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  • How to Stop Saying "I Hate Parenting with My Husband"

    In researching my blog post on how to handle parenting disagreements with your spouse, I came across something alarming. I discovered that the sentence "I hate parenting with my husband" is searched for over 200 times every single month. I began to add this as a section to the blog post mentioned above. But the more I thought about it, I began to realize that this was a much deeper topic that deserved its own post. If you've stumbled upon this blog post, it's probably because you have been having similar feelings. Below are some reasons you might think "I hate parenting with my husband". I dissect each one. I'll give you ideas on how to move past these negative thoughts. If you're ready to do some work on your marriage, this post is for you. Most of the advice below is going to focus on various conversations you need to have with your husband. If your marriage lacks emotional intimacy, this is going to be difficult. Here are some great ways to build emotional intimacy. **Disclaimer: if your husband is in any way abusive, please seek help. The National Domestic Voice Hotline is: 800-799-7233. Look at how your husband was raised What was your husband's upbringing like? Did he come from a loving home with parents who spent time with him? This might begin to scratch the surface of your issues with his parenting. This is a great place to start because it can help you understand where your husband might be coming from. Is he quick to yell because his mother yelled? Does he rarely say "I love you" because his father never said it to him? I'm not saying your in-laws are to be blamed here. But I do believe that how you were raised affects how you parent. Some copy their parents' parenting styles. Others try to parent differently. Start your journey towards never saying "I hate parenting with my husband". Sit down and have a conversation with your husband about how he was raised. Here are some questions to ask: Did you feel like you grew up in a loving household? Were you close to either of your parents? What made you feel closer to one parent versus the other? Did you like your parents' parenting? What would you like to do differently with our kids? What would you like to do the same? These questions are only ideas. Make sure to ask follow up questions and come up with some of your own. Share your own experiences too. Consider how you handle parenting disagreements Take a good hard look at the times when you and your husband disagree on parenting. How do you handle these situations? Do you make sure you always get your way? Or do you hear your husband out? If you are overbearing and don't let your husband have any input, he will begin to retreat. Eventually, he won't want to participate in the parenting because he doesn't feel heard. Related post: 19 Lasting Ways to Build Emotional Intimacy in Your Marriage Take the following steps to think deeply about this topic: Sit down in a quiet place and consider the last time you and your husband disagreed on a parenting issue How did you react? Were you defensive? Did you let your husband speak his mind? Did you give his way a chance? Did you even consider it? In what ways could you have handled this disagreement better? What is one small thing you can do to ensure future disagreements end more peacefully? Here are some examples: Listen: Let your husband speak his mind Consider his way: As long he has the kids' best interests at heart, what harm can come from trying his way out? Breathe: This will help you stay calm during a disagreement. You'll find more tips in my post about parenting disagreements here. "My husband has no patience with our children " The phrase, "my husband has no patience with 3 year old" is searched quite a bit. It's no secret that 3 year olds can be difficult and it can be so hard to be patient with them. So how can you help your husband to be more patient with your children? Start by asking him why he finds it so hard to be patient with the kids. What expectations does he have of them? Are they realistic expectations? Do you have realistic expectations of your husband's patience? Next, do some research together on how to be more patient with your kids. Psych Central has some really great tips on this. Decide on a few strategies that you can both work on together. Help keep each other accountable. If you are both working towards patience, it won't make your husband feel like he's being attacked. Approaching this subject with love is the best way to make your husband feel like a partner rather than the enemy. Don't forget to let reassure your husband. You've probably lost your patience with the kids too. Empathize with him. "My husband is a disappointing father" Why have you been disappointed with your husband as a father? Is it because he doesn't step up and help? Do you disagree with his parenting style? Does he have a hard time connecting with the kids? Find out what he might be thinking. Has he tried to voice any parenting concerns with you? How have you responded? Here are some ideas to help: If your husband has shut down because you haven't been open to his ideas, start listening. Find some small ways your husband would enjoy helping. Help your husband connect with the kids by helping them find common ground. "My husband makes me feel like a bad mother" What is making you think this? Does your husband say or do something in particular? Is there any chance you are actually the one putting the pressure on yourself? There are times when I think my husband is criticizing my parenting choices. But really, I'm reflecting my own thoughts onto him. After talking to him about it, I realize he wasn't insinuating anything bad at all. I tend to project the pressure I'm putting on myself onto him. Related post: How to Appreciate Your Husband: 8 Simple and Effective Ways Have you tried asking your husband if he thinks you're a bad mother? Be prepared for an honest answer. Maybe your husband isn't intending to make you feel this way. If that's the case, you both need to discuss what your husband is doing to make you feel this way. What changes need to be made? On the other hand, if your husband does think poorly of your parenting, find out why. What could you do to become a better mother? In what ways do you feel you fall short? Have an open and honest conversation. "My husband gets angry if I disagree with him" Let's dive into this one a bit more. Have you been disagreeing with him in front of the kids? Or do you always disagree with him? There can be several very reasonable reasons for why your husband gets angry if you disagree with him. So start with those possibilities first. If you still can't figure out why your husband is getting so angry, ask him these questions: Do you feel undermined when I disagree with you? Do you think we could come to some common ground? When only one parent disciplines If you are the only one disciplining the children, it can easily lead to you having thoughts such as "I hate parenting with my husband." But it doesn't have to be so one-sided. Start with a conversation. Here are some things to talk to your husband about: How were each of you disciplined growing up? What do you wish your parents had done differently? Do you feel like the children's discipline is going well? Does your husband feel heard when he expresses his opinions on the children? Come to an agreement on discipline with the children. Find some middle ground and implement the strategies you discussed in your conversations. Make sure you both hold each other accountable. "My husband doesn't enjoy parenting" Why doesn't your husband enjoy parenting? Could he be having a hard time connecting with the kids? Has he found himself feeling defeated or like a failure? Or maybe your husband didn't realize how demanding parenting would be! Is he disappointed at the amount of work it is? Talk to him about how hard you find it to be too. Finding solidarity in these situations can be so relieving. Related post: To the Husbands Who Travel for Work: How to Connect with Your Wives Are there any other issues he may not be talking about? Is he having a hard time at work? Does he feel fulfilled? Has he been practicing self care? There are so many other things that may be going on! It's time to start digging. "My husband does not support my parenting" It can be very tough when your husband does not support your parenting. It's time to have a conversation about this. Here are some questions to ask him: What do you like about my parenting? In what ways am I a good mother? What areas could I improve in? What do you wish I would do differently? Here are some things you should share with your husband during this conversation: How does his lack of support make you feel? Be open and honest here. Tell your husband what you like about his parenting. Share any areas of improvement for your husband's parenting Try to stay objective and calm in these conversations. Final thoughts on how to stop saying "I hate parenting with my husband" You can enjoy parenting with your husband. It all starts with a conversation and continues with open communication. I'd love to hear your thoughts on this topic! Do you hate parenting with your husband? Are there any angles I didn't cover in this blog post? Let me know how I can help you and your husband connect through this incredibly rewarding but challenging time in your marriage!

  • How to Stop Fighting With Your Husband Over Parenting

    Are you tired of arguing with your spouse about how to parent? Do you wish you could help your marriage while also being a good parent? This comprehensive guide will help you and your husband get on the same page and approach parenting as a team. My husband Josh and I agree on a lot of things: politics, morals, how to treat people. So we were surprised to find that we didn't always agree when it came to parenting. We found it very hard to disagree on parenting. But the more Josh and I talked about our viewpoints and disagreements, the more we learned. We learned about each other. We learned how to be better parents. I'm not saying I have all of the answers. But the information below is what Josh and I have personally implemented. It's worked for us and we hope it works for you. ***Note: This blog post is packed with information. So feel free to click on the links in the Table of Contents below to jump around.*** Table of Contents: Can different parenting styles ruin a marriage? Does parenthood affect marriage? What to do when you disagree with your spouse about parenting When parents disagree on discipline Common parenting disagreements...and how to fix them! How to get on the same page with your spouse about parenting Final thoughts Can different parenting styles ruin a marriage? What can happen with two parents have conflicting parenting styles? When you and your spouse disagree on parenting, it can be very tough. But different parenting styles will absolutely not ruin a long as you don't let it. You both need to respect each other's parenting styles. Great communication will help you navigate these tough situations. I wanted to start off the blog post with this section in particular because I wanted to give you hope. It's easy to be fearful of different parenting styles ruining marriage. But it doesn't matter how different you and your husband are when it comes to parenting. As long as you both have the kids' best interests at heart, you'll be just fine. Take the time to work through this challenge together. See it as an opportunity to grow your marriage. If you put in the work that I describe in this blog post, you'll grow in respect for each other too. There are times when my husband and I don't agree on parenting. But we don't let it negatively affect our marriage. We have worked through each issue and you can too. Does parenthood affect marriage? Parenthood absolutely affects marriage. How could it not? Children change so many of the dynamics of your relationship. I asked 133 married couples if they thought parenthood affected marriage. An overwhelming 97% of people answered yes. So I'm definitely not alone in my thinking! The question shouldn't be about whether or not it affects marriage. You need to ask yourself HOW it affects your marriage. When a husband and wife disagree on parenting, it doesn't have to affect the marriage badly. What to do when you disagree with your spouse about parenting Here's how to resolve parenting conflicts If you can't stop fighting with your husband over parenting, you'll want to read this next section. Parenting disagreements between spouses can be handled with respect and love. I recommend that you follow these steps in order. But please feel free to mix them up depending on the situation. 1. Believe in the good Before we go any further, we need to start with the most important tip: Remember that you and your husband have the kids' best interests at heart. Even if you have conflicting parenting styles, your husband is coming from a loving place. Focus on the good. I can't stress this enough. Your husband is not a bad person. He's not trying to undermine you. Before you go any further, remind yourself of all the reasons why your husband is a great partner. This will help change your mindset and make a huge difference when resolving these fights. 2. Do some inner reflection There will be times when you want to parent a certain way because you read a tip in a parenting book. In these situations, there's no emotional attachment to your side. You'd simply like to try a technique. But some parenting issues will go deeper for you. It's important to recognize when this happens. You need to talk through it with your husband so he can understand the significance to you. Here are some questions to ask yourself: Why am I so passionate about my side of this issue? Does this conflict bring up deep moral issues that I'm very passionate about? Does this issue bring up past grievances from my childhood? Related post: To the Husbands Who Travel for Work: How to Connect with Your Wives 3. Talk to your husband Now that you've done some thinking, it's time to talk to your husband. Try to set some ground rules before talking about parenting issues. Here are some ideas: We will listen to each other's side. We will not talk over each other. If one of us is getting too angry or frustrated, we will pause the conversation. We will begin the conversation with 3 reasons why the other person is a great parenting partner. We will be respectful to each other. 4. Try to see the situation from his point of view Put yourself in your husband's shoes. Why does he want to approach a parenting issue in a particular way? If you can't answer this question, it's time to talk to your husband again. There have been times when I've disagreed with Josh and thought I couldn't be persuaded otherwise. But after talking to him and seeing the issue from his point of view, I've been able to completely change my mind. 5. Give his way a chance One of the most important ways to respect your husband when you disagree on parenting is to give his way a chance. Remember that he has the kid's best interests at heart. Could it really hurt anything to try things his way? You might even find that he was right! When our son was a baby, Josh was very adamant that we should teach him to play by himself. We would put our son in his pack and play with toys and not interact with him. I'll be honest: I didn't think babies could play alone. I thought they always had to be enteretained. But I was so wrong! Our son is now 5 and is the most creative when he plays alone in his room. We've really enjoyed getting to see what he comes up with when left to his imagination. I'm so glad Josh had the foresight to teach our son this skill at such a young age. And I'm even more glad I gave Josh's way a chance. 6. Ask for your way to be given a chance too Make sure you are also trying your way out too. Depending on the issue, you could have the opportunity to give both of your ways a chance. If that's not possible then make sure you are taking turns. Maybe you've given your way a chance the last two issues. So now it's your husband's turn. And vice versa. Just try to be fair. 7. Talk about how different approaches went After implementing one person's plan of action, reflect on how it's going. Sit down with your husband and talk through these questions: Did it work well for your kids? Did it work well for you and your husband? If this was your husband's idea, can you admit if he was right? (If you can't, there's probably a whole other issue going on there.) If the approach wasn't quite right, what changes can you make going forward? Make sure to take some time and praise your husband for his input and good ideas. This positive reinforcement will make him feel valued. When parents disagree on discipline It can be so tough when parents don't agree on parenting. But the topic of discipline gets a lot deeper. It's not just about whether or not your kids should get an allowance. Discipline (or lack thereof) can shape a child's personality. You can still follow the steps above when it comes to disagreements on discipline, with a few changes: Go slower: With discipline, it's not easy to see the effects (good or bad) right away. It takes time and consistent implementation to see if it's working. So be patient with each other's approaches. Don't undermine each other: If your husband has sent your kid to time-out, don't undermine that by letting your child off early. This will cause discord between you and your husband. It will also send mixed signals to your kids about who they should listen to. Common parenting disagreements...and how to fix them! There are so many parenting decisions to discuss, which can lead to a lot of disagreements with your spouse. Here are some of the most common parenting disagreements and ideas on how to fix them. 1. How to raise the kids The issue: Should you be strict or lenient? Friends or authority figures? This sets the foundation for how you'll raise your kids so it's important to be on the same page on this one. How to fix it: Talk about it! Since this is such a large issue, it'll take several ongoing conversations to "fix" this parenting disagreement. Here are some of the topics you'll want to talk about: How did your parents raise you? What would you do differently? What reading have you done on this topic? Are there any parenting techniques you'd like to try? (gentle parenting, authoritative parenting, permissive parenting are just some of the many techniques) Have either of you given any kind of thought to how you want to raise the kids? Or do you just want to "wing it"? What common ground can you find? What are some deal breakers when it comes to parenting? For example, some people don't believe in time-outs and are wholeheartedly against them. Make these kinds of things known to your husband. Related post: How to Appreciate Your Husband: 8 Simple and Effective Ways 2. When one parent does all the parenting The issue: Are you the stay-at-home parent and feel like you do all the parenting? Are you tired of one-sided parenting? Does your husband think "my wife won't let me parent"? Or do you find yourself thinking, "I hate my husband's parenting style"? Has your husband checked out of parenting? How to fix it: Get to the heart of the issue. Why is one parent doing all of the parenting? Is it because one parent is more "controlling" and has to have their way? In this case, go back to the tips above. If you think your husband doesn't enjoy parenting, find out why. Is he afraid of failing? There might be a lot beneath this issue that you can work together to overcome. If you stay at home with the kids and your spouse works a lot, you might feel like you do all of the parenting. If this is the case, talk to your spouse about it. Do they want to be more involved? You could include them in some of the issues or decisions with the kids. Update your spouse throughout the workday with news on the kids. Involve your spouse so they begin to feel more like a parent. If they don't step up and begin getting more involved in parenting, there might be other issues going on. 3. Whether or not religion will be a part of your kids' upbringing The issue: You and your husband don't share the same religious beliefs. So what will you teach your kids about religion? How to fix it: Again, you'll need to compromise here. What might end up happening is that you "lightly" introduce your kids to both religions. Once they're old enough, they can decide on their own which one speaks to them. 4. How to feed the kids The issue: Do you make your kids clean their plates? Do you allow them to have input on what they eat at meals? How to fix it: Find the common ground. For example, let's say one of you wants to make your kids clean their plates. Compromise by not serving large portions so it's not too daunting for them. You can always get them more food. This is a tough issue because it'll have just as much to do with your kids as it does your parenting style/preference. And what works for one of your kids may not work with the other(s). So be flexible. 5. How many toys to buy The issue: Do you feel like you are spoiling your child with how many toys they have? Or do you think you don't spend enough? How to fix it: Set an annual budget and stick to it! If you find it hard to stick to it, get creative. Do some toy swaps with neighbors or hide toys in the closet so you can rotate "new" toys. There is so much you can do to buy fewer toys. 6. Screen time The issue: At what age should you begin to allow screen time? How much screen time is appropriate? How to fix it: Decide on a number for daily screen time and see how it fits in with your family. Is your child suddenly acting out more? Maybe you've been giving too much screen time. Make adjustments as you go along to see what works for your child. Focus on the quality of screen time as well. Is your child watching something educational? You and your husband might be ok with a little extra screen time if your child is learning something. Be kind to each other on this issue. There are days when I'm exhausted and have reached my limits. The tv might be on a little more than usual these days. And that's ok. Josh doesn't get upset with me about this. He understands how exhausting the kids can be. How to get on the same page with your spouse about parenting Find the common ground and stop fighting with your husband over parenting! Agree to disagree There will be times when there's no clear answer. You've tried it both your and your husband's ways. Neither seems to be the clear winner. So what do you do? It's completely ok to admit that you both have different ways of handling things. Try to be objective If you're too emotional, parenting disagreements can quickly become heated arguments. Don't let it get to that. You don't want your husband to shut you out because you're angry or sad. You want to be able to calmly discuss the topic together. If it's not possible to be objective (maybe a particular conflict brings up deeper issues), express this to your husband. Tell him that you can't be objective. Try to tell him why. You need to have emotional intimacy to be able to have discussions like these. Don't be vindictive If you tried your husband's way of doing things and it didn't work, don't be vindictive or rude about it. Likewise, don't say things like, "We should have done it my way." Spite has no place in a marriage. If you find yourself acting like this, take a step back and try to figure out why. Maybe the issue was more important to you than you first realized. Related post: 19 Lasting Ways to Build Emotional Intimacy in Your Marriage Don't put your kids in the middle of it You and your husband need to be a united front for your kids. They need a strong foundation to feel safe and secure. So don't let them be a part of your parenting disagreements. You and your husband need to be able to talk through these issues without the input of your kids. Your kids need to see united front parenting to grow in a healthy environment. That doesn't mean you and your husband will always agree. In fact, I would argue that it's ok if you kids know that you don't always agree with each other. Model healthy conflict resolution for them so they can take it into their future relationships. Aghogho, a mother of 2, has been married for 3 years. She shares the same thoughts on this topic: "We have learned overtime not to challenge the others parenting tactics in front of the kids. This undermines our authority, confuses the kids and doesn’t help us present a united front. We wait until we have a moment alone to address our disagreements and come to a reasonable compromise. We always remember that we’re a team working together to help our children grow." Final thoughts: how to stop fighting with your husband over parenting This is definitely one of those posts I'll be updating as time passes and my kids get older. I'm learning all of the time. As I learn and discover more ways to grow closer in my marriage through parenting, I'll update this post. My hope is that others will benefit from our experiences. Let me know in the comments what you think about my tips! Feel free to add your own experiences to help other readers out.

  • How to Keep Marriage Strong After Kids: 20 Insightful Tips

    Parenting is hard and makes it difficult to stay connected with your spouse. I surveyed over 300 married couples and found that only 53% prioritize their marriage. Those who do prioritize their marriage report feeling happier and more secure in their relationship. If this is true, why aren’t more couples prioritizing their marriages? The answer is simple: life gets in the way. Here are 20 tips on how to keep marriage strong after kids! {{DISCLOSURE: This post contains affiliate links, which means we may receive a commission if you make a purchase through our links. This comes at no cost to you. See our Disclaimer for more information. We only recommend products we believe will help foster a true connection with your spouse. We promise to always be honest in our reviews. }} Table of Contents: Why is marriage so hard after baby? How do I maintain my relationship with my husband after having a baby? What percentage of couples stay together after having a baby? How to keep marriage strong after baby Feeling disconnected from husband after baby Final thoughts: how to keep marriage strong after kids Why is marriage so hard after baby? Babies (and kids for that matter!) are a lot of work! They require your absolute full attention most of the time. You can easily get caught up in the endless tasks that are required for a baby. You forget to take care of yourself and your marriage. Things change after having a baby. You and your husband used to be able to go out for lunch or go on a day trip to a nearby town. But all of that changes after a baby. It becomes immensely harder to do the things you used to do. It can feel like your marriage changes overnight. This change can be very tough on a marriage. I share some of our experiences in the Final Thoughts section below. How do I maintain my relationship with my husband after having a baby? Patience and dedication are required to keep a relationship strong after having a baby. You'll find detailed tips below so you can get started on keeping your marriage strong after baby. What percentage of couples stay together after having a baby? A study done by The Denver Post found that 90% of couples experience a decline in marital bliss after they have their first baby. An article by Good to Know cites that "a fifth of parents break-up in the year after having a baby". But don't let these numbers scare you. Use them as reassurance that you're not alone. Start making changes now to improve and restore your marriage. How to keep marriage strong after baby Below are the things we've done to strengthen our marriage. We've come to realize how incredibly important they are for any marriage after kids. How to reconnect with your partner after having a baby 1. Look out for each other My first tip might be the most important. If one of you isn't doing well, the marriage is inevitably going to suffer. Babies and kids take a lot out of you. So look out for each other. What does your spouse need? Does your wife need to treat herself to a massage? Does your husband need a night "off" to decompress? It can be easy to take things out on each other. So don't let it come to that. Take care of each other so that you can then take care of your marriage. 2. Be strong for each other What if you are both struggling? There will be times (especially after a long night with the baby) when both of you will have reached your limits. Let's say the baby has been sleeping particularly badly. And you've both been up most nights for hours. But your husband has to go to work in the morning. This is the time to step up and be there for your husband. Take an extra night shift so your husband can rest for work. You can always let the chores slide a bit the next day so you can take a nap and recharge. Even after the baby phase, there will be times when your kids test your patience beyond its limits. Be strong when you see that your spouse needs you to make up for their lack of strength at the moment. 3. Allow yourself to be vulnerable You feel so many emotions when you have a baby, especially with your first. Allow yourself to be vulnerable with your spouse. Open up and tell them how you feel. Chances are, your spouse has been feeling the same way. If it helps, start your conversation with expectations such as: "I've had a rough day and really need to vent. Please listen and just let me talk." "I'm struggling with something and need your help in coming up with ideas to fix it." Letting your spouse know if they need to go into "fix it mode" is helpful for both partners! 4. Respect each other Respect each other's boundaries and wishes. When your spouse expresses the need to be alone and decompress, listen to them. Your spouse needs to feel valued and respected. Listen to your spouse and don't make them feel badly for something they might be feeling. Related post: To the Husbands Who Travel for Work: How to Connect with Your Wives 5. Respect each other's parenting styles Just because you and your spouse have the same values and morals, doesn't mean you will always agree on how to parent your children. Josh and I agree on a lot. But it came as a surprise to find out that we didn't always agree on parenting styles. So what do you do if you disagree? Here are some simple, summarized steps: First of all, respect your spouse's parenting style Next, listen to each other. Dig deep and find out why each of you want to approach a situation differently. Find common ground. Take turns trying out each other's styles. Talk some more. What has gone right? What could be improved? Did your husband have a good idea about the baby's sleep schedule? Did your wife handle a particular feeding issue well? Praise each other on the good and discuss the bad. But always do it respectfully. 6. Make time for each other If you don't spend time together, your marriage is going to suffer. It's as simple as that. Numbers 8 and 9 below have some specific ideas on how to squeeze a little extra time for your spouse. Don't forget to also make date night a priority. You need dedicated time to connect with your spouse. 7. Make time for yourselves This one might seem contradictory to the last tip, but it goes back to my point about looking out for each other. If you're not taking care of yourselves, you won't be able to focus on your marriage. Here are some tips to make time for yourself: Trade nights doing the kid's bedtime routines. The spouse with the night off gets a full hour to themselves to do anything they want. Give each other longer breaks. These will be harder to fit in but will mean the world as you begin to look forward to your "break". Be honest and realistic about responsibilities. What chores need to get done? Can the dishes or laundry wait another day so you can read for 30 minutes or take a long bath? 8. Teach your kids to help This isn't a tip for babies. But the baby phase only lasts a year. Begin to get into the mindset that your children need to contribute to the family. When our son was 2 years old, we started his first "chore": wiping down the table after meals. He was so excited to help out. At that age, they want to help, so take advantage of it. Now at the age of 5, he does a few other chores and actually has fun doing them. So how does this help strengthen your marriage? The more your kids help out, the less you have to do. If you're always picking up their toys and cleaning up after them, you'll have a lot less time for your spouse. This step takes a lot of time, effort, and patience. But believe me: it's worth it! Related post: 13 Amazing Benefits of Couples Who Workout Together 9. Teach your kids to play by themselves This is an idea that Josh had when our son was about 6 months old. I honestly didn't believe babies could play independently. But we slowly started showing him that playing by himself could be a lot of fun. (Disclaimer: this can only be done when you've already spent time with your child. They need to play with you too!) Our son is the most creative when he's been playing alone. It's been an amazing and unexpected benefit. And Josh and I can squeeze in a little extra time together! Do you wish you could cook dinner with your spouse? Or watch a short episode of your favorite show? It's amazing how much connecting you can fit in when your kids are happily playing by themselves. If you'd like more help with implementing independent play, I wrote a guest post for my friend at Kin Unplugged. You can find it here. 10. Listen When your spouse expresses their emotions, listen. Ask questions and try to understand how they feel. This is so much more important after you have kids. After a long day of your kids not listening to you, the last thing you need is for your spouse to ignore you too! If the kids are making it tough to pay attention to your spouse, set aside some time so you can truly listen to them. Make sure you give your spouse your full attention when they really need it. 11. Communicate Share your thoughts and feelings with your spouse. Your spouse needs to know what's going on with you: the good, the bad, the boring, etc. Kids make communicating so difficult. You're constantly doing things for them. And once they learn to speak, it sometimes feels like they never stop. This is where making time for your spouse is so important. Make sure you are using that time to talk to each other. Catch each other up on the important things but don't forget to also talk about more than just work and the kids. Here are our favorite conversation starters to help you. 12. Appreciate each other - and show it! Appreciating your spouse is so important. But don't stop there. Make sure you show your appreciation. Start by asking your spouse this question: "Do you feel appreciated?" Do not get defensive. Listen to what your spouse has to say and make changes as needed. Need help appreciating your spouse? Here's a post I wrote on how to appreciate your husband. But the tips can easily be applied to wives too! 13. Have healthy conflict Conflict in a marriage is not necessarily a bad thing. During conflict, you can learn a lot about each other. In fact, I'm willing to bet a lot of conflicts even stem from miscommunication (like it does in our marriage). The difference is that your conflict needs to be healthy. Set ground rules such as: We will not bring up past grievances, unless relevant to the issue. We will speak respectfully to each other. We will step away and calm down if we can't speak in a respectful tone. Having kids can unfortunately exacerbate conflict in your marriage. After a long day of your toddler yelling at you, it can be hard to calmly talk through an issue with your spouse. Kids wind you up and will leave you feeling agitated. So don't try to fix an issue if you are too on edge to do so. 14. Make forgiving a habit Let's be honest here: you are going to fail. As a husband, wife, father, mother. You are going to make mistakes. We all have our moments. BUT we all have our good moments. When your spouse fails or makes a mistake, forgive them. It's what you will want the next time you make a mistake. Create a loving, forgiving, kind home that your children will likely imitate. 15. Be romantic Romance is so important to a marriage, especially after kids. If you severely lack the ability to be romantic, you'll want to read my interview with a romance coach. Josie from Romance Enhanced has dedicated herself to helping couples find romance. You'll find amazing products, like the Night of Massage Game or the Kiss & Tell Game. Here's my unboxing of the Night of Massage Game: 16. See the good After kids, it can be very easy to focus on the bad. There are a lot of tough times. Instead, challenge yourself to focus on the good. Try taking this a step further. Point out the good to your spouse. Did you catch your spouse doing something awesome for your kids? Tell them. Thank them. It feels good to know your actions are getting noticed. 17. Have fun together What did you enjoy doing before kids? How can you make time for that again? Josh and I have always loved playing board games. It's one of our go-to at home dates after the kids go to bed. 18. Build strong emotional intimacy Emotional intimacy is so important for a marriage. It can be easy to forget about this crucial part of your relationship after kids. It's so easy to get caught up in your work, kids, and responsibilities. But building emotional intimacy has so many amazing benefits. Here's some more info on how to do it. 19. Ask for help This one has so many layers. It can mean: Asking for help for your marriage from a counselor Asking your spouse for help with the kids Asking family to help with the kids so you and your spouse can have alone time or go on a date Talk to your spouse and figure out what help you both need so that your marriage doesn't suffer. If you're unsure, try different things out until you find something that works. 20. Look into each other's eyes Having kids gets to be a little crazy. Between the baby refusing to eat her solids and the toddler talking your ear off, you can forget to look at each other. Occasionally, when things are getting a little out of hand with the kids, lock eyes with your spouse. This will do 2 things: Keep you calm Connect you with your spouse Feeling disconnected from husband after baby Are you feeling disconnected from your husband since the baby was born? You're not alone. The more parents I talk to, the more I hear the same thing: it's hard to connect with your spouse after kids. The good news is that it's not impossible. If you're really struggling, make sure to sit down with your spouse and talk about it. Or seek outside help from a counselor. Related post: How to Appreciate Your Husband: 8 Simple and Effective Ways Final thoughts: how to keep marriage strong after kids Your marriage is important. It's the foundation of your family. I know kids take a lot of work but prioritizing your marriage is going to create a loving atmosphere for your family. This topic is dear to me. Yes, it's the whole premise behind my blog. But it goes deeper than that: After we had our son, my husband Josh and I felt blindsided. We were so unbelievably naive about what it would be like to have a baby. We had heard all of the "babies are tough" general stories. But we had no idea. What made things even harder was the strain it would put on our marriage. Pre-kids, Josh and I did everything together: we are best friends. But after we had our first baby, we quickly realized things were changing. We couldn't be together all of the time. We couldn't even do the things we used to love doing together. So we made changes and our marriage grew to a whole new level. Our love is deeper and full of more respect than ever.

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  • Strengthening marriage after kids

    WELCOME When you were dating, you spent countless hours getting to know your spouse. It was through these unforgettable connections that grew your love into what it has become today. We're here to help continue that into your marriage so you never stop dating your spouse. ​ Let's face it: kids are a lot of work! You need to be extra intentional in strengthening your marriage. ​ We're Melissa and Josh. We've been together for 10 years and married for 6. We've always prioritized our relationship and we'd like to share what we've learned with you. We're not just a blog with date night ideas. We provide unique ways to reconnect with your spouse. ​ Have fun connecting! Start Now Restore Your Marriage How to Stop Fighting With Your Husband Over Parenting Are you tired of arguing with your spouse about how to parent? This comprehensive guide will help you both get on the same page. 0 Post not marked as liked Strengthen Your Marriage How to Keep Marriage Strong After Kids: 20 Insightful Tips Parenting is hard and makes it difficult to stay connected with your spouse. Here are 20 tips on how to keep marriage strong after kids! 9 2 likes. Post not marked as liked 2 Strengthen Your Marriage How to Appreciate Your Husband: 8 Simple and Effective Ways Show your husband that you care and appreciate him with easy-to-follow tips! This article teaches how to appreciate your husband in 8 simple 25 5 likes. Post not marked as liked 5 Our Latest Posts About Us In our 10 years together, we've done a lot of connecting all around the world. We've been to South Korea, Japan, China and Iceland. We've also done 2 cross country trips. We now have 2 amazing kids together. As the years go by, we've looked back on all of our adventures and time together with loving fondness. We're so excited to share what we've learned with you! Learn More

  • About | Connect Again

    About It seems as though your time exponentially decreases with each additional kid you add to your family. That's how we felt when our daughter (our 2nd child) was born. It was then that we realized we had to become more intentional about connecting in our marriage. We came up with the idea for Connect Again during a game of Pandemic . It hit us that we have a lot of ways to connect with each other and we wanted to share them with other couples. Josh is a Professional Engineer and a military officer. Melissa is a stay at home mom. Our kids are 5 and 1. We have the benefit of having formed a solid relationship before kids to help us through this crazy time in our marriage. If you don't have kids, you'll likely still find great advice here because most of what we talk about can be applied to multiple stages of marriage. Here at Connect Again, we guarantee you will leave with great ideas to foster a deep emotional connection with your spouse. Get Started! Meet the Team Melissa and Josh love helping couples foster a deep emotional connection. Get to know them a little better below! Founder and Content Writer Melissa Melissa has achieved her ultimate dream in life: to become a wife and mother. She has worked in IT audit and education, teaching English as a Second Language. Her hobbies are crochet, reading, gardening, and above all, spending time with her family. Editor Josh Josh believes that a better world starts at the family level. He is a Professional Engineer and military officer. He has traveled and lived across the US and the world. His hobbies are reading, board games, hiking, road trips, and spending quality time with his family. Strengthen Your Marriage 28 Fun and Practical New Year's Resolutions for Couples in 2023 Ready to strengthen your marriage but aren't sure where to start? Do you like making New Year's resolutions but always fail to stick to... 12 2 likes. Post not marked as liked 2 Date Night Idea 60 Awesome Date Night at Home Ideas for Married Couples Discover cheap, romantic, and fun ideas for a date night at home! 8 1 like. Post not marked as liked 1 Strengthen Your Marriage 13 Amazing Benefits of Couples Who Workout Together Couples who work out together stay together. Read our 13 benefits of exercising with your spouse! 21 5 likes. Post not marked as liked 5

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