Most times, planned parenthood is a natural progression of a couple’s love for each other. Two people, wanting to solidify their commitment, embark on this journey. Then why and how do so many relationships fall apart after kids?
Like many couples out there, after becoming parents, my husband and I too saw a spike in our wranglings. The pressures of raising kids, designed to, at least so it sometimes seems, overwhelm and exhaust you, was causing a lot of stress. To add to it, nuclear families, busy lifestyles and older bodies were taking a toll. While our marriage had not reached the counseling stage, the phrases, “it’s your turn”, “I can’t do this anymore” and “why are we fighting again” had started invading our lives.
We both realized we had to do something about it. I am the over thinker in our marriage and so I spent hours analyzing the problem.
My husband and I were together for almost 9 years before having kids, therefore very accustomed and habitual to “just us” space. After becoming parents that bubble was busted and we had to make room literally and figuratively for the third and then the fourth.
So an obvious solution was to find time for “just us”.
Answer one – DATE NIGHTS.
GOOD BUT NOT ENOUGH. Let me tell you why. We instituted date nights as a religion. Babysitters were hired on a periodic basis and schedules were set. It was great to reconnect and rejuvenate but while it helped, very frequently we found ourselves talking about…yes, you guessed it right, KIDS. Either planning their activities, their needs, or worst yet, watching their pictures and videos and admiring our creations.
Nah, not exactly a romantic “just us” setting. Not to mention, the increasing costs of date nights, when including babysitter rates, was taking away from the enjoyment.
That’s when I stumbled upon one of the best inventions for parents which became the second answer.
Answer two – GYM WITH PLAY CENTERS.
My initial reaction was probably same as a lot of the parents out there, exercise in the same sentence as kids?!! When and how can you take out time for that?
I was sure, it would end up like other gym memberships, a charity to the owner. But right before discounting it, my husband asked me to focus on the “why” more than the “how”. The why being, a desire to stay healthy and living longer for my kids. That’s a motivation, right there!
It wasn’t easy at first, but just like a lot of parenting things, it was necessary. Therefore, the “how” part got worked out and as it turned out, that’s the best thing we have done for our relationship too.
We work out together. Talk about number of reps and exercises and in between reps, our days. It’s just us. Moreover, working out has been scientifically proven to release endorphins, brain chemical, which buoys good moods. We make healthier choices in eating and the fact that we are doing it together, is even more rejoicing.
All the while, our kids are together at a fantastic play area which they absolutely love!!