When my husband and I first started talking about having a family he told me something I found appalling.
He said, “Our children will never be more important to me than you.”
Honestly, I was shocked. I couldn’t fathom feeling that way. I was raised by a mom that we were her entire world. You hear that a lot. You have kids and everything else goes out the door. And here I was married to a man that didn’t think our children would be #1.
The more we talked, the more I realized he was right. I know also believe this. Our kids are definitely a top priority in our life, but we come first. Our relationship comes first.
We want them to learn about relationships through us, see the every day nice things we do for each other and what we do to continue to strengthen our bond.
When our son was barely over 1 we took our first week long vacation. Cory had never been to Europe! I couldn’t let that sort of thing go. It was tough. Day 5 we were both ready to pack up and head home. BUT he was fine. And one of our favorite memories is being in Paris, homesick for our son, and just going to a grocery store picking up cheese, fruit and wine and hanging in our hotel room talking and giggling.
We instated, and by instated I mean mandatory dates every week. That doesn’t mean gone for hours. Some of our dates are just 2 hours on a “coke date” at the Sonic. But we have alone time every week.
We put it on the calendar, hire a regular sitter and spend time together.
Quickly we realized we couldn’t stay awake through dinner and a movie, especially if it was after 8 o’clock, so for the last 3 years we do Saturday day dates. Our sitter typically comes over at 2 and stays until 7pm. We get back in time to spend time with the kiddos and put them to bed, one of our favorite daily rituals.
I personally feel I am a better parent when I have some time for myself and with my spouse. I am happier and feel more fulfilled. The reality is once we are together and away from them it doesn’t take long before we are looking at pictures or laughing about the latest toddler antics.
We still take vacations away from our kids too. Spain for a week last fall and next week we are heading to an island vacation! I know our kids will get to an age where they are easy to take with us and we will want that. Currently vacationing with toddlers is like being in a new/beautiful place with the same routine. So, we choose to let them spend time at grandma’s house while we spend time together.
These shared experiences that Cory and I have together really last for me. We still talk about that night in Paris and every time we bring up all the fun we have had together it just makes me fall in love with him all over again.