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  • With Kids, It's Easy to Feel Like You and Your Spouse Are Roommates. How to Put a Stop to It

    Yes, parenting is exhausting, but making time for your partner and being present in the moment can spell a big difference.
    by Cielo Anne Calzado .
With Kids, It's Easy to Feel Like You and Your Spouse Are Roommates. How to Put a Stop to It
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  • With children to care for, chores to manage, and a job to attend to, parents often find it difficult to spend some alone time. On rare occasions that you are able to squeeze in date nights, you’re most likely tired and looking forward to a good night’s sleep. Because let’s be honest, there are days when going out with your husband to see a movie feels like a task, too.

    Ivetta Kleiman, in her article published by Mindbodygreenshares, “As a relationship coach, I often work with couples who say that their children are exhausting, and they have no energy left for each other. They’d like to experience life beyond the constant juggle of a stressful job, children, finances, and household duties.”

    While time spent away from your children can sometimes make you feel guilty, you need to treat it as a quick break or time-out that will allow you to recharge your batteries and strengthen your bond with your partner. Cultivating a happy marriage can help you raise happy and healthy kids, too.

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    How to put your marriage first and raise happy kids

    “Many couples believe their marriage is strong because they rarely argue. But the real marriage killer is when we distance ourselves from our spouse to keep the peace,” says David Code in his book To Raise Happy Kids, Put Your Marriage First as quoted in an article by Parents.

    Here are a few tips to nurture and strenghten your marriage after kids.

    Change your mindset

    “Energy comes from clear thinking and living in this moment,” shares Kleiman. If you keep conditioning your mind that you don’t have energy left, chances are, you’ll end up feeling more exhausted. Focus on the life you have now and stop comparing what you have with that of others.

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    Allot time to recharge

    You won’t have the energy to care for your kids and manage the household if you’re on the last bar of your battery. Simply put, you need to have a self-care routine. “Children are not exhausting, not fulfilling yourself as a human being is,” adds Kleiman in her article. Whether it’s visiting a bookstore, spending an hour in your favorite coffee shop, or scheduling a spa appointment – make time for it.

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    Prioritize your partner

    Linda Waite, Ph.D., a sociologist from the University of Chicago says that “it’s important to find new ways to connect and keep your relationship fresh.” Do you follow a routine that has become boring? Any new activities you’ve started to take on as a couple? Explore different ways to keep the love burning. How’s your bedroom situation? Being parents shouldn’t stop you from having fun, after all, studies show that great sex leads to better sleep! Make it a point to go on dates — these don’t have to be expensive (why not schedule a movie night or a marathon of your favorite show?). You can mark these on your calendars, so you’ll have something to look forward to. Spontaniety can be fun, but scheduling can be a parent's most useful tool to make anything happen.

    Keep the communication lines open

    You and your husband form a winning team. Constant communication and solving problems together are critical. According to Parents, “you have to invest time and energy in your marriage — and address tense topics — if you want it to sustain you during tough times.” If an issue arises, discuss it as a team. Hear what the other has to say and arrive at a solution that you both agreed on.

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    Complement each other and don’t forget to give compliments

    You are tag team partners. Be comforting and encouraging, especially if you feel like the other has had a bad day. It’s never a good thing to fight fire with fire, and your child will sense it if there’s tension in the air. To nurture your child and the family, make it a point to nurture your relationship as well. Simple things like commending your husband’s new haircut or thanking him for the simplest of gestures can make a difference.

    Stop being roommates

    Yes, you’re tired from work, and there’s nothing more rewarding than plopping down on the bed. Before you call it a day, update each other on how your day went. From sharing something as simple as what you ate for lunch to how horrible the traffic is, it definitely counts. Holly Robinson on Parents says, “Discussing your worst moments may seem like a downer when you have limited time together, but when you understand what the other person is going through, you’ll be more of a team.”

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