My husband and I were married for eight years before we had our son. We knew our marriage would change, however we vowed to always put our marriage before the children. Our son is now a year old and we have kept that promise. Let me explain why my husband comes before my son.
One day my baby boy will run away
Right now our life is devoted to raising our son; but he will grow up, go off to college, get married and have his own life. That is the circle of life and in a blink of an eye my baby will become an adult. There will come a day when we will be empty-nesters, but we can’t wait until the kids leave the house to prioritize our marriage. We can’t put our love life on hold, we can’t stop traveling, we can’t stop devoting time to each other.
Prioritize your marriage
Having a baby comes with sacrifices but that doesn’t mean we sacrifice each other. In the beginning, all the attention goes to the baby: the time, the money, everything. But in the mist of the whirlwind is when you have to stop and remember to prioritize your marriage. When my husband comes home, we give each other attention. This means talking about our feelings, his job, the news, a Netflix series, the weather-any topic but the baby. It can be 15 minutes to an hour. It can be as we bathe the baby or once he falls asleep. The point is to have a conversation, make each other laugh and not be consumed with baby talk.
We schedule time for affection. All day long we kiss and hug the baby but we remind each other to be affectionate. As we walk down the street we push the stroller and hold hands. As we talk, we look into each-others eyes and one of us will lean over for a kiss. Sometimes my husband will say: “You haven’t given me a kiss all day”. Or I might be cleaning or doing laundry and he will stop me and say: “Give me five minutes and lets hug each other”. And before we go to sleep we have a ritual in which we say what we love about each other and how grateful we are for our marriage. The daily struggle of life with kids makes it hard to act like honeymooners, but you have to make a conscious effort to physically show love.
Let’s talk about sex
Of course the baby changes your sex life. Our body has completely changed. Some of us have stretch marks, flappy skin, breastmilk leaking from our breasts, and that baby weight. We don’t feel sexy and we blame it on our postpartum bodies and hormones. Some days we haven’t even showered and our clothes smell of baby spit-up.
So those spontaneous nights of love-making are now out of the question. It probably took an hour to get the baby to sleep so we can’t make noise. Our son sleeps in our bed so how can we be intimate. You might not feel attractive, you’re exhausted so you rather sleep but if you don’t take the time to be intimate, it will affect your marriage. Be open with your partner, get creative and feed off each others energy.
It’s crucial to have date nights. We no longer go to fancy restaurants or to the movies, night clubs or concerts. Some days we go out for a walk or to buy ice cream. We don’t have a baby-sitter so we take our son everywhere. Our favorite date night is going to a cafe and people-watch as we sip on our coffee.
My marriage has changed now that we became parents. But we prioritize our marriage because if we are not happy with each other, how will we raise our kids? We have to grow our love so that we can set the example for our kids. My marriage comes before kids because I want my children to know their parents daily prioritized love in the home.