How do you keep the spark alive after having kids?
Following this list of simple tips can help:
- Ditch the fairy tale
- Always say goodbye and hello, preferably with a kiss
- Chat often
- Flirt daily
- Greet each other with a compliment
- Affirm each other
- Express appreciation
- Prioritize your relationship
- Don’t be subtle about intimacy
- Leave the bad attitude at the door
- Go out of your way
Whether you’re newlyweds or married for ten years before having children, the result is always the same, change. Your routine, prioritizes, budget, the relationship dynamic, how your house is organized, it all changes. Some change is subtle, but some changes are pretty in-your-face. Your once organized and elegant living room now looks like Babies “R” Us exploded in it.
It’s easy to miss the subtle relationship dynamic changes that occur with all the external changes, especially in your new baby’s first year. It’s completely normal and fine to be focused on your new baby. Your baby is completely helpless without you. You need to establish a good feeding and sleeping schedule, a new home routine, and so much more. So, go ahead and put baby first for a little while!
The key is that both of you are putting the baby first when she needs it. As the days pass by, you’ll see patterns emerge, new skills take hold, and you’ll be able to focus on more than just your precious little one.
If you really want to be good parents, you must also have a strong marriage. Part of that is finding ways to keep the spark alive after having kids.
Ditch the fairy tale.
Lavish gifts, expensive restaurants, weekend getaways, and horseback riding on the beach at sunset are all magical! And completely unrealistic to keep up with throughout your marriage with kids. What your life once was, whether that was glitzy dates or humble evenings spent together, will change. Maybe a little, maybe a lot. I’m telling you to be open to that change. You get to do it with the love of your life and new baby, so enjoy it, and know that whatever the future holds, you will face it together.
Always say goodbye and hello, preferably with a kiss.
Keep the spark alive after having kids by always, and I mean as often as possible, kissing each other goodbye and hello. We need that intimate touch from our spouse, and there is no guarantee that the night will bring an evening of intimacy or children screaming and needing attention. Make a little effort each day to express some affection!
Be sure to chat often.
Some jobs do not allow you to keep your phone on you at all times. So, it is understandable if you can only chat with your spouse after work. However, plenty of jobs DO let you have your phone on you during the day. When you’ve got a break, send a quick message to your spouse. Don’t expect an immediate answer. If you need that, then call. Bring a smile to your spouse’s face with a loving message, funny meme, or a positive update on your day.
Flirt daily to help keep the spark alive after having kids.
Flirting as a married couple is similar in some ways to flirting while dating. It’s in the eyes, a touch on the shoulder, a laugh and a hair flip, blowing a kiss from across the room, or with some wordplay in conversation.
Of course, you can pull out the one-liners if you so choose. “Aside from being sexy, what do you do for a living?” Be mindful of your kids’ ages—you wouldn’t want to use a pick-up line they could repeat!
Greet each other with a compliment.
Greeting each other with a compliment is my favorite way to help keep the spark alive after having kids! I love to answer the phone with a “Well, hi handsome!” In our old-age, we don’t always feel as good-looking as we used to. If I can let my husband know he’s still got it, why not?
Affirm each other.
There are times in your life, your career, your whatever, that’ll you’ll feel like you’re drowning. Or maybe you feel like you’re just a hamster on a wheel, constantly working and spinning but stuck in the same spot. It’s easy to shut out your spouse and blame them like they aren’t doing enough to keep you from these feelings.
Instead, talk with your spouse about what has got you so overwhelmed and stressed. Keep the spark alive after having kids by affirming that you are in this together. Thick and thin, sickness and health, good times and bad. We will go through so many phases in life. It just blows my mind. In the moment, we feel like things will never change. In the blink of an eye, five years have passed, and you are in an entirely different phase of life.
Tell your spouse when you appreciate them. Yes, as the stay-at-home-mom, I run the household. If Joe can pitch in, I see it as his duty. But, there are times when I feel he goes out of his way to put my needs before his own. For that, he deserves my thanks and an explanation as to why I appreciate his thoughtfulness so much. He deserves to know how his kind gesture has benefited me in more ways than just getting that extra load of laundry in the wash.
Prioritize your relationship.
Keep the spark alive after having kids by prioritizing your relationship with your spouse. Your marriage came before you had kids, and we want it to last long after the children have gone. Make time to cultivate the friendship and love you have for each other. Focus on the Family has a terrific post on steps to grow a deeper friendship with your spouse.
If you need some more suggestions on prioritizing your relationship, check out 21 Fantastic Ways to Date Your Spouse at Home! We use these fun and cheap ideas to help us reconnect and keep the spark alive after having kids.
Don’t be subtle about intimacy.
Be clear about intimacy to help keep the spark alive after kids. Schedule it if you have to. If you’re a busy, slightly numerous family like us, you will likely have to schedule it. Don’t be ashamed if you have to discuss what that looks like.
Maybe you’re in the mood but too tired for anything longer than 5 minutes. Or you’re ready to play the long game and make an entire evening just about the 2 of you. Even though you’re married, your spouse cannot read your mind, or even that funny look you give them occasionally.
Leave the bad attitude at the door.
Leave your irritable emotions where they came from. I don’t know how to explain it better than in an example.
One Sunday morning, I was up and getting everyone ready, but things weren’t going 100% as I had hoped. I became frustrated. Then I walked into the bathroom, where Joe was showering. He woke up and was getting ready. He didn’t deserve to feel my wrath. That was going to be my first interaction with him all morning. My words were going to set the tone for the day. So I changed the channel in my tone of voice.
I was still frustrated with my morning, but therein lies the key, recognizing that he was not the source of my frustration, I was. I didn’t meet my expectations, and I could easily blame him, but that wouldn’t have been right. So I greeted him the way he deserved to be greeted by his loving wife, his best friend. A cheerful “good morning Love, how did you sleep last night?” Instead of the “You are just NOW getting in the shower?! uugghhh!”
Let me tell you; the day went much more smoothly. Our days go way more smoothly now that we both choose to treat each other the way we deserve—which is with respect and dignity—and recognize that it is wrong to take our frustrations out on one another. There are some weeks where every day feels like another Monday. Don’t let the ‘Monday Blues’ get you down.
Go out of your way.
Keep the spark alive after having kids by making it a point to go out of your way to do something special for your spouse. That something special could be any number of things. Consider what you believe is your spouse’s love language and go from there. Nothing says “I LOVE YOU!” more than when I see Joe lovingly taking care of the dishes or laundry. He is not a fan of all the mundane house chores. So when I see him performing them, I know he’s thinking of me and going out of his way to keep the spark alive.
I’m game for a back massage too and being told how pretty I am, but he knows how to speak my language.
Go out of your way for your spouse. Put their desires before your own, whether that is one-on-one time or a bouquet of flowers, and watch that spark ignite into a flame!
Keep the spark alive after having kids by making your marriage and your spouse’s needs a priority. It will surely strengthen your marriage bond and provide a loving environment for your family to flourish.
How do you and your spouse keep the spark alive after having kids? Leave your thoughts in the comments below! Do you know a couple that could use a little marriage encouragement? Indirectly give them a nudge by sharing this post to your Pinterest, Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram!