How do you nurture your marriage in the thick of the early stages of motherhood? It’s a question I was asked last week in my Mom Mentor interview with Lisa Hamel.
My first response is to admit that I have not always done so well. But I know that while the enemy would love nothing more than for me to focus on my shortcomings and believe I’m unworthy of sharing advice, the Lord offers grace and has given me some insights to share!
3 ways I’ve nurtured my marriage in the early stages of motherhood
1. Our weekly check in.
Jeremy & Audrey Roloff’s Beating 50 Percent’s The Marriage Journal. Each week we read a devotional, go through our calendar so we are on the same page, and ask each other the same six questions. It has helped us understand each other better, see each others’ hearts more clearly, and grow closer to each other and closer to Christ. (Full disclosure: After year one of this journal, we simply do the calendar and questions on our own!)
2. Our weekly date night.
There are plenty of nights since our daughter has been born that I have gone to sleep close to 8PM! During this pandemic, it’s difficult to get out, get away, and connect in the way that a date night out helps us to do. But once a week we have a date night at home, we order takeout, and eat after Noelle goes to sleep. I stay up later with Clay, and we usually go to bed at the same time. It helps me be intentional to get more rest surrounding this night so that I can give my husband some of my time, too!
I’ve been seeing a counselor off and on since we got married. It’s amazing the issues that arise—that you didn’t even know were there—when there is somebody always around and you can’t isolate yourself to escape your emotions. Over the last couple of months I’ve had Clay join me in my sessions, and it has truly helped us to grow, connect, and communicate better. Having a new baby brings all sorts of new emotions. Counseling has helped us navigate this new season as not only husband and wife but also as parents. Even some weeks when I can’t think of anything that needs to be addressed, there is always some great growth that comes from our sessions. As Lisa put it, it’s like getting a tuneup. You don’t have to wait until something is terribly wrong!
If you are a new parent or a newlywed, or years into either journey of parenthood or marriage, I hope these help you, too! We won’t always do it perfectly, but we can always explore new practices and improve!