My husband and I have been married 20 years and have 9 children, so we've experienced a lot of busy seasons! Pregnancy, post-partum, the newborn stage, the toddler years, homeschooling, just to name a few. 😉 Basically we've pretty much never NOT had a busy season! However, I think most parents face the challenge of feeling too busy to nurture relationships, even our most important one, our marriage. Some seasons are truly busier than others, but even just the regular bustle of life can lead to us pushing our spouses down the to do list. That is why I'm so excited to share with you some ways we have learned how to make time for your marriage in busy seasons.
I know you're here for the tips, so let's get right into it!
Make time for your marriage by scheduling it
I know, this doesn't sound sexy. Planning time to connect or even "connect" feels lame, but it can be the maker or breaker of actually TAKING the time. Sometimes this is as simple as keeping a similar schedule. Getting up around the same time and going to bed together. How to make time for your marriage in a busy season? Schedule it. As the saying goes, fail to plan, plan to fail.
Early in our marriage this was a struggle as I was an early bird and my husband a night owl.When I tried to keep to his schedule and my own, I just became a sleep deprived pigeon! Up early with babies, and up late with him. Sure, we were together more, but I was crabby too. That doesn't make it easy to connect. Heheh. We had to work together to find a compromising balance. I started sleeping in a bit more when I could and taking naps during the afternoon. Over, the years as his jobs changed, it was necessary for him to get up earlier and so he was tired when I was. Now we try to get up early enough to have time together in the mornings.
Conversely, if your schedules just can't align, find a time that DOES work and stick to it. Yes, it will always be easier to let other things creep in and fill that time, but if you treat it like an appointment with the most important person in your life- you can do it! Put a movie on for the kids, or make them a special treat to enjoy while you spend at least 15 minutes, phone free, in conversation. Trust me on this one! 15 minutes can make ALL the difference.
Do what needs to be done- together
Whether this is a chore you can do together or even something as simple as making dinner together, errands, folding clothes, or putting kids to bed with prayers, take time to do it together. In busy seasons it’s easy to rush around passing responsibilities and kids back and forth to each other without any meaningful connecting. Instead, make time to do something together that needs to be done. There are times to “divide & conquer” but it doesn’t need to be all the time. 🙂 Is there something new you could try out together? A recipe? A small project or diy?
Bonding happens over working through a challenge together. Ever seen a chic flic that doesn't have this theme? Didn't think so. It's because it is a true story! A challenge that is overcome together can be a unifying thing, so stop dreading those projects and just roll up your sleeves and get to work. Tackle that landscaping, storage declutter, or garage clean out you've been avoiding and enjoy the added benefit to your marriage, too!
Stop making excuses, make plans instead
Oftentimes what gets in the way is getting caught in the all or nothing mentality. We don’t have a trusted babysitter for weekly date night, so we never take one. We can’t afford a getaway, so we never try something new. But you can begin to budget money for babysitters while you do a little research to find one.
Another ideas is to make a plan to take a short road trip to another town or even a hotel in your own town together and save up for it. It’s so special to get out of the same four walls together, but it doesn’t have to mean a trip to Paris. 😉 Next up is our top 7 date night ideas when you have a tight budget or no babysitter.
Get creative with dates
With 9 children we've had to get creative over the years with how we can make time for a date. Sometimes there is more money in the budget for a nice dinner, and sometimes nada. So, in case you find yourself in a similar situation here is a list of a few of our favorite things to do together when when the budget is tight or we don't have a sitter.
- Read a book or the Bible together when the kids have gone to bed- wine optional. 😉
- Print off a couple's questionnaire or ask each other questions from this book for an opportunity to learn some new meaningful or funny trivia about each other together.
- Make the kids Mac n'cheese or something cheap and fun, then put a movie on for them while you make something a little fancier together for yourselves.
- If your kids are little, take a drive to (hopefully) get a little extra chat time if they fall asleep. Having a destination in mind is fun, but not necessary.
- Play a game you both enjoy together. Even games you would normally play with your kids that are fun, play it together instead and laugh and be silly!
- After the kiddos are tucked in, tell each other one special or funny memory from when you were a child, or ask each other a question about your goals or hopes for the future.
- Take a walk somewhere beautiful alone if you can, or with littles in tow- yummy drink allowed, phones not! 😉
The marriage relationship is a gift from the Lord and will grow in fruitfulness as we tend it. So, take the time friends, and put in the extra effort needed to cultivate your relationship with your spouse even when times are stressful or busy! I can assure you, you will be glad you did and reap the fruits of it for years to come.
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How to make time for your marriage in busy seasons
How to make time for your marriage in busy seasons in review
- Make time for your marriage by scheduling it
- Do what needs to be done together instead
- Stop making excuses, make plans instead
- Get creative with date nights
I hope these tips gave you some insight into ways you can connect even when seasons are very busy or just normal busy! Chime in! What are some of the ways you make time for each other in your relationship?
Thanks for being here today, friend!
In His Service,