How to Prioritize Marriage When You Have a Toddler

Between feedings, naps, and temper tantrums, how in the world are you supposed to find time for your marriage as the parent of a toddler?

It’s a tough question, but one you should address if you want to maintain a strong connection with your spouse. Plus, the love and laughter your spouse can provide will help you both make it through these truly crazy days.

So what can you do? Here are a few ideas to help you prioritize your marriage when you have a toddler.

Recruit help from family. If you have the option of living close to family, you might want to consider it. Family members can act as free babysitters, advisors, and emotional support.

Often, family is delighted to have extra time with their niece, nephew, or grandchild… and you and your spouse will also be delighted by the extra time for yourselves.

Fit your marriage into your day. Set a goal for yourself or your spouse to sneak in a few lovely texts, gestures, or jokes a day. Share photos of your lives apart from one another, too.

Having even brief moments of laughter or love can get you through the struggles of putting your child down for a nap or balancing work and parenting. And it can help you stay connected on the day-to-day happenings in one another’s lives.

Don’t forget to take care of yourself. To fulfill your duties as both a parent and a spouse, it is important to take time for yourself. Whether you take a night out with friends or just enjoy a short bath, a little self-love will help you refuel and be ready for the next day.

This also goes for being physically fed. Don’t forget to eat! Many little arguments arise from just being hungry and angry. Keep small snacks close throughout the day to keep your blood sugar and morale up.

Forgive – and focus on helping one another. Remember you are in this together. Both of you are likely under more pressure, balancing more responsibilities, and feeling more stress than you did when you first got together. Take this into account when fights arise. Forgive one another for small infractions. Instead of focusing on blame, find more ways to help one another or show you appreciate your partner.

For example, try asking your spouse this question regularly: “What can I do to make your life better today?” Finding ways to help one another get through this challenging time can make you a stronger team for the longterm.

Grab some wine. Romance fuels the fire that powers your marriage. And while you don’t want it to dominate your interactions, alcohol can help to “fuel” romance.

So have a glass of wine on your next date – even if it’s a “date” you have to sneak in between naps. Keep a new movie or a fun game on hand for a quick way to reconnect and remember why you fell so madly in love in the first place.

Make date nights a vacation from parenting. It’s very important to head on date nights now and again. When you’re out on a date, set your roles as parents aside as much as possible.

Try not to bring up any tense moments from the past few weeks or uncomfortable decisions you have to make in the future. Date nights are supposed to be a vacation from your roles as parents, so take the time to focus on you.

Enjoy every moment. This stage is tough, but you and your spouse will miss these times when your children are grown up and out of the house. When things are at their most stressful, pause. Look at your home and your family, and enjoy the life you and your spouse have created for yourselves.

It’s hard to balance the roles of parent and spouse. For more tips on how to balance your life and make your marriage a priority, contact a Bend marriage coach today.