Friday, June 24, 2011

Keeping the Love Alive

Yesterday, my dear friend Martha posted about her fears that her baby (who is due today!) was going to change her relationship with her hubby. I think that is a common fear among new moms, when you realize that it will never be just the two of you ever again, how will that affect the love between you and your partner? And since I miss Husband already and I don't want Martha to worry at all about her love for Sam, I have decided to share some of the ways Kev and I keep the love alive despite our two little munchkins.

1. Make time for each other. Every night after C goes to bed, husband and I make a point to sit and talk. It is so easy to get into a rut of put baby to bed and crash, turn on the TV, play on the internet or just tune each other out because you no longer have to watch the kid. We try our best to use that quiet time to have conversations that don't revolve around Thomas the Train. Granted, there are some nights I annouce to husband that I have no words and just wanted to watch re-runs of How I Met Your Mother, but even then, at least I am communicating that fact!

2. Trust other people with your kids. We like to go on dates. A lot. We also like to go away for a weekend every few months. We are happy that Cullen (and hopefully Bennett) adapts well to change and to other authorities besides us. We are thankful that my mom likes to take him for the weekend. We let Kev's dad give C his bath and put him to bed when we are with them. I make sure my boys will take a bottle so that I have the freedom to spend time with Kev and not have to worry about feeding the baby. I admit that it is hard to leave your kids behind, but it is so good for your relationship. And in all honesty, it is good for your kids as well.

3. Give each other some space. As a (majority of the time) stay-at-home mom, one big adjustment for me was realizing that Kev gets tired too. It is easy to build up resentment being home with the kids all day and feel like husband should walk in from work and take over. I think I even through out to him once "well you can shut the door in your office and not doing anything", which of course is not really true, and if husband didn't love me so much, he could have thrown back "you put the baby down for his nap then gchat and eat cookies for 2 hours." It took us a little while to find that honest, happy place where Kev could tell me he needed to go for a run, or I could tell him I want to go to the grocery store in the evening, just to be alone for a few minutes.

4. Watch and Love. Nothing melts my heart more than seeing how much Kev loves our sons. There is something incredibly special about seeing the person you love the very most in the world loving the 2 little people you love the most. I love Kev more now that I did before we had children because he is such a good father.

5. Embrace the change. It is true that your relationship will be different, but that's a good thing. I would worry if our relationship didn't change after children. We just found new ways to make it work. So we don't frequent bars anymore, but we enjoy a glass of wine on the deck with good friends. We don't sleep in on Saturday morning, but now we make pancakes, go for a walk and play outside with the boys. We don't go out to dinner all the time, now we go out to lunch. We take advantage of family and friends who want to help us out and rarely turn that help down. I wouldn't trade my life now for my life 3 years ago. Having children strengthened our relationship more than I thought possible. It really is a wonderful thing.

Whether you have children or not, what are some of the ways you keep the love alive in a long term relationship?


Martha Metzler said...

oh sweet friend, what would i do without you? thanks for this post!

Tyler said...

Keeping the love alive is a task fo sho! It's so easy to get in a rut and zone one another out. I truly believe communication is the key of all relationships!

dbirkel said...

34 1/2 years of experience lends itself to lots of possible advice. Simply put: honesty, respect, communication, giving each other "freedom to be themselves", and setting aside special time all contribute to a good marriage. Of course, being fully supportive when your spouse is going through crappy health issues tests all of these...but, love and friendship take over and makes getting through the good and bad "easy." There is no perfect marriage. It is a constant work in progress from day 1 until the day you die. So, remember to follow all that good advice of Katie...she and Kev are a beautiful couple.