So you're a parent. But not just any parent. You're in the trenches of teething like my husband and I are. You're in the throws of tantrums. You're in the deep end of disciplining...and you're drowning. BUT WAIT! You have a marriage to keep alive! I know it's not always easy, but it needs to be a priority. Without a strong marriage between mommy and daddy, what do your kids really even have? To best take care of your children, sometimes you parents need to put your marriage first. Here are my 5 easy, tried and true tips to help you do that.
1. Surprise Date Nights!
This last December an idea popped into my head. I thought it would be fun to trade months planning a surprise date night as a sort of "marriage New Year's resolution"! So I had January and we played it low key that month and just went out shopping with some gift cards we had. February was Tom's month to plan it and we went to nice Italian restaurant for Valentine's Day! You get the idea. It doesn't have to be anything special! In the summer I'm pretty sure we'll do some free picnics and cheap outdoor dates like ice cream shops and stuff like that. But even when it's something simple, the suspense of the date and not knowing what your spouse is planning adds some spice and fun into your marriage. Heck, being the one to plan the date is even fun! Seeing the look on their face when they finally realize what you've planned, no matter how simple, is so exciting!
You can do it however often you want though! Monthly, bi-weekly, or even weekly. Whatever suits your schedules. Have fun, love birds!
2. Surprise Massages
I don't know about you guys but Tom and I are both kind of obsessed with back massages. It is the. most. heavenly. thing. on. earth. when I crawl into bed at the end of a long day spent with the kids and he rubs my back. Plus, we use that time to talk about our day or anthing else.
Also, comment below if you frequently attempt to trick your kids into giving you a back massage like I do. #dontlie #youdoittoo
This is the most ingenious method I've seen thus far. That's a smart dad...
Alright back to the marriage part!
3. Date Night In
If you're a parent, you can't always go out. Kids get sick or babysitters cancel, the car breaks down or you're just simply tired. If you're not a parent maybe you just want to save money! But date nights in don't have to be boring!
After the kids go to bed you can:
- Netflix/Redbox/Hulu + pizza and treats.
- In the summer put some fluffy pillows in the grass or in your truck bed and listen to an audio book.
- In the winter do the same thing inside by the fire.
- Create your own, fun dessert from scratch while you listen to your wedding reception playlist.
- Just sit quietly and read some spiritual books together, or read to each other.
- Get a nice journal and write down all the important parts of your life together in them. Write about things from each person's perspective. Your first date, your engagement, wedding day, the births of your kids, and any other special memories! Tom and I started doing this when we were dating. We write in the book in real time right after something happens worth remembering in our life! (Save it for your kids to read when they're older! How special would that be?!)
- Play 20 questions (which brings me to my next way to spice things up!
4. Question Each Other!
No, not this kind of questioning...
Think less "DID YOU MURDER HIM!" and more "Who was your best friend growing up?" Play 20 questions with your spouse over coffee or drinks! Or Chipotle! Or iHop! (Or all of that. Hey, I don't judge...)
Here are some fun questions you can ask to learn more about your spouse:
1. If you could be an expert at anything what would it be? (Besides your occupation)
2. What's something you've been struggling with lately? What can I do to help?
3. What are two things you think I am really good at?
4. Tell me something I don't know about you.
5. What is your favorite memory of us together?
6. What is the greatest strength in our marriage?
7. If you could board a plane to any country right now which would you choose and why?
8. How have you seen me change since we've been married?
9. What are your top three strengths?
10. If you were in the Hunger Games which weapon would you choose and why? (Besides a gun.)
11. If you weren't working at your current job what other occupation would you love to be in?
12. What is your biggest fear?
13. What is your proudest accomplishment?
14. Who is your favorite child? KIDDING! : P
14 For Real. What is your favorite quality in each of our children?
15. What is your favorite book?
16. What is your guilty pleasure?
17. What's a belonging of mine you'd get rid of if you could?
18. What occupation can you see each of our children growing up to do?
19. What is one thing you love most about your family?
20. Was there a moment you knew you loved me? Or was it gradual? When/Where was it?
Of course the questions aren't just limited to these! I'll link a few fun spouse Q&A's below.
Q&A #3 <---- This one is my favorite!
5. Weekly Surprise
Once a week (at least) surprise your spouse! Here are some suggestions:
1. A massage like I mentioned above
2. Take the kids out for a few hours and give your wife/husband some alone time at home to do whatever they want. Or, let them go out and do anything they want!
3. Ladies, you could take his truck to get the oil changed for him.
4. Buy your spouse's favorite candy bar or Starbucks order and write a little love note to go along with it. (Do this for his work lunch as a midday surprise!)
5. Even when it's the other spouse's turn to plan the date for the month surprise them with an extra date just because! (They won't know it's coming!)
6. Surprise them by sending the kids to Grandma and Grandpa's for one Friday night (overnight) and sleep in until you can sleep in no more! Make them breakfast in bed too! (Don't tell them until the time comes! Let him/her be surprised when the kids' grandparent walks through the door to pick them up!)
7. Buy her a Lush bath bomb (which can be found HERE), take the kids in the basement to watch a movie, and let her soak in peace. DON'T ALLOW THE KIDS TO DISTURB HER.
8. Write a love letter to him or her and tell your husband/wife all the reasons you're proud of them
9. Do their chores for them that week
10. Ask them if there is anything you can take off their plate for the day. The kids' bath time? Doing the dishes? Calling the insurance company?
It doesn't have to be anything huge. Just let them know you care!
Have you tried any of these things to spice up your marriage? Which ones are you going to try? Remember, it's the little things. You don't have to plan a trip to Costa Rica (unless you can then please do!) but just keep the spark alive. Did you notice a theme in this post? SURPRISES. Spontaneity is lost when you have kids a lot of times. But if you plan something around the kids and surprise your spouse, they feel like it's spontaneous!
Please SHARE this post with your married friends!
I hope you all have a wonderful day! And a wonderful marriage!
My name is Hannah and I'm a lucky wife to Tom, and mama bear to two sweet girls - Charlotte & Rosalie. Coffee, lipstick, sunshine, and dresses are some of my favorite things! I love to blog about God, motherhood, "wifeyhood", food, health and much more.
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