notice in the title i didn’t say “marriage.” this post isn’t going to only be about having a healthy marriage but about all relationships in your life. although, we will chat about marriage because that’s a very important relationship.
let’s start with the most important relationship there is and that’s your relationship with Jesus. connecting with Jesus daily is going to help all your other relationships. but i think once you become a parent, it’s easy in those busy years with young ones to feel as though you never have quiet time and when you do, you have other household chores weighing over you to accomplish. in a podcast i listened to recently on this topic, the mom gave such great insight on this. she said something along the lines of “connecting with Jesus will look different in different seasons in your life and that’s okay. maybe when you have a newborn, connecting with Him means praying every time you go to nurse your baby. or listening to audio Bible in the car. or even praying while doing the dishes. it doesn’t mean your relationship is worse just because it looks different. Jesus just wants you to come to Him.” for me, it can be easy to forget that spending time with Him will look different but just because i can’t sit down in silence for an hour and read my Bible that doesn’t mean i can’t connect with Him at all.
the next most important relationship to have is with your spouse. i strongly believe that your kids need to see you and your spouse connecting and prioritizing your marriage. and once you have kids, it takes intentionality. it can be easy to fall into the trap of doing everything for the kids and then by the time they’re in bed, you’re so tired you just go to sleep and don’t connect. but, this is an area my husband and i have always been intentional with and is a strength of ours. our kids need to see us getting dressed up and going on dates because that’s important. so yes, we do have our son stay with a babysitter from time to time so we can have uninterrupted time together. how else will they know how to treat their future spouse if they didn’t witness their own parents prioritizing each other? so yes- our kids are being raised seeing my husband and i go on dates, kiss one another, hug one another, communicate in a healthy way, etc. in another podcast I listened to a couple months ago, the host was talking about how when she grew up, it was part of their family routine that when her dad got home from work, her parents had 10 or so minutes alone on the couch, uninterrupted to connect. the kids knew they couldn’t interrupt them and everything had to wait (unless it was an emergency). the parents were intentional with at least 10 minutes of connecting each day because they knew that they would be better parents if their marriage was healthy. and i believe that to be 1000% true & necessary.
the next relationship i want to talk about is the relationship with yourself. my husband and i both know we will be better parents and spouse if we have time by ourselves. with no kids. so, we both regularly have that time alone. i call mine my “tia time” or my “mama time.” we both need time alone to refresh and do things we enjoy with no distractions. parenting is team work so we support one another by watching the kids so the other one can have that time. even an hour or two a week can make such a big impact. i find i have more patience when i’m refreshed and rejuvenated.
the next relationship i want to talk about is the relationship you as a parent have with each of your kids. as important as it is to have time as a family and with all your kids together, it’s also important to have time with each of your kids individually. as your family grows, it can be easy to let the newborn bliss get in the way of time with your older kids, but all your kids need you as a parent to be present with them and them alone. i can even tell with my 15 month old, that he needs his mom alone, with no baby sis around. so, we spend time while she naps playing and we snuggle before bed. he needs that. my husband takes our son out to book stores & that’s time they have alone. we’ll find those ways to do that with our daughter too once she’s older. our son needs to learn from his dad how to treat women and our daughter needs to learn from me how to treat men. and they also just need to feel prioritized. even as little ones, that’s important to them.
the last relationships i want to address today are friendships. when you enter a new season, such as parenthood, it can be easy to fall into your new routine that you forget to have time with your friends. most of my close friends don’t have kids yet, but i don’t let that stop me from maintaining close relationships with them still. if a friendship is important to you, you’ll prioritize it no matter what. now, it may look differently when you have young kids, but every mom and every dad still need time with their friends to feel like they have a life outside of changing diapers and cleaning up toys. it’s important.
i’m very passionate about intentionality. i think it’s crucial to be intentional in your relationships. otherwise, it can be easy to let life slip by and get so in motherhood that you forget to live your life outside of that. kids only enhance your life and relationships; they shouldn’t take away from them.
what’s your favorite thing about being a parent?
what relationships in your life do you need to be more intentional in growing?
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