Just because you're married does not mean you have to stop dating. I'm talking about dating your spouse! Once that marriage certificate is signed and you're legally joined, it's as if people stop courting each other the way they did the week before their nuptials. I found myself doing the same thing. Slowly my husband and I stopped going out to dinner. Even dinners at home, which started out with candles and fine china, ended up in front of the television on paper plates.
What has happened? I think we're of the mind set of why date when you're already married, you are forever together, no more winning the person over. Well, this line of thinking couldn't be more damaging to your marriage! But once you add a baby into the mix it is even harder to institute those nights out or those well orchestrated dinners by candle light. And yet this is when it is the most important to make time for each other.
Over the past few weeks I have been really feeling the pressure of being a stay at home mom to my 3 month old. Seven weeks before my baby boy was born I was placed on bed rest, so I have been stuck at home now for 5 months. During my pregnancy my husband and I didn't go out much since I was constantly feeling nauseated, but we did take a "babymoon" to Mexico at 32 weeks. It was simply amazing. We were able to take a break from all the baby preparations and just relax together.
It wasn't until my boy was about 2 months old that I realized I was no longer a wife, but just a mom, or so I felt. We parented together, took care of our boy, talked incessantly about baby stuff, and spent every free moment trying to catch up on sleep. That lack of attention to our relationship was really taking a toll on us. We started to argue about small stuff, something we never did before, we were irritable and there was a distance between us. I thought it was because we just had a baby and this was normal.
I really analyzed what was going on to finally figure out it was simple. We had stopped dating and started co-inhabiting. We no longer tried to impress each other, even if it was with just a clean head of hair and clean clothing (showering is a big task with a newborn!). We were no longer husband and wife, we had become solely parents, but good ones we are.
I had had it. I wanted my husband back. I wanted to be a wife again. So we planned a date night. My mother came to babysit our precious boy, I put on makeup and earrings, and we headed out to a nice restaurant. It was wonderful! We didn't talk baby, we didn't rush, and we enjoyed each others company.
It was EXACTLY what we needed. I felt that hour long dinner really brought us back to husband and wife. Later that night, my husband said he really loved going on a date with me and he saw why we needed it.
I am a strong believer, especially once you add babies into the mix, that you need to take time to stop being parents and start being husband and wife again. To continue to date even after marriage is so important.