My husband and I have been together for 11 years. 11 wonderfully wild years, and we still spend almost every night together hanging out. So, quite often we get asked… ‘How do you guys still make it work?’
Tip #1 – Make time
Every night the kids go to bed at 7PM. No exceptions, no changes, no one gets up after this time. It’s just how we’ve made it. At this point, the hubby and I make sure the household chores are all done and everything is ready for the next day. And then we spend around three hours together before bed. Almost every night. Sometimes one of us exercises or has a date night with a friend. But mostly it’s just him and me.
Tip #2 – Show affection
Kiss publicly, hold hands, pinch bums. I feel like this is so important. Our children laugh when we kiss. I make him push his pillows closer to mine when we watch TV in bed so we can hold hands. Moments like this make our relationship stronger – they make our household stronger. And I’ll never stop putting in that extra effort because, I know, without the two of us together maintaining a wonderfully healthy relationship, it wouldn’t be as happy a place over here. And, yes, it does take a little effort!
Tip #3 – Find you a babysitter!
We’re lucky that most of the time the in-laws and my parents will watch the kids so we can have a sneaky date night! But on the rare occasion when they aren’t available, we have a couple of back up babysitters. Don’t feel guilty about it – you’re investing in your relationship!
Sneaky tip: Childcare workers make great babysitters, and they already know your child so it’s win-win.
Tip #4 – Be present
Be present in your date night! Your children will be fine, even if they are pepped up on candy watching Godzilla. They will survive it.
Be present when you’re together chatting in bed, planning your week or watching a movie. Look at your husband, take his hand in yours and be present – that means put down the phone!
Sneaky tip: Technology free works best.
Tip #5 – Remember, you’re a team
I’ve always got my husband’s back and he’s always got mine. I think it’s important. We also discuss what’s bothering us, whether it’s schedule clashes, things we really want to do, space we need, or help we need. It’s really important to connect and check in. Gotta keep that team in fine form!
Keepin’ it real
When all is said and done, though, my husband, Dave, and I aren’t perfect. We fight over silly things – daily! But we work hard at our marriage because we want it to last. We are best friends; but it’s the effort we put in to our relationship that ensures we’re a happy couple too.
At the end of the day, Uber Eats in bed, a candle and a great movie never go astray!
I hope some of this helps you keep the spark alive in your relationship after kids, because I feel it’s what keeps my husband and I in touch and in tune!
Written by Krechelle Carter. Mum of six children, six and under; freelance writer for publications such as Kidspot and Woman’s Day; blogger; and creator of the Eight at Home community. Strong believer in following your dreams and balancing it all…most of the time! Find her at eightathome.com.au, on Instagram and Facebook.