Friday, November 19, 2010

Marriage + Kids

Some people thought we had problems conceiving because we waited a whole 3 years to have kids. By the time I had my second one, people were wondering if I lost my belief in birth control. My kids were born 15 months apart. The number one question I heard was “did you mean for this to happen?” and I will never forget this one: “Are you insane!?” My solitary example shows you that people have an opinion on pretty much anything and everything you do in your marriage. It’s up to you and your spouse to decide how you will live married life and enjoy it to the fullest.
Before and after Kids
Married Life before kids was great. Life after kids is awesome with many, many adjustments needed. I admit that we didn’t think a whole lot about how life would actually be but there are some things you can consider:
42 years - 42 anos - Marriage anniversayChildcare Choices. Some of you are miles and miles away from a group of people who may be great “instant sitters.” I live far away from both sides of my family, so we rely on friends to keep our kids. One suggestion is to become part of a co-op where you and your friends exchange childcare services for free. Another suggestion is to find someone you trust and pay for their services.
• Hot Dates. Schedule them ahead of time and if possible, put money into it (buy tickets, pay the sitter in advance, etc) so you know you will be out of the door when the time comes. Dating keeps the love connection strong. I recently learned that some couple have the occasional “in-house date.” I love the idea because: no child care is needed and most of the time you don’t have to wait for your food. It’s important to be serious about date nights, in or out of the house.
The lines of {good} communication. One of the worse advices I’ve gotten when I was expecting my first child was “the first year a child is born, all you talk about is the baby.” Thank God I didn’t have the same experience as that person partly for being mindful that there is a lot of life to live outside of my precious little ones. We still have dreams and aspirations. My suggestion is that you get a list of {pleasant} topics you can talk about while on a date. Trust me, there is a lot about your spouse you can learn even after a baby joins the family.
Hang out with the right crowd. The worse thing you can do is surround yourself with people who are not {or trying to be} in successful marriages. It has been said that you become what you behold. I challenge you to not only surround yourself with successful people but ask them questions. I have a wise mentor in my life who helps me when I have marriage questions. She is real, transparent and she has the Word of the Lord which makes all the difference to me. Successfully married people have been through the ups and downs of marriage, they did the work and they are stronger as a result of it.

Enrichment is needed if you want to have a great marriage. In case you don’t want to buy a book about marriage, check one out at the public library. No time for reading? Listen to good podcast on marriage. Here are my suggestions:

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