I’m so pleased to share with you my dear friend and gifted writer, Valerie Murray from Cord of 6. She is a Mama to 4 beautiful children and is on the go nonstop, so if anyone can relate to your struggles to loving your spouse well during these years, she can! She loves her husband and family great BIG, but her heart follows after Jesus first and foremost. His love then flows over onto everyone in her life. May you be encouraged, inspired, and given new hope as you find ways to love your spouse well during the busy parenting years!
Valerie’s post is the third post in the Building a Lasting Love Story #MarriageSeries! Click on the images to find the first two posts!
As time goes on, the beauty of loving our spouse looks different with the changing seasons in life.
As my marriage has progressed over the past 20 years, each season has brought its own joys and struggles.
If I could describe our life with four young kids in the house I would say busy, exhausting, overwhelming and messy.
But I would also say fun, exciting, heartwarming and abundant!
And I wouldn’t trade any of it for anything.
The family is a masterpiece God created in order to teach us how to love one another as He loved us.
It requires looking in the mirror and digging deep into the core of who we are in order to see our desperate need for the power of God to enable us to reflect His image.
Exhaustion and busyness can easily tire us out causing us to lose the desire to pursue love with the same effort we gave when the relationship was new and our vision was easily focused on one another.
I want to share a few vital ways to keep love alive during the busy parenting season of messy floors and interrupted conversations.
Share the Workload
In the overwhelming parenting years, having a spouse who takes an active role in loving and caring for your children, helps foster love for one another.
My husband never looked more attractive than when I watched him clean up after our car-sick prone kids. If you know me, you know I have a strong aversion to bad smells. I really appreciate that my fireman husband is not afraid to be hands on when life isn’t pretty.
I love that my husband and I share the responsibility of taking our children to soccer practices, dentist and doctor appointments.
Sharing the workload may look different for each family, and that’s okay. Maybe your husband does the dishes and helps out with chores.
Whatever it is, learn to appreciate what your spouse does do. Be intentional to focus on the positive.
If you long for your spouse to be more involved with the children, be in prayer and communicate your needs to him in a non-confrontational manner. Try writing him a letter or go to a coffee shop and have a “peace talk.”
Peace talks are great to have in public places where you can remain calm.
Take Care of Yourself/Each other
I remember when my kids were under 9 and a trip to the dentist felt like a vacation. Driving to the appointment by myself in a quiet car felt eerie, yet so peaceful.
Sometimes we just need a little quiet to regain our peace of mind. And it can’t always be postponed until your next dentist appointment.
Sometimes you just have to hand over the baby to your hubby and take a break. Go get a pedicure! He’ll be okay! Really! They both will. 😉
Exercise is also an important way to take care of yourself and reduce stress. When my children were young, my husband and I would trade off watching the kids so we could each go to the gym.
Take care of each other by allowing your spouse to have some time to refresh.
Spend Quality Time with your Spouse
I wish I could say that my husband and I date on a regular basis. It hasn’t been easy arranging childcare and paying for a sitter.
But one thing we have done is make a point to celebrate our anniversary every year. My parents watch our kids so we can stay at a B&B for a couple of nights.
These times help us remember how much we love being together. It’s easy to forget the reason why you got married in the first place if you’re not spending time with each other.
It’s always nice to have something to look forward to when the routines and stress of life can often weigh you down.
Is your child at preschool for a few hours? Go on a lunch date.
Is there a church program like AWANA you could sign your kids up for and go out to dinner while they’re there?
Swap watching your friend’s kids so you can go out.
Be intentional to carve out time in your schedule for each other. Even if you can only sneak away for a few hours.
Have Fun Family Time
Every Friday is family movie/pizza night in our house. We all look forward to relaxing together after a busy week.
It’s important to enjoy life with your family.
Laugh. Be silly. Dance. Tell knock-knock jokes. Play “I Spy” while you’re waiting for your food at the restaurant.
Find activities you love doing together. We love going to plays. We’ve seen Scrooged, My Fair Lady, The Music Man and Peter Pan.
Show affection to your husband. Hug in front of the kids. Hold hands.
It’s good for them to see that mom and dad have fun together and love each other.
Fun family time has helped to strengthen our marriage and our family as a whole.
It’s easy to let exhausting schedules deplete the effort we should be putting into our marriages.
It’s good to take a step back and evaluate how we can make the marriage stronger. It’s important to invest in our relationship so that when the kids move out, our marriage still has a strong foundation of love.
Do you have or remember having young kids in the house? What advice would you give to busy parents struggling to connect?
Hello! I’m Valerie, a busy mother of four energetic children and a wife to my husband of twenty years. I write about learning to grow closer to God and family through the daily struggles in life. My mission is to bring hope and encouragement to struggling marriages, overwhelmed moms and people striving to face their fears and know their worth. I would love for you to come visit my blog at Cord of 6.
If this is content you don’t want to miss, consider joining the Searching for Moments Community with access to the Library of Hope. Throughout this series, I have been creating marriage content available only in that library.
I’m excited to bring you Shannon Geurin next week! She’s a beautiful Mama of 2 teenage girls who fiercely loves her husband! She is going to share with us her thoughts on loving your spouse well during the complicated teenage years. Don’t miss it!
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