One of the most demanding period of any person’s life is when they are raising young kids. Their absolute dependence on you to get their needs met takes a toll on you physically, mentally, emotionally, even socially.
Usually, the first relationship that is affected by this constant drain is your marriage. After having engaged in countless conversations with your kids, you’re too tired to respond to your spouse. After having been up and down several times to meet their needs, you are too tired to attend to your spouse, and he should understand right, after all he’s an adult, lol.
By the time the day is done and the kids have gone to bed, you just want to relax by yourself and fall asleep. And that is how couples drift apart slowly. Unless you decide to intentionally ensure the health of your marriage regardless of the stress you face daily.
If this is you, here are a few tips that can help you:
1. Don’t accuse, just ask for help:
It is easy to fall into the habit of accusations when you’re feeling overwhelmed by all you have to do daily. However, I have learnt and I keep trying to practice refraining from using speech extremes such as “never” and “always”.
Here’s why: Statements made to your spouse that includes those words typically aren’t true. E.g you never help around the house or you always sit around while I work etc. When you think about it, you will realize that your spouse has done that thing you said he never does at least one time.
Therefore, instead of getting the help you need, you’d either end up in an argument, with your spouse trying to justify himself, or you’d leave your spouse feeling unappreciated and dejected.
This doesn’t help a marriage. So just go straight to the point and ask for the help you need.
While phrases like “Can you help me…” or “I need you to ……” are great. Better phrases that will have a more positive impact on your spouse are:
I’d finish faster, if you ……
My day would be easier if you help …..
It’d relieve me if you could ……..
When you are married to a good intentioned spouse who genuinely cares, communicating like this helps him feel needed by you (not just used). It helps him see that the help he’s rendering has a huge effect on you and how your day goes, and everyone wants to feel like they’re making a difference especially in the life of someone they love.
And if you’re reading this, go a step further and practice asking your spouse at least once during their day “what do you need help with?” “How can I help?” “Do you need me to do anything for you?”. (Because no one likes to keep having to ask for help especially when the need is glaring).
It can be frightening to ask this especially when you have a lot to do yourself, but imagine what it’d be like if you and your spouse initiates helping one another in this manner daily. Imagine how beautiful 🤩 your home will be. And since you’re reading this, you take the first step.
2. Have a screen free time during your rest period:
When the kids finally go to bed, the first thing I grab is my phone to catch up on all what I think I missed (which is usually nothing🙄). Then comes TV to just relax you know. I’m sure this is typical for you and spouse too. And before you know it, you’re snoring. It’s so easy for these screens to compete with the little one on one time we have together as a couple ,UNLESS, we intentionally put them away.
Always schedule at least 15 minutes for screen free, face to face interaction, daily, because no one online should matter more than your spouse.
So decide now, what your screen free times will be to make room for some face to face communication, because no one else online should matter more than this person you have joined yourself to. 15 minutes of sitting in front of each other or side by side and really listening or talking will foster that deep connection that brought you together in the first place.
For a healthy balance, choose only screen activities you will enjoy together to aid your relaxation. Keywords being “enjoy together”. As much as lies with you, limit any activity (chores, calls etc.) that will take away your concentration from your spouse during that little time you have alone.
And when you’re apart, use the screen to your advantage, text, chat, CALL, send pictures, send GIFS, emojis, share funny links etc. Use it all to keep that healthy connection strong 💪. It’s easy to do this before the kids arrived, but now do it intentionally (before you forget and move on to the next activity 😂).
3. Don’t over sacrifice:
Sacrifices are a non negotiable part of marriage and parenting. From choosing to stay home to focus on family or choosing to stay awake for a few more hours after a long day at work so your spouse can get some rest etc. The sacrifices we have to make as a couple are varied and can be seemingly endless.
However, the HEART of your giving is just as important as the ACT of giving. When you begin to sense resentment building up in your heart about how much you’re giving, stop and re-analyze.
If it is something your spouse can do, let him do it.
If it is something your children should be able to do, train them to do it.
If it is something you can do at another time when you feel better then let it wait.
If you’re going to complain about doing it later or resent who you did it for, there is no blessing in that. If absolutely no one else can make the sacrifice to do that thing but you, take a minute to pray about your heart and attitude before you do it.
4. Stay closely connected to your source:
Your spouse is not your main source of emotional fulfillment, God is! Marriage is an Avenue to GIVE TO YOUR SPOUSE the grace, love and mercy that you RECEIVE DAILY FROM GOD. If you do not stay connected to your source, it’s only a matter of time before you find yourself running out of the love and patience to give, and that is how resentment and hatred begins to take root.
Regularly take your “drained out” self to God in worship and prayer and let Him fill you so that you can have what it takes to keep giving. Schedule it as a crucial part of your day, either as the first thing you do, or the last thing or during your lunch break or when you’re up at night. And when it seems you just can’t meet up with that schedule, keep worship playing in the background in your home, it really helps!
Marriage is an Avenue to GIVE TO YOUR SPOUSE the grace, love and mercy that you RECEIVE DAILY FROM GOD
Remember, He is the shepherd of your soul! 1Peter2:25. He is the one responsible for caring for your soul, but He can only do that if you allow Him.
I hope these tips help you to keep building a healthy marriage in spite of the highly demanding job of raising young kids.
Until next week,😎
With all my love❤️
P.S: I’m glad you read this post because it means that you are at least interested in keeping your marriage strong and healthy. And that’s great.💪Don’t let your marriage take the back burner, it is the most important relationship of your life, second only to Christ❤️.If you want to receive tips to keep your marriage a priority and to keep building a godly, strong and beautiful relationship with your spouse, fill in your email address and follow this blog now.
Love alone is not enough, follow Courtship & Marriage, to get tools, tips and inspiration that will help you build the godly relationship you desire.
P.P.S: Do you have friends who are also raising young kids, share this post with them using the social media buttons below.