My husband and I like to have date nights. Who doesn’t? A lot of the time though, a little something gets in the way (we will call them Ella and Charlotte) and we can’t always sneak away for our date night. (PS- this post is a long one…probably my longest one to date…bear with me!)
Because of that, we have at home date nights. Usually that consists of us waiting until we put the girls to bed to make dinner together or get delivery and have dinner just the two of us. Its so nice to be able to have adult conversation without having to stop every two minutes to pick up a dropped pacifier or answer which My Little Pony is my favorite one for the 100th time. It”s Rarity by the way. I definitely don’t dress up as if we were going out somewhere, and sometimes I am in sweatpants, but every once in a while I do attempt to put together something cute!
Shirt: Old Navy
Skinnies: Old Navy (similar)
Bracelets: GroopDealz, Target
With our date night in mind, we have come a long way, my husband and I, in the almost 13 years we have been together. If you think about it, we were just babies when we met (me 18- him 17). And now here we are adults with children, a mortgage, and real jobs. Yikes! These things, these everyday things that make up our lives are the very things that can get in the way of having the type of marriage you deserve! (enter at home date nights!).
And if I am being honest, I will say marriage is hard. It is work. It takes effort (sometimes effort you want to put in, other times, not).
A few weeks ago, Giuliana Rancic got some major backlash because she said “we put our marriage first and our child second.” My very first thought when I read that was “hey us too!”
I was baffled. BAFFLED as to why people were pitching a fit. Yes, she is a celebrity, and yes, she put it out there. But really…does it matter to you, or affect you in any way, shape or form as to how her marriage is?
She is on to something, that gorgeous fashionista that she is! I couldn’t agree with her more!
My husband and I have been married for almost 8 years (April 23….hollaaaaa!!!). I am lucky that I married such an amazing person. Its crazy to me that he still adores me so much after being with me for so long, through thick and thin (literally and figuratively). I adore him. I don’t laugh with anyone as much as I laugh with him. He is the cheese to my macaroni. But is our marriage perfect? No. Is he perfect? No. Am I perfect? Not even close. I would say my husband is more perfect than I am!
Have we had our ups and downs? Of course. When you are with someone for over 12 years, married for 8 and live and (partly) work together, you are going to have peaks and valleys and get on each others nerves. No doubt.
Enter children. Oh children. How you put a damper on quality alone time (wink wink) and date nights, and just adult conversation. It is SO easy to lose sight of why you fell in love in the first place and why you married each other in the first place. Children (and sometimes other things like careers for those that don’t have children yet) get in the way and sort of give you that tunnel vision that causes you to lose sight. The diaper changing, the sleepless nights, the Barbie playing!
Over the years we have made it a point to make each other a priority and to put our marriage first. Yes, that’s right. Our marriage comes before our children. Do we love them any less than a couple that puts their children first? Absolutely not. I love my girls more than I ever imagined and, like most parents, would do anything and everything to protect, nurture, and love them. They, along with my husband are my world. But yes, my marriage comes first. I know not everyone agrees. To each his own. But for me, it makes me a better parent.
To me, putting your spouse and your marriage first is one of the best things you can do for your children. My parents have been married for almost 40 years, and my in laws for just about the same. We’ve been blessed to have their marriages (and the marriages of both of our extended family) as a solid foundation to learn from. I am so thankful for that. Did I ever feel deprived of my parents love and support or feel like they put themselves first? Never once. I think because of the fact that my parents put themselves first contributed to the fact that my family is and was always affectionate- always saying I love you, always giving each other a hello/good bye hug and kiss. (something my husband had to get used to, but definitely embraced it!). That now shows through my 5 year old. Out of the blue she will just say “Mommy, I love you.” I like to believe its because she sees me say it to my husband, and him to me quite frequently. We don’t just save them for the hello’s and goodbye’s.
I love that my girls actually see my husband putting me first (and me, putting him first. Is it 24/7? No, not always, and that’s ok), and giving me hello and good bye kisses and telling me he loves me. Again, its not always like that. There are definitely times where we find ourselves headed into a disagreement and we stop ourselves and decide to finish later when our girls aren’t around. They don’t need to see us argue (although I don’t mind them being around if we are having a mature, adult, disagreement/discussion from time to time. It’s healthy I think for them to see how we can still treat each other with respect yet disagree).
When reading about this whole “marriage first” though, I found this….
After years of biological research, a Christian biologist John Medina answered the question “What’s the most important thing I can do as a father?” His answer?
“Go home and love your wife.” source
I couldn’t agree more.
So go set a date night with your spouse. Its important to each other, your marriage, your children. Don’t feel guilty for spending an evening away from your kids, or even a weekend. Before we had kids we used to think “how can people be away from their children for so long for a trip or a vacation? That is awful!” I get it now. I totally get it. Book me that weekend getaway or those dinner reservations! Let me put it out there though that when I do say we put our marriage first there will never be a “sorry Ella or Charlotte we can’t make your music concert we have a date that night.”
One of the best lessons I can teach my girls is modeling a good, healthy marriage and home (and yes, that includes disagreements and imperfections). And to do that, I put my marriage first. I benefit, my husband benefits, our children benefit.
Hopefully there is someone reading this that can relate and feels the same way!