Kids First, Marriage Second?
HAPPY VALENTINE’S DAY! I know what you’re thinking… I’ve got it backwards. And, maybe I do.
When I decided to start a blog, I was afraid of opening up. Believe it or not, I'm a private person… shocking given my line of work, right? But I felt that if I shared openly and honestly and helped even one person, blogging about my life journey would be worth it.
I never really talk about my marriage. I have to be honest here. I wish I could write a slightly different blog about how important date nights are to a thriving relationship… because they are, especially after kids. But I can’t preach something I’m not doing very well myself.
Putting our kids first
Like many parents have, Art and I have sacrificed a lot in our lives after becoming parents and, sadly, our “us” time has suffered. Whether we’re right or wrong, we've chosen to put the kids first. And, they’re so used to us being around all the time that if we ever plan to be away, it's not easy on them.
My husband and I haven't forgotten each other by any means, and I actually think becoming parents has brought us closer in a way. But I do think we've chosen to make things harder on ourselves (in some ways) when it comes to parenting. For example, we didn't stick to the date-night-every-week thing when Ryan was born because we (mainly I) had trouble being away from our new baby. He was my responsibility and no one else's in my mind... and I don't know if it was because it took us longer to get pregnant the first time or just because he was my firstborn and I was a brand new mama, but I had anxiety about leaving him with anyone. I just couldn't do it. So hubby and I sacrificed lots of just-the-two-of-us time to be able to care for and be with Ryan.
Getting creative with “date nights”
We found creative ways to have date nights in our tiny apartment at the time... you can imagine us trying to stay quiet while Ryan slept and we got takeout, watched a movie, or chilled on the couch. To this day, Ryan is my more sensitive and attached baby... some of it is just his personality for sure, but I also think it's that bond we established early on in his life that made him that way.
So, we've kind of just kept things that way as parents... it's been years of not doing “normal” date nights away from the house (which I think are super healthy, by the way!), making sure we are home for bedtime, and making most vacations family trips so we could bring the kids along.
Putting our travel dreams on hold
So, Italy... it's a place I've wanted to visit since before I ever had babies. We were actually planning a trip there for fall of 2014, and then I found out I was finally pregnant, so we never ended up going. It's one of those things that’s stayed on my heart and just won't go away, haha... I feel like I missed out or something! We ended up switching the Italy trip to a baby moon in Maui, again accommodating my motherhood. Then, after two babies and getting both boys to a place where we felt like we could leave them with their grandparents and FINALLY experience Italy (last fall)... well, I got pregnant again with baby boy #3! So Italy will have to wait just a tad bit longer because soon will come the journey of new motherhood (slash cave mode) again.
What we’re doing for V-day
So what are our Valentine's Day plans, you ask? Well, Art asked me if I wanted to go out to dinner somewhere or have a new piece of jewelry... I don't know if it's tired pregnant mama syndrome or what, but I'd love to just get our favorite takeout and watch a movie at home after the kiddos go to bed. No plans set in stone, but that’s kinda how we roll nowadays anyway. We’ll probably end up saving the fancier plans for the weekend.
But I thought it’d be special to do a fun project in honor of LOVE day this year. I’ve spent this week sifting through our wedding photos and reliving that beautiful day… what a memory! I curated my favorite shots and I’m excited to order some B&W prints through Parabo Press to have as keepsakes! I may even create a new wedding album just for fun!
This article is sponsored by Parabo Press but all opinions are 100% my own.
Why I Love Parabo Press
We used Parabo Press for our holiday cards last year, and it was such a great experience I knew I had to use them again! I really love how they keep things so simple and chic, and when it comes to prints, basic square prints are always free with shipping! Check them out on Instagram.
Right now, Parabo Press is kindly offering Land of Mom readers 20% off with coupon code: OFMOM. So be sure to check them out if you’re looking for some simply elegant prints and designs!
All in all, we've made adjustments in our lives as all parents do, but I’m in awe of parents who have found ways to keep their routines and normalcy even after having kids. Our kids are our center, and we're still working on ways to make more time for us. In the meantime, we’re always reminding ourselves that this time is temporary and our babies will only be this little for so long. So we try and embrace the chaos and enjoy it even... even the seemingly annoying things, like Ryan coming to my bed every night… I know I'll miss it! Parenthood has its challenges, but there isn’t anyone I’d rather spend these crazy moments with than my hubby… I’m so thankful for him and his love!
Mamas, do you and your hubby go on date nights often? If so, how do you do it? If not, why do you struggle with it?