First, I want to thank Maison and Caleb for being such awesome advocates of marriage and for having me on their blog! They are dear friends and my husband Drew and I absolutely love going through life with them by our sides. To know them truly is to love them.
My husband and I welcomed our first baby, Maxwell, in May of 2016. We are about 1 month away from his first birthday (eeek! I can hardly believe it).
Before he came into our lives, we had many ideas about how we wanted parenting to go. Even thinking about how we would continue to prioritize our marriage. I can remember our conversations as Maxwell was still growing in my belly. We would say things like, “We can for sure go on dates twice a month! AT LEAST!”
And then we had this perfect and sweet bundle in our arms. Our first baby. In that moment, our world completely shifted forever. All of the things we thought we had figured out or planned … changed.
We had to learn along the way. As a new mama, it took a long time before I felt comfortable being away from Maxwell. And even now, I AM comfortable, but we don’t feel a huge pull to go on those “at least twice monthly” dates.
But, that doesn’t mean we have stopped pursuing our marriage. In fact, I would say our marriage is stronger than ever. What we learned after having Maxwell is that marriage is much more about the little things than the big things. Much more about how we treat each other on a daily basis.
That doesn’t mean we have stopped pursuing our marriage. In fact, I would say our marriage is stronger than ever.
I wanted to share a few tips that we utilize to continue to nourish and pursue our marriage now that Max is a part of our lives:
- Date nights in. Max goes to bed early by adult standards (7:30pm). On Valentine’s Day this year, we put our sweet baby to bed and then had a date night at home. We dressed up, made a fancy dinner, and spent valuable time connecting over our meal. We’ve realized that for this little family, sometimes it just works better to date at home. A few tips for making it feel as special as a date night out: make a meal you don’t usually make, dress up like you are going out to dinner, talk about how excited you are for it.
- Speak your love. Drew and I write each other notes, text messages, and leave sweet voicemails. The other day, he called me while I was at work and when I had a chance to check my voicemail, it was simply the song I walked down the aisle to blaring. He was traveling for work and told me he couldn’t wait to be home to Maxwell and I. That is a SMALL thing that is a really big thing for us. That made me feel SO loved and front of mind. Try surprising your spouse with an unexpected small gesture.
- Realize it is OKAY if parenting changes your marriage, it is going to. Drew and I fell so in love with parenting that most of the time we don’t want to be away from Max. Plus, since we both work and have pretty full lives, we already do have to be away from him more than we’d like. We do fun things as a family of three and it fills us up so much. Seeing your spouse be an incredible parent makes you fall harder in love with them, even when you didn’t think that was possible.
- Stick together. Parenting is not without stress or lack of sleep. Drew and I constantly talk about how we need to come together in parenting, instead of letting it drive us apart. Believe me, there are times where this has been a challenge and one or both of us has lost our way. Afterward we always say: “we need to come together better next time babe.”
- Have things to look forward to. For our upcoming 3rd anniversary, we are going to go on a little weekend away from Maxwell. We’ve been excitedly planning and looking forward to the weekend. It is fun to have something to look forward to and even though we know we’ll miss our little guy, we also know it is important to sometimes get away just the two of us.
- Give your spouse ME time. I read this on a blog once and it resonated with me. In parenting and marriage, you are giving SO much of yourself to the people you love. It is important to make sure each spouse is getting time to pursue the things that make them happy. Drew and I find that alone time makes each of us more ready and resilient to be fully present in our parenting AND marriage. For us, it is as simple as Drew making it easy for me to go to dinner with a friend when I ask … or me saying an easy “yes” to him playing softball once a week this summer.
I’m SO very thankful that God brought my husband and I together. I ALWAYS think about how lucky I am to have him as my partner to navigate life with. Our marriage and our love truly laid the foundation for us to bring our little love into our lives. If parenting ever rocks the boat in our marriage, I remember to steady myself with those thoughts. To focus on the positive. To keep on pursuing my husband.
Thanks again to Maison and Caleb for having me on the blog. I’m grateful to be a part of this important and inspiring series they have been doing!
(Amy, Drew, and Max : ))
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