Saturday, November 5, 2011

Day 27 - How Do I Make Time For My Spouse When We Have Small Children?

For nearly eleven years of our marriage we’ve had little children. {Travis and I have been together for a total of fifteen years.} God has brought us through the mire and muck of this world, and by His grace, we have a Godly marriage.

It hasn’t always been easy, but it has been worth it.

That being said we joke about our days before we had children. What did we do with all of our time? As God has grown our family, He has continued to grow our love for one another.

Here’s what our time together looks like now:

We make time. Everyday my husband sits down and says, “Tell me your stories.”

I appreciate that he recognizes that I need to talk. I always feel better telling Travis all my stories. His willingness to hear me is one of the reasons why I love him.

No interruptions allowed. We don’t allow our children to interrupt our conversations. Even from a young age, if mommy and daddy are talking they must wait {obviously, a real emergency is an emergency}. Of course, when they’re young we must train them in this.

Our “no interruption training” is very easy;
  1. We’re in agreement.
  2. We consistently tell the young child “You may not interrupt mommy and daddy when we’re talking.”
  3. As wife and mother I show my husband respect and our children see this. I do not let them come between us when we’re engaged in conversation.

    It may sound too easy, but it works x 4 {and #5 will learn this soon too}. We can have a conversation with a room full of children.
Kid Free Time At Home. Sometimes my husband and I have a “date” at home. We allow our kids to watch a classic movie on our dusty upstairs TV. or play in their rooms. My hubby and I may watch a movie together downstairs. This is not a daily occurrence, but it’s something we’ve done. I trust and value my husband’s leading.

Children have bedtimes. We put our young children to bed at 7 p.m. Our older children stay up until 8 p.m. This allows us quiet time together in the evening.

I Find Him. My husband has activities he enjoys doing outside. I’ve learned to support his interest and not fight them. Namely, his passion is restoring or fixing vehicles. If he’s busy in a project there’s no reason why I can’t go sit with him while he works. Go find your husband and be with him. There doesn’t even have to be a lot of conversation–just be there.

Family Time is Sweet. Most of our time together is family time. In this crazy world of over run families and sky rocketing divorce rates, even among Christians, we feel our family relationship is very important. My husband leads us in family board or card games, takes us to play basketball as a family, or we work together on projects. On his days off we usually make breakfast together for the family. This time is still ‘time’ with my husband.

To everything there is a season. We have to recognize different seasons. After my husband was laid off for 5-months, when he returned to work he was on night shift for a season. We didn’t see each other hardly at all. But we knew “this too shall pass” and it was what had to be done for a season. I prayed and believed God for a family friendly schedule for my husband. As always, God was faithful. Now he has many days off and on his working days he’s still home in time for dinner—we feel like we’re in heaven!

Stay on the same schedule. I have myself on the same schedule as my husband. He needs to go to bed fairly early, and get up when it’s still dark, so that is what I do too.

We don’t go out often without our children. We have one family member we leave our children with on a rare occasion. There’s nothing wrong with a husband and wife having a quiet meal without their children. We’re not in a season though where this is possible for us so we don’t seek it. If we think of our “time together” as only being when we can leave the house without children, then it would never happen, and that would lead to a lot of frustration.

Recognize your season, be creative. Utilize early bedtimes and nap-times to have quiet time with your husband. Go find him and be with him when he’s working on a project. Show your children that daddy is to be heard and honored. He is worth spending time with and making time for. Don’t discredit family time as not being time with your husband–just because you two are not alone, doesn’t mean you’re not together.


Today's Challenge:

Sit down with your spouse when he comes home. Let everything else wait, but take that time to sit with him. Ask him about his day and let him share. Tell him three good things from your day too. Once you're done talking together, let the children come and tell daddy about their day. Do not let the children interrupt your conversation, and enjoy being with your husband.

Today's Challenger:

Jamerrill Stewart is the founder/author of Holy Spirit-Led Homeschooling, where she writes extensively on home education, marriage, parenting and help for moms. Jamerrill and her husband Travis have been married for 13 years. They are blessed with five children and plan to have many more and adopt. Jamerrill loves Jesus, homeschool, and adding a layer of peanut butter to granola bars-really.

Visit her at
Holy Spirit-Led Homeschooling.

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