David and I have been a couple for 11 years and heading into our 4th year of marriage. I’m self-employed running my own brand and marketing agency, David works in investment and we share our journey as a family on our Instagram account @littleonesnus.
In our early 20s, we did heaps of traveling, dining, and theater trips — just name it, and we’d done it. We didn’t live together till we got married, but we would be on the phone with each other as we got ready for work, the commute to work, lunch breaks, and even after work. We were inseparable, while we had some amazing friends (that we spend time with), if we had to pick, we’d always pick us over anyone else. That’s what has kept us strong and united over the years despite many external forces. You may be thinking, well by the sounds of it, you guys a fine. To an extent, yes — but also no.
I was honestly that person who never understood it when people would say “kids change everything.” Of course, it’s not meant in a negative way, but they do. Like anything new in your life, some things take getting used to more than others.
The year leading up to our wedding was a tough one. We found out my mum had terminal cancer and we tried everything we could to shift the wedding date, but sadly she passed away before the wedding. We postponed it for a few months while we laid her to rest. Soon after we got married, I got pregnant straight away. I’d always said I’d conceive on my wedding night and I hit the jackpot! We moved into our new home as newlyweds, pregnant with their first child, and still grieving. Our son was born in November of that same year, and he was honestly what we needed. We named him Eden because he literally was the perfect piece of paradise.
While David and I are the best of friends — I mean we share everything — it was clear that our dynamic was changing. We didn’t have as much time for each other. I was being a mum, and a mumpreneur, amongst other commitments, such as caring for my dad. All these things needed my attention, and couldn’t be put to the side. Without realizing it, we were losing our intimacy as a couple. Now the thing is we were not arguing, we were definitely still very much in love, but we were putting these other commitments first.
The arrival of our second son was another huge blessing, but a few months in we realized we ought to start being intentional about doing things for us and spending time together. We realized the importance of utilizing our network and family. We changed the mindset and stopped thinking we were being an inconvenience to people by asking them to watch the kids; the response was often, “I thought you’d never ask.”
As it is for most couples, 2020 has probably been a learning experience. While at home, we did a marriage course. It was very clear that over these years of serving others, being parents, and everything else that’s “expected” of us, we were forgetting to serve our marriage and do the things we love. I realized that it can be very easy to get into a monotonous routine and there may be no obvious problem. You’ll still laugh and love, but bit-by-bit, you neglect the things that make you — you.
Now, we’ve made a rule that we must have a date night once a month. This could involve giving the kids to friends and family while we go out. The current pandemic didn’t stop us either; we had date night right here at home. Trying out a new recipe we haven’t before, ordering our favorite takeaway, watching a movie, and setting aside time to have a catch-up.
We’ve made a decision to be very intentional about spending time together and communicating. There doesn’t need to be an obvious problem or issue in your marriage before you implement new things. We, as people, are continually changing and so will our relationship. I love the saying “you can’t pour from an empty cup.” How can our marriage serve us if we don’t serve our marriage? Remember to be intentional about making time for one another to start this journey back to romance.