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How to Grow Your Marriage After You Have Kids

grow your marriage Your Modern FAmily

Life changes drastically after you have kids, and not just in the sense that you’ll get less sleep (for the next 18+ years). From talking about who changes the next diaper to deciding what kind of parenting style to follow, you’re living in a whole different world.

As such, it can be harder and harder to find one-on-one time with each other, and your relationship with your spouse is inevitably going to change. If you want to change it for the better, you need to work on your relationship, both in the short term and long term.

In the Short Term

Make Your Spouse a Priority

It’s easy to focus completely on the kids. They require a lot of attention, after all. However, kids grow up and move out of the house, and it’s important to remember that a family is built on your relationship with your spouse. As such, make your spouse a priority in the short and long term.
You’ll be leading by example and showing your kids that your significant other has needs too – and that the world doesn’t revolve entirely around them.

Offer a Few Surprises

Flowers for no reason. A text to say, ‘I love you.’ An unasked-for foot massage. Simple things like this show your spouse that you’re thinking about them.

Switch Up the Roles/Responsibilities On Occasion

You get into too much of a routine, and it’s easy to get into a rut. To avoid just that, switch up some of your household duties. Take turns packing the kids’ lunches or doing a load of laundry, and give each other a break every once in a while.

Give Yourself 20 Minutes to Reconnect

Feel like you’re running around like crazy? Stop for a moment and take a second to catch up, even if your kids are in the middle of making a mess. A simple check-in like this can help you feel just a little bit reconnected.

Get Takeout

Home-cooked meals are great and all, but they take time. Save some time for yourself every once in a while by keeping your favorite restaurant’s number handy.

Set Early Bedtimes for the Kids

It’s inevitable: Kids will always wake up early. However, you and your honey can get some much needed time to yourselves if you put them to bed early.


In the Long Term

Stay United

A marriage is a partnership, especially with kids involved. That means if your child is asking for something, don’t give in if the other has already said no. United you stand, united you will remain.

Compliment Each Other

Not only compliment always nice to hear, but they’re also a sign that you’re thinking of him/her. They’re also great to hear after a long, stressful day, whether you’re in the office or at home with the kids.

Hug one another. 

Remember to give each other hugs and kisses, and showing your affection for each other in front of the family.

Plan Date Nights

Alone time out of the house is a must. Find a babysitter or family member to watch your kids – or send the kids on a sleepover – and go out and do an activity you used to do before kids.

Spend Some Time Apart

That said, there’s also some value in alone time. This time will help you recharge your batteries so you can feel rejuvenated. It’s all about finding a balance between time together and time apart.

Focus on Communication

Last but certainly not least, always pay attention to the way you communicate. It can be easy to nag if something isn’t getting done, but nagging doesn’t help you or your spouse. Talk any issues through, and be honest and upfront. The longer something brews, the less happy you’ll be.

Your family is built on the foundation of your marriage. Life may be different after kids, but it can also be more rewarding. You’ll start to see your spouse in new and better ways. However, you can’t rest on your laurels. The way you interact with your spouse is being a model for your kids.

grow your marriage Your Modern FAmily

Image by Oleh Slobodeniuk


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Hi there!

I’m Becky, a former elementary school teacher turned certified child development therapist and blogger. I work at home with my husband and together we are raising (and partially homeschooling) our four children in the Carolinas. I love diet coke, ice cream, and spending time with my family.

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  1. Oh, my mistake. I read after kids and took it in the context of the empty nest. I am thrilled to see plugs for the 5 Love Languages!

    I realize that you do not feel young, but you are. I too am an educator, raised three boys – one of which is still in high school. My husband and I will celebrate 29 years of marriage in August. I suggest that you lengthen your gaze. There are significant and rapid changes in secondary education that parents need to be aware of. Purposeful parenting to nurture strengths and interests from toddler to adulthood is important. This approach is preparation to assist high school freshmen as they select a career path and register for sophomore classes.

    Another important topic is the transition to early adulthood. One issue is preparing your child to manage their medical care BEFORE they turn 18. Privacy laws exclude parents at age 18,, even though they are allowed to provide insurance coverage up to age 26. Preparing teens and supporting them through this process can be of vital importance when going off to college.

    I could offer a plethora of ideas, but will stop here. Are you open to some form of collaboration to meet the needs of parents, families, and marriages at different places along the journey? I would love to continue dialogue with you.

  2. I really enjoyed this post. It is so important to be a team and stay a team for a successful marriage and parenting! Thanks for the great read. Rose @ Our House of Love