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How To Navigate Marriage After Your Family Expands

Take care of your marriage while you take care of your child.

When your family grows, your family dynamics will change.  While it used to be just the two of you caring for each other, now you both will be caring for little ones.  It’s important not to lose sight of what brought you together in the first place.  Make sure to make time for each other. The National Marriage Project, researchers W. Bradford Wilcox and Jeffrey Dew wrote that “that the quality of the relationship between parents is one of the key factors associated with the cognitive, social, and emotional development of their children.” I’ve put together some tips for dealing with your family’s changing dynamics when you have kids.

Make Time For Your Spouse

Set aside a date night each week and a time to just be together.  If you have a new baby, schedule your date night around when he or she sleeps. Husbands can feel especially left out when a new baby takes up all of his wife’s attention.  Just like any relationship, you need time together to grow closer and stay closer. Don’t neglect the time that you spend together when a child enters the scene.  Make sure to schedule in a date night on your calendar just like you would any important appointment.  Consider this the most important meeting that you have for the entire week.

Share The House Duties

Communicate clearly what you need help with.  Many husbands feel left out and want to help with some household duties when the baby comes home.   Don’t feel like you have to accomplish all of the household task’s alone. You are not a failure as a wife or as a mom to ask for some help from your husband.  With guys, it’s important for you to be very specific about what you need help with. For tips on what to ask him for help on, check out our article here. 

Check In With Your Spouse Throughout The Day

A simple text, phone call, or email can go a long way towards keeping communication going with your spouse. Spend a few moments to communicate with them for no reason at all, other than to say hi and tell him that you love him.  He may know full well that you love him, but by taking that time to express it, you are keeping romance and communication going.  When you finally see each other, if one or both of you work, make sure to stop what you are doing and give a hug. Say hi.  Take the time to see how his day went.  Talk and listen to each other if even for just a few minutes a day.

Put The Kids To Bed Early

Try putting the kids to bed early so that you have uninterrupted time with your husband.  Even if you just plan on having popcorn on the couch while watching a movie or show together, it’s important to have that one on one time.

Do It For The Kids

Spending quality daily time with your spouse will not only help your marriage to grow and stay strong, but it will also help your children to be healthy. Studies have shown that kids who witness their parents spending time together and being in love, feel more stable.  So even though you should spend time on your marriage, don’t be fooled into thinking that by doing so you are neglecting your kids.  You are helping your children by spending with your husband.

In Summary

Make your marriage a priority after your children arrive.  I’ve listed some tips on how to do this, but also try to be creative.  Remember, that for a relationship to flourish, you need that time together.  The child-rearing stage may seem like it goes on forever, but when it’s over it will seem like it flew by.  Don’t sacrifice that time with your husband, by letting your marriage become stagnant or fall apart.

For more tips on making your spouse a priority, check out our article here. 

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