I’ve never met anyone who’s marriage didn’t change after having a baby. It’s pretty incredible how much your marriage changes once you bring kids into the picture. It’s a huge learning curve- one that requires patience and grace. It’s really hard. And it can really take it’s toll on a couple. Plus, if you are a working mom, you likely have a plate that’s overflowing with tasks and to-do’s that often the area that takes a back seat is our marriage. It’s so easy to do, but I think it’s so very important to keep your marriage first.
Easier said than done, I know.
When the daily stresses of kids, work, family, finances and life set in, it’s hard to remember to put each other first. It’s hard to remember that you had a life together before the children came along- one that was focused on you TWO. And I know that once you have kids, you can’t be ONLY focused on the TWO of you anymore. Kids demand a lot of time and energy, making it difficult to stay focused on one another. Life demands a lot of time and energy, also making it difficult to focus on one another. This is reality. But I really think it’s essential to keep in the forefront of your minds why you got married to begin with and to continue to grow together as a couple. And not just as mom and dad.
Date nights. Date nights are a fabulous idea and a great way to stay connected. I know that it’s common for people to advise that couples make a weekly date night. And to be honest, this is really hard for even Jason and I to find time to do! Between work, our two boys, photography, ministry, and friends and family, we are often left exhausted at the end of the week with not much left to give. But, I do know the value in having time out on our own with no little ones. With no friends or family. And with no distractions (ie cell phones, emails, text messages, Facebook). It’s a great time to reconnect and to just be together without the distractions of life.
It’s important to talk and to talk about more than just work. This is really hard for us too. We are so passionate about Session Nine Photography and we LOVE dreaming up and creating new ideas together. We love discussing photo shoot inspiration and discussing what we have coming down the pipeline. We just eat, breathe, and sleep photography. And we REALLY do. But we really have to stop ourselves sometimes and agree to talk about other things than just work. And we have to sometimes talk about other things than just the kids too. It’s so important to remember that you were a couple BEFORE your busy, crazy life happened and before the kids came into the picture. And that you probably stayed up late on the phone talking for hours before you got married! I understand life changes, people change and things change. I get it. But it’s so necessary to still know and understand what makes the other person ‘tick’. And that it’s ok if all your conversations aren’t centered around the kids and work. Of course you are going to talk about them! But make sure you make time to talk and continue to get to know each other as growing individuals too.
It’s hard to remember that you’re not just a mom because you have little ones. And while that’s a huge role in your life and a major priority that does need most of your attention, it is also vital to remember your marriage as a separate relationship. One that still needs to be nurtured, strengthened, and made a priority. I really believe that if you honor your marriage, take care of it and work hard on it, that God will honor it. It’s not always easy. It doesn’t always look pretty. It might be the last thing you want to work on. But I know that your children will only benefit from a strong, healthy marriage. One where Mom and Dad continue to try to learn new things about one another and who enjoy being together. What a great example. And I know how hard it is to put each other first within your crazy day and life. But don’t forget who you were together before your kids came into the picture. Because you had something really special; something you made a priority every day.
Although it’s hard, I do know that it’s worth it.
I am Jessica Williams, full time wife, mother, and photographer. My husband Jason and I have two little boys, Cruz (2.5) and Rider (6 months) who have absolutely changed our lives in all the best ways possible. We live locally in Scottsdale, which is where I grew up, but we just moved back as a family almost a year ago. Jason and I are full time photographers with Session Nine Photography, photographing Weddings and Lifestyle Sessions locally as well as nationally. Jason also works at Scottsdale Bible Church as a Worship Pastor for Soma Young Adults and for High School Ministry. Having grown up in Scottsdale from a very young age, I really love living and raising my own children in Scottsdale. I love getting out in the city and I’m always looking for new things to do! I am passionate about being a mom and empowering women to find what they are passionate about and to live it out. I am inspired daily by women who are hard workers, who love their family and who remain true to who they are.