Children take up a lot of time, thought, and even money. This is true without regard to whether you home educate or not. As parents, we say our children are worth all of the effort we put into them, but that doesn’t negate the fact that we often end up feeling drained and tired. If you homeschool, however, your children become even more of a daily focus, as not only must you see to their safety and try to mold them into good little citizens, but you also have the responsibility of feeding their brains.
With so much focus on kids, it is very easy to become overwhelmed and let your marriage fall to the wayside. This is a mistake, however. A solid marriage is the foundation upon which your family is built. It’s the glue that holds it together, so it’s crucial to make your relationship with your spouse a priority. Wondering how to do this with all that you have going on? Here are some ideas you can use:
- Make time for your spouse: Yes, you’re busy, and so is your spouse. Still, it’s important to make time for each other every day. Maybe you don’t have hours to spend alone, but even a few minutes of uninterrupted marital time can make a difference. For example, you and your spouse could get up just a little earlier than the children each day and talk about anything other than the kids over a cup of coffee or tea. Likewise, you could spend a half hour just talking after the kids are in bed at night rather than rushing to fit in chores or watching TV.
- Revive date night: Being married doesn’t mean you can’t date anymore. Get out with your spouse at least once a month (more if you can make it work). Date nights allow you and your spouse to interact together like people rather than just as parents. It can be refreshing to see your spouse as your date rather than simply your co-parent. If you can’tget out, pack your children off to a relative’s house for a couple of hours and have a stay-at-home date. No one to babysit? Plan your date night for after the kids are in bed. If you can occasionally get away for a kid-free vacation, even a short one, that’s even better.
- Resolve disputes: Letting disagreements fester will only erode your marriage. You may think you’re over hurt or anger you buried, and then find it cropping up again and again at the most ridiculous times. For example, you may find your anger soaring over your spouse’s budgeting skills when the real issue of the moment is what to eat for dinner. Make time to hash out problems, be prepared to compromise, and don’t ever forget that you love your spouse, even during an argument. If you and your spouse can’t seem to work past certain issues, seek professional help sooner rather than later.
- Focus on your spouse’s strengths: When you first met your spouse, you probably focused on all the great things about him or her. You might not have even noticed his or her flaws. In the marital trenches, however, it’s all too common to get caught up in disliking your spouse’s weaknesses and faults and forget about all the things that make your spouse great. Make a conscious effort to remember the many good qualities your spouse has, and tell your spouse how much you appreciate him or her on a regular basis.
Like child-rearing, marriages are hard work, but the rewards are boundless. Try the above tips for prioritizing your marriage. Then, come back and share how they worked for you.