Today starts the second part of this fabulous blogging series and I am honored to be a part of it. The one thing I’ve learned in these past 23 months of motherhood is that you can’t do it alone. Motherhood is such a beautiful thing but it can be challenging. Especially as your little one begins to become their own person. If you have or have had a toddler, you know how much fun but tough this stage can be.
One of the many things I love about the blogging community is the support I see between women on a daily basis. Whether it’s a day when you need to vent or you want to celebrate a milestone, there is always support available. And advice. Lots of advice. I have learned tremendously from other bloggers. From favorite toys to tips for feeding your toddler to dealing with a no napper to ideas for birthday parties. I’ve been able to connect with a lot of other women and mothers out there. Many of which I consider real life friends. It’s a community I’m proud to be a part of.
In this series, we will be covering a variety of topics about motherhood and raising a toddler. I hope you’ll join us and link up with any of the topics that appeal to you. I am looking forward to getting to know everyone participating while learning tips and tricks from other moms as well.
The topic today is keeping your marriage alive with a toddler. So I have to admit, I laughed when I ready the topic for today. For those of you who are new here, I’m just over 27 weeks pregnant with baby #2. I was sick for the first 18 weeks and have yet to experience the feeling fabulous second trimester I experienced with AG. Being pregnant and chasing after a toddler is completely exhausting. By the time hubs gets home from work, I’m handing off the mini and plopping down onto the couch to put my swollen feet up. Nothing romantic about that.
While we may not be doing as good as we used to right now, I feel that hubs and I have definitely found a happy medium with taking time for us while having children. When AG was a baby things were much easier. We lived in FL surrounded by family and friends. From the time AG was 6 weeks old, my mom and dad babysat every single weekend. Hubs and I either ran errands, went to lunch, the movies or an actual get dressed up date night. We needed that time alone and treasured it. Now that we live in TX without family close by it’s more difficult to get out alone. While we may not have as many date nights as we used to, we still make an effort each week to do something for one another and make sure we have our time together. Here are some things we do to make our marriage a priority.
My mom comes to visit once a month or every other month, depending on when we go back to FL. When she’s here, we make sure to have a date night. We usually go to dinner and walk around the outdoor mall here. We talk, we laugh, we enjoy our alone time together. It’s a night we both look forward to during her visits and are grateful to have, even if they are just once a month.
Date Nights In
A while back I created a Date Night In Jar as a gift for hubs. Knowing our child free days of going out whenever we wanted were long gone, I wanted to create something that we could do at home after AG went to bed. The original goal with the jar was to use it once a week for a date night in. Some months we’re really good about planning our nights and using the jar for ideas. Other months we may just do one planned date night in. What matters is we’re setting aside a night to focus solely on each other and spending quality time together doing something fun at home. Sometimes I chose the date from the jar and plan the night, sometimes we do it together or hubs plans it all. It makes things fun and you don’t even need to leave the house.
I think it’s important to know your partner’s love language. D’s love language is words of affirmation. I make an effort everyday to make sure he knows (through my words) how much I love and appreciate him. This sounds silly but I set an alarm on my phone each day to remind me to send him a text. I know I should be able to do this without a reminder but I’ve tried and always forgot until he was home. I wanted to make sure he received the text when he’s at work, away from us. I wanted him to know I was always thinking of him. In the text, I make sure to tell him something I appreciated that he’s done recently and of course a sweet note as well. Sometimes I’ll add a picture of AG from the day. As for appreciation, whether it was just doing the dishes in the morning or letting me sleep in and taking extra time with AG. Doesn’t have to be anything big, my goal is just to let him know his acts of kindness (big or small) don’t go unnoticed. I know he looks forward to receiving these texts and they make him feel good. He’s even started sending notes to me doing the same and I love it.
Having a toddler is exhausting. You never know what kind of day you’re going to have and the mood your child will be in that day. I am a believer that as parents we need alone time, time by yourself. Time to regroup, relax and put YOU first. Hubs and I share a lot of interests but have our own as well. He loves to golf and go to the shooting range. I love to get a pedicure, enjoy a coffee at Starbucks (in store) and take an alone trip to Target. We make sure we are both taking time for ourselves. I appreciate when he sends me for pedicures and I know he appreciates when I suggest he go to the range in the morning before we tackle our weekend days.
Dream and Experience Life Together
Hubs knows what my dreams and goals in this life are. I know what his are. We also have our dreams and goals as a family. I do everything I can to support his, he does the same for me and we work together to make our dreams come true for our family. We read a devotional during dinner together and talk about it. We make an effort to keep technology out of our alone time. Even if it’s just watching one of our shows on the couch. We do the things we both love to do…together.
Other things to mention are the importance of communication. Being on the same page as parents and also as husband and wife. Knowing what the other wants and needs and making an effort to fill those needs. Just as parenting is full of learning each and every day, marriage is as well. Just as hubs and I work to make sure we’re doing the best for our children, we need to make sure we need to do the same each other. It’s easy to put your kids first at times because they are needy little beings. What I try to remember and remind myself of on a daily basis is that my marriage needs that same attention and effort. We don’t have a perfect marriage by any means but we work everyday to make our marriage and one another a priority.
Here are the moms that will be hosting this link up each week.
You’ll also be able to find the topics below.
July 10: Keeping your marriage alive with a toddler
July 17: Favorite summer toddler activities
July 24: Helping Your Toddler to Communicate (Words, emotions, etc.)
July 31: Dealing with Separation Anxiety
Aug 7: Car Trip Necessities
Aug 14: Deciding when the time is right for baby #2 (and/or how to handle these questions)
Aug 21: Tricks for eating out with your toddler
Aug 28: Feeling confident as a mom (How to feel this way, Your struggle with, etc.)