Marriage is hard work. Adding kids can sometimes make it even more challenging. Having kids does not hurt your marriage, but just adds another element to it. I am sharing 5 Tips for a Happy Marriage After Kids that can make all the difference in your relationship.
Kids truly are a blessing from the Lord and they have enhanced our family in so many ways. However, it caused us to be a lot more intentional about our relationship with each other.
I was fortunate to see many marriage relationships when first having kids. Some of them, I avoided using as a model for my relationship. I constantly saw women clearly obsessed with their kids way more than their husbands. It was very apparent in their actions and communication. Even when the family was all together, it would still look like dad was on an island alone and mom & kids were on another together…rather than a family unit.
Throughout the years, I’ve realized this dynamic was created by the mom in many instances. I’ve gone through times where our family dynamic looked the same. I was nothing short of obsessed with my 3 little guys and poured EVERY single ounce of me into them. The thing about being a mom is that even after you birth them they still feel like part of your body and you willingly sacrifice daily for them in so many ways.
God convicted me. This “normal” mentality was not the model He created for the way things should run in a family. Here, I am reminded of something important I have learned. Doing things God’s way always bring everyone more joy and happiness. My way just wasn’t working.
Over time, He showed me some important ways we could still have a great marriage, while having children, keeping our marriage in the proper place.
1. Set a firm bedtime for your children.
Almost every single night, after the kids are in bed, we sit on the couch, taking time to vent and share our feelings on different things that happened. This is so life-giving to our relationship. For couples with little kids, this can be a tough. We feel like we don’t have the time to do this because our children are always around. I see many parents struggle with this. I did too.
I didn’t want to embrace the hard nights of getting them to adjust to a consistent bedtime, and the accompanying fits of intense crying. However, after reading many books about sleep and what children need, I realized how I was hurting them. They weren’t getting the sleep needed to be healthy. For every child’s age, there is a certain amount of sleep they need to develop correctly. Left to themselves, the kids just weren’t going to get it. So…we sleep trained, enforced a consistent bedtime, and followed this process until it became our new normal. The children realized this was going to happen every single night in this house.
This benefited everyone. They were happier kids because they were refreshed. We were happier because our relationship wasn’t drowning anymore. We were able to spend quality time together every day.
2. Do special things for each other.
The daily hustle and bustle can take our attention away from the relationship God intended to be the most important here on this earth. Whether we want to admit it or not, everyone likes to feel special. No matter the personality type, men and women want to feel special.
It is important to know what your spouse likes, what makes them feel important, and what makes them feel loved. This could be picking up their favorite candy bar, giving them a massage at night, or making their favorite meal. There are many simple things you can do a few times a week that will let your spouse know they are special and not at the bottom of your to-do list.
3. Be vulnerable and honest.
Have “Check-In’s” with each other about your struggles and specific needs within the marriage relationship.
Be honest. Be open.
There were many times I didn’t share areas I was struggling, thinking “I’m keeping things peaceful in our marriage” and didn’t want to ruffle the waters. However, that does more harm than good to the relationship.
The blessing truly comes from being honest with each other about your struggles in life, challenges in parenting, and obstacles within the marriage relationship. This brings a deeper level of closeness as you share the good & bad feelings you experience. Nothing should be at a surface level in our marriages. Sharing at a surface level exposes us for the enemy to work in our hearts and minds.
We have learned to be open, even if the response is not be perfect. It is worth pursing the depth God has intended for our marriages.
4. Pray about it daily.
This seems simple, but there were many times I did not pray about my marriage. I wondered why chaos was slipping in. I would pray about my kids, my friends, all of my needs and wants…but not my number one ministry on this earth. After having kids, I felt the need to even be more intentional about prayer in our marriage.
After 12 years, we have been through our share of super highs and overwhelming lows. In all seasons, I realized prayer was the key. Many times we want to fix things and have a plan for doing things to revive our marriages, but the most powerful thing we can do is pray.
Simply giving all my concerns to God, asking him to help our marriage, praying for strength in our relationship, being a light to this world, and leaving it in His hands has done wonders.
I have seen Him bring conviction to us both, more grace, more love, more passion, more kindness, and more effort toward our relationships. God is the God of miracles. When we neglect praying for our marriages, our marriages start to naturally decline.
The only key to a happy marriage is keeping Christ in the center. That is impossible without consistent prayer.
I’ve learned this lesson the hard way. Even on the best of days, I need to lift my marriage up in prayer and God will do the rest of the work behind the scenes.
5. Kiss & Hug more.
This seems to naturally go away when you have a child always pulling for your attention and likes to touch you all of the time. Sometimes as mom’s we can forget how much our husband’s need that feeling of touch and love because we were being touched all day by children.
It takes intention to kiss and hug each other more, not just “Hello” and “Good-Bye.” We have totally been there. There are many weeks that I look back and we may have kissed each other once or twice that day.
It literally changes the entire vibe of our relationship. God has created us to crave love from each other. As a wife, you should be fulfilling your husband’s need for this and vice versa. This definitely means physical intimacy on a regular basis, but also sweet touches when you are together.
This is such a great thing for your children to see and experience as well. I grew up with the best memories from the way my mom and dad were consistently affectionate with each other. It was constant and has lasted to this day. Just watching them showed us the importance of keeping the fire burning with how much they adored each other. I grew up desiring that in my marriage and seeking to keep that going.
This also left me feeling very secure about my parent’s marriage even when friends’ parents were getting divorces left and right. Our children are watching us closely. Make sure you are intentional about the messages you are sending them about their future relationships.
By no means do we have this whole marriage thing figured out. Each day we look to God for help. Some days are fabulous and some days we struggle; but we lean on God and He’s never failed us. Having kids does not have to be a downer to your marriage, but you do have to be more intentional in helping it thrive without leaving it on the back burner. I hope these ideas and tips will help you do that!
For another helpful marriage article, check out :“10 tips for spicing up your Marriage.”
Or “12 Things I learned from 12 Years of Marriage.”
**IF you enjoyed this article, I would greatly appreciate you sharing it on social media. Thanks so much!
What a beautiful family you have! I love all of your advice, hugs and kisses can go a long way!! Thanks for sharing! XO
Thank you! I appreciate that!
Great tips. I am certain my friends with kids would appreciate them.
Thank you for sharing!
Yes to all of these! We love giving our boys a consistent bedtime too and definitely value prayer as the center of our relationship. I love this post.
That’s awesome girl! Thank you!
What a great post and much needed reminder! God bless your beautiful family!
Thanks so much!
Naya @ Lactivist in Louboutins
Yes yes yes! Marriage after kids can be so difficult. I jokingly call it the sweat pant phase, when things get comfortable. It’s so important to make time for each other and focus on your partner!
Omg you are so right! LOL
Vicki @ Babies to Bookworms
These are such great tips. So often we forget that marriage requires work, and that is even more true when the kids become your focus!
I appreciate it and totally agree!
Before my marriage I suffered a miscarriage which brought us closer together. Then my husband and I got married in March 2016 and six months later his brother died and they were so close. It has brought us through some weird days but we do make sure we take our own time together away from my son.
Aww I’m sure.. thanks for sharing!
Yes! Kids are wonderful, but they definitely limit the amount of time you have to focus on your spouse. For us, that has meant making the time we DO have quality…and making it a priority to make time for each other. I heard someone once say that paying for a babysitter is cheaper than paying for divorce. This really oversimplifies the issue, but the point is that it’s SO worth the investment of money, time, and anything else to keep our marriages strong. P.S. – Your family is absolutely beautiful!
Totally agree with this! I have heard that too! Thanks for sharing!
Great post! It is so easy to let your marriage take a back burner during these early childhood years. I struggle with that. I struggle with communicating. I do the same thing…”I’m just going to keep the peace….” but that is also coupled with this fear that once I bring up something I see that needs to change, HE will bring up something that he thinks needs to change and am I ready for that conversation? I always think in the back of my mind…”if I say this, what is he going to bring up?” This shouldn’t stop us from communicating. I know our love is deep-seated and true, but it is still scary:) Thanks for the encouragement to be honest and talk about things. I also like the tactic of kissing and hugging more and doing it whether you feel like it or not. Those feelings usually stroll on in later on:)
YES!! I’ve totally been there. I’m so glad this brought you some encouragement too!
Amanda @ The Farm Wyfe
Great suggestions! I’m a stickler for #1! My friends think I’m crazy but I’m jealous of that alone time with my husband after the kids are in bed because it’s the only time we have to talk during the day! 🙂
That’s a good thing!
I couldn’t agree more! I especially love the reminder to be ‘intentional’. I need to practice that more in all aspects of my life.
Awesome tips on marriage 🙂 All of them are really helpful.
These are such great tips! Being married is so hard! I think any efforts to improve and make it better are wonderful!
Such a sweet post! I’ll keep these in mind! Xo
I couldn’t agree more with all of them. AN early bedtime routine saves both of us. We have time to do our own thing and then still have time to be together, taking about our day. It’s my favorite part of each day. And praying about your marriage…Definitely a must. It seems whenever I slip and stop praying about it, that’s when the challenges seems harder. Great article.
YES! I totally agree!
Beautiful photo and family. My favorite is setting kids bedtime, this is when we get to wind done too!
Rebekah @ The Mama Bear Blog
These are really great tips, I can’t wait until my one year old is a little older so I can enforce “bedtime” a little easier. You have such a beautiful family. 🙂
Yes it’s hard to do in that first year but it’s right around the corner!
We’ve been working on a firm bedtime.. it’s a rough one in our household. Thank you for all the tips!
Hope you get it soon! Good luck!
Ayanna @ 21FlavorsofSplendor
Great tips!! As much as I love my daughters and being a SAHM, I always have to remind myself and sometimes my girls that I was their dad’s wife before I was their mother.
Lauren | also known as mama
Love this post so much. Being firm about bedtime is crucial! I look forward to spending a couple uninterrupted hours with my husband every night.
Yes me too! Favorite time of the day!
Your heart in this post is so evident and refreshing! I too see many dad’s placed on the back burner by their wives once kids are born and it breaks my heart. But I’ve also struggled with it from time to time. Everything you said is vital to a thriving marriage. Thanking you for your vulnerability and honestly.
Aww thanks that is such a beautiful compliment! Thank you!
Paula @ I'm Busy Being Awesome
These are such wonderful tips! My husband and I don’t have kids – but the remaining tips still apply without them:) Also, what a gorgeous family picture at the top of the post 🙂
Yes for sure! Thank you!
This post is fantastic, you are right having a bedtime for kids are a must. Although it can be crucial sometimes but as they become a custom to it. It made our job easier at night. My husband and I got for date night twice to three times a month without kids. Thank you for sharing this wonderful helpful post.
Yes I totally agree!
This is a breath of fresh air. Most women I follow focus either completelyon marriage or completely on the kids. It’s wonderful to see the balance here in the simplicity of day to day life.
I’m so glad you enjoyed it!
Thank you for these reminders. Pray pray pray. I have to always remind myself.
I love this SO much and agree with every single thing you said!! We are always preaching this to other couples and I can tell you that we definitely saw a difference when we made it a point to do all of them. Thanks so much for sharing!
I’m so glad! Thank you!
What an important message for married couples! My favorite tip was establishing a firm bedtime…this has been one of the best ways for my husband and me to ensure we have time together each day. It’s something I look forward to every, single day!
Yes! It’s been a game changer for us!
What a great message. Our children need to see a strong marriage. I need to work on hugging and kissing my husband more. Heck, I need to work on looking at him more! We are so busy chasing down the kiddos we can lose sight of each other. Thanks for the reminder!
These are great tips. It’s so easy to get lost in the day to day routine that it’s easy to put each other behind every thing and every one else.
Absolutely love everything about this post! Number one has become a game changer for our family.
Sara M. @ The Sanity Plan
We really struggle with #1. It would be easier if we actually only had the little ones, but when my teenage stepdaughter came to live with us, we found we had much less time to talk because she basically goes to bed when we do. The only way we’ve been able to solve that is through date nights.
This is beautiful. I love keeping Christ at the center. I need to focus on this and pray more daily ????????????????
Aww I’m glad!
Like!! Great article post.Really thank you! Really Cool.