This week has just been a GOOD week – much better than last week! No more car problems, no more sick baby, and we’ve had lots of beautiful sunny days to boot! And we have a FUN weekend to look forward to, so I’m going into today with a smile on my face. I hope you are too.
I guess it’s about time for another installment within my Bits & Pieces of Ashley series, eh?
I’ve received several requests asking this or that about how Cody and I have adjusted to having a baby in our lives, how we still manage to spend quality time with one another, and how we keep our marriage strong with a baby taking up a lot of our time.
Let me preface this all by saying that Cody and I are FAR from “the perfect couple”. We have our disagreements and our bad days just like any other normal couple. That being said, I think we also have a pretty healthy and strong relationship and marriage.
I will admit, it takes a little more effort for each of us now that we have Hunter. He takes up a huge portion of our daily lives, so we have be intentional about spending time with one another and keeping one another’s “love tanks” full.
Here’s how WE do it (this is not to say that everyone needs to do it this way … it’s just our personal experience!):
Keep God in the center
This means that God is in the center of our marriage, our decisions, our lives, everything. We make it a priority to attend church most Sundays, spend independent time with God each day, pray together, and seek God in our decision-making. Doing this helps keep our marriage strong, positive, and glorifying to God.
Make our marriage our first priority (next to God)
I know, you may think, “WHAT?!”, but hear me out. We firmly believe that if our marriage is strong, it’ll only benefit our child(ren). We want to be loving, positive, healthy examples to our child(ren), and making our marriage top priority will encourage that. This doesn’t mean we ignore Hunter’s needs, but it does mean that we carve out time for just the two of us from time to time.
Set an early bedtime for Hunter
Hunter goes to bed right around 7:30 PM each night. This gives Cody and me 2-3 hours together before we go to bed. It’s a beautiful thing.
We don’t have family nearby that will watch Hunter, and paying for regular babysitters gets expensive, so we have to be creative. We do at-home date nights (after Hunter goes to bed) quite often, or if we’re going to a friend’s house, we’ll put Hunter to bed in his Pack ‘N Play in another room so it FEELS like we have a babysitter, but we really don’t! For special occasions, we have a couple close friends that are willing to watch Hunter or we’ll splurge on a babysitter.
We don’t have a “set number” of date nights that we try to do each month, but we are intentional about making it a regular thing. It probably ends up being once every couple weeks that we make a point of spending some quality time together just the two of us.
Enjoy time together as a family
I absolutely LOVE seeing Cody be a dad to Hunter. It makes my heart melt seeing them together because they really do adore one another. On Thursday (Cody’s day off) and/or Saturday, we try to make a point of having some family time together. Sometimes it’s just running errands together, walking the mall, going out for breakfast, going on a hike/walk, or grabbing dessert. Other times it’s simply having a low key day at home together. It’s nice to be “kid free” sometimes, but these family times are my favorite too.
So, I guess that’s how we make it happen around here! Hopefully I answered most of your questions… If not, feel free to ask via email or in the comment section below. Also, if you’re looking for any “relationship” books, I would highly recommend The Five Love Languages and His Needs Her Needs. Cody and I both read them, and they’ve been very beneficial for us!
Have a fabulous weekend! I’ll see ya on the flip side!