I found this photo from our trip to Story Land in New Hampshire this summer. Alexander was very persistent in asking me if he could take a picture using my "real camera" which is expensive and normally a no-no for the kids to touch. But, I finally agreed, and showed him what to do, and he snapped this photo of Phil and I. It's blurry, but I love it sooooo much because of that little boy sitting and smiling at his Mom and Dad. He just looks so happy to see us together.
It was a good reminder for me that if Phil and I are working on our marriage, trying to make each other happy, serving one another, and keeping each other on the path to Heaven...it ultimately makes our kids happy.
Kids require so much. So much love. So much attention. So much food. So much stuff - sports equipment, clothes, shoes, school items, etc. Plus their needs can be pretty immediate - you can't ask a hungry baby to wait awhile to eat, but you can ask your spouse to do the same. This makes it easy to prioritize your kids' needs over your spouse's needs, and 95% of the time, you have to focus on the kids to be good parents! Besides, working together toward a common goal (raising kids) brings people closer together.
We have to still need to try and squeeze in time for each other to have a good marriage. We don't want to be roommates, we want to be soul mates. We've found a few things that work for us are:
Taking the dog on a walk every day. It's just 15-20 minutes, but the ability to discuss topics away from kids ears is priceless.
Date night every other week, if possible. We feed the kids, get them a movie and head out. When we go a month or longer without a date, we both feel the ramifications.
Weekly Adoration hour.
An overnight getaway once a year (twice if anyone offers to watch our kids!)
It's like that old tune...First comes love, then comes marriage, then comes the baby in the baby carriage. A happy spouse makes a happy house! Just like that smiling little boy reminded me in the photo, kids want to see a good strong marriage and peaceful house, and it's not selfish to take some time away from parent-ville to remember how you got to that place to begin with.