Remember when it was just the two of you, and every day was like a Honeymoon. Then before long, it was “and baby makes three” – and POW! everything changed!
It is an unfortunate truth, that while having a baby is a miracle that tightens and cements a family as a unit, the pitter-patter of little feet, can also open some big gaps between you and your spouse.
But there are wonderful ways to bridge those gaps, and bring your babies and/or kids INTO your marriage without you or your spouse getting swept away in the sea of goings on and doings for the kids!
Yes, all parents want better for their kids than they had, or at least the very best. But the very best has to go to the two of you to show them what that is all about. Kids need to grow up secure in the feeling that comes from experiencing the love they see demonstrated by you two.
Studies, counselors, clergy all concur that by keeping mom and dad strong and a priority to each other, the kids will be AOK. Kids flourish when they see and therefore know that mom and dad are solid with their communication, affection, and paying attention to one another.
How to Treat Your Spouse
Well experienced parents– and counselors too suggest treating your spouse like your family dog—only better! Here’s how just in case treating your family pet is so second nature, you don’t even think about it.
- Wag your tail with a happy greeting at the door when she or he comes in.
- Go for a daily walk to check out some nature together.
- Reward good behavior with a treat that you know he or she loves.
- Gives lots of petting and other physical attention every day.
- Don’t hold long grudges for a mistake made but look into those big droopy eyes, that soft wet nose, that you know love you.
- Start the morning by bringing a refreshing drink.
- Say “I love you” out loud in front of the kids, nuzzling at the neck.
Other Special Ways to Treat Your Spouse
Here are some other special ways to treat your spouse and let him or her know they are still loved as much as the little bundle of joy.
- Step off the daily treadmill to focus on your spouse and your health—together!
- Send a text not just to request or remind about something, but just to say you were thinking about her or him.
- Set a regular daily time to talk. It’s not about numbers or ratios even. This can be just 10, 15 or 20 minutes together while the kids are otherwise occupied, or after they are asleep.
- Read a book together and plan a date to talk about it over coffee, wine at home or out or at a bookstore. Take turns choosing the book. If there is a movie connection, watch it together after reading and compare the two venues.
- Get some work done early mornings before the start of the regular workday to allow a bit of time for the special spouse later. Or, start your workday before your official start hour at home. Many couples feel they get huge amounts accomplished between 5-8AM.
- Compliment at least once or twice a day without being asked.
Here is the thing. All spouses want to feel loved. But as time goes by, it is easy to fall into a rut, and take the “better half” for granted. Not only that, so many things change, you may not even be sure what it is anymore, that will make your “loved one,” feel “loved.” Simple solution? JUST ASK.
Ask your spouse to make a list of the things he or she wished you would do for him or her, the things that will make him or her feel loved wanted and appreciated. You make one too. Many couples who do this are surprised by some of the things on their lists, maybe even get a chuckle over them, but when they do them for one another, they often find their marriages moving from frustration — to fun and fulfillment.