Hey guys! This week we have an amazing guest article from Bridgette Petrino!
Audrey and I fully believe that the best blessing we can give our kids is a great marriage. And over the years I imagine it can be tough to not only remember this, but make it a reality. This article is not only great for those of you that are in the season of having kids running around, but also those of us who are well on our way!
Enjoy the read!
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Two Become One.
Sometimes amidst the busyness and chaos of being a parent, we forget who we even are anymore. Being a parent means making sacrifices and taking care of others, 24/7.
And, eventually we realize that we forgot who we are. What do we even do for fun? What do we love? What brings us joy?
When I became a mom almost a decade ago, I poured everything into my kids, thinking that I was doing the best for them and my family. I wanted to be selfless and give them the best of me.
My husband and I would rarely go out on dates. Making excuses was easier than making the time.
Finding a babysitter was expensive, we were tired, and we didn’t really think it was necessary to go out much. We were fine. And, I felt as if my children should have made me happy enough that I shouldn’t need anything else.
But, I was wrong.
Neglecting myself, my marriage, and my friends for so long led me to have a breakdown. I was literally stuck in bed, depressed wondering who I was and what happened.
All along I thought I was being the best mom that I could be by sacrificing for my daughters, but what they really needed was a mother who was confident and happy. Not one who was sacrificing everything for them, and leaving nothing for herself.
Marriage first, then everything else.
This journey led to me realize that if you want to achieve anything in life, whether it be losing weight, making more money, being less stressed, or whatever, than you need to make your marriage a priority again.
When we get married, we take our vows. We all know how it goes, “for richer for poorer, for sickness and in health, etc…”
And, once we take these vows, we say that two become one.
Two humans become one unit. Literally. And, a unit does not function apart. Only together. So, if you want to achieve anything, you must work on your marriage first.
Oftentimes, we think it’s not a big deal to not go on a date or to not spend a few minutes of time with your hubby.
And, yes, it’s not a big deal if you miss a day or two of not connecting with your spouse. But, when that becomes 100 days, or even months, of not spending one-on- one time with your spouse, it is a big deal.
So, how do you become one with your husband?
Here are 3 Rules of Thumb
1. Hire a babysitter.
When is the last time you’ve been on a date?
I know. We could use every excuse in the book to not go out on a date. We are busy. It’s expensive. I get it. We pay our babysitter $15/hour. By the time we pay her, pay for dinner/drinks, and maybe take an Uber ride, it turns out to be an expensive night.
But, it is an absolute necessity. Keep it in the budget as a non-negotiable.
Date nights at home are fine from time to time. But, there is something to be said for getting out,
getting dressed, stepping out of the “parent” role, and making a single transaction with a babysitter (who isn’t a family member) so that no strings are attached.
And, now let me ask you this: When is the last time you’ve been on an overnight?
My kids are still pretty young, so we don’t take overnights that often. Maybe twice a year. But, even one night out away from your kids for 24 hours can bring so much life back into your marriage.
2. Take time daily to communicate
So, now that you are going on dates regularly (I like to recommend at least twice per month,) I
want you to start communicating daily with your spouse to ensure that you are on the same page.
This is not sending him an email with your schedule for the week. Or, talking over the kids during dinnertime.
I mean one-on- one, face-to- face communication with no outside distractions.
This can literally be talking to your husband for 15 minutes a night after the kids are in bed.
I promise it really only takes 15 minutes. Turn off your phone, turn off the TV, and catch up for a little bit. And once you’ve chatted for a bit, then veg out with your favorite show.
Trust me. When you become one with your husband, things are going to start to change for the
better everywhere in your life.
3. Speak up
Finally, if something is bothering you, remember to speak up.
Even if it’s something seemingly little like your husband doesn’t pick up his dirty clothes off the floor. If that’s something that really bothers you, let him know.
Of course, you always want to “pick your battles.” But, holding in the little “pet peeves” can grow into really big wars eventually.
Maybe after talking about what’s bothering you, the two of you will come to an agreement. So, don’t talk to your mom or your girlfriend about it. Talk to him. At the very least he will have heard you. Because, understanding and validation can be so underrated in relationships.
Make your marriage a priority again.
The process of putting ourselves and our marriage first again has made our family stronger and happier.
My daughters see me as a confident, empowered woman. They see how important our marriage is and they will model after that one day.
Because in fact, our kids don’t actually care if the dishes are done, or if the laundry is put away in a timely matter. What they really care about is our time and our presence as a family.
I have to constantly remind myself amidst my perceived chaos and busyness that these are the days.