of the house. You probably thought I will say next, “and go to your favorite dinner spot and a movie”. However, did you know that research suggests that novelty (e.g., outdoor concert, amusement park, ice skating, salsa dancing class, etc.) enhances relationships 🙂 Get creative! Check out your local newspaper and find out what is going on in your area. Make plans to do something different. And, if you are concerned about the cost of hiring a babysitter, switch off with another couple. One month they go out and you take care of their children and the next month you go out and they take care of yours!
I will leave you with this question to ponder: What were your favorite things to do as a couple before baby? What can you integrate or eliminate in your life to get back to doing those things? Work on what is reasonable and best for your relationship. Here is to long-term happiness with the love of your life!
Dr. Marla Enhelder, Working Mom Coach & Mentor, is founder of Take Charge Mama. A company devoted to empowering working moms to live their best life through balancing a thriving family, fulfilling career, and a blissful self! To get your F.R.E.E. Audio CD by mail and receive her weekly newsletter packed with information rich tips that you can implement immediately, visit http://www.takechargemama.com