Five ways to prioritize your marriage in the midst of motherhood

Written by Leslie Means
Published on April 21, 2023

My husband left his shoes in the middle of the living room floor. I saw them last night—they are hard to miss. He’s a tall guy, and he wears big shoes. 

So, instead of tripping over them, I picked them up and placed them into our closet. 

I didn’t grumble. I didn’t get mad. I didn’t even say a word.

I know you might be thinking: Really, Leslie? He’s a forty-year-old man, he can pick up his own dang shoes.

And you’re right. He can.

But I’m a forty-year-old woman and I can clean the trash out of my car and change the oil.  I know I’m capable of helping my kids with their homework, but sometimes. . . I don’t do it.

But my husband does.

In fact, there are a lot of things I don’t do that he does. And there are a lot of things I do that he doesn’t.

We’ve learned, after nearly two decades of marriage, there’s just no reason to keep score. We let go of the little things and work together on the big ones. We’re just two imperfect humans who love each other a lot and decided many years ago to be on the same team.

Add in kids and work and all the things that compete for our attention—and our intention—and it only reminds me how important it is to choose each other every day, even in the little things. 

Here are 5 ideas to help you prioritize your marriage: 

1. Schedule regular date nights

I know you’re too busy, too tired, too everything. I know. But date nights are so important. They don’t have to be fancy or even happen outside of your own home. Setting aside time for just the two of you—and having it on the calendar to look forward to—is huge. It could be thirty-minutes on the couch together after the kids are in bed, or a cup of coffee in the morning before work, or a fancy dinner out. The details don’t really matter. What matters is slowing down to really see each other and remember why you fell in love in the first place. 

2. Check in with each other during the day

You’re probably holding a phone in your hand right now, and guess what? It takes about ten  seconds to send a quick text to your spouse to say, “Hey, I’m thinking about you,” or “How’s your day going?” Of course, what it really means is “I love you.” It’s the modern equivalent of getting a letter in the mail—it just makes you feel good to know someone’s thinking about you. It’s easy to feel like you’re two ships passing in the night when you’re in the throes of raising a family, so intentionally reaching out to say, “Hey, I see you” can help you remember you’re a team. And a great one at that. 

3. Don’t keep score 

You’ve done the dishes three times this week, fed the dog, and been the one to stay home with the sick kid two days in a row. Pro marriage tip: stop keeping track. When you keep a mental tab of “I did this” and “why didn’t you do that?” you’re always going to feel like the one doing more. Help each other, and remember saying thank you goes a long way. 

4. Be your spouse’s biggest fan

Anytime I hear people complaining about their husbands or criticizing them, I squirm a little. I think my husband is a great guy, period. I don’t ever want him to hear through the grapevine—or read on my social media—anything other than that. Is he perfect? Not a chance. Do I love him? With my whole heart. Words matter, and I want mine to build him up, not cut him down.

5. Talk with and pray for each other 

To be a team, you have to communicate. Tell each other when you’re tired, happy, hurt, hopeful, or frustrated. You’re partners, but you’re also best friends, and talking to each other strengthens your connection. Praying for each other keeps it strong. Making it a point to pray for your spouse keeps you on a firm foundation with eyes fixed on God and his beautiful plan for your marriage and family.

And at the end of the day, remember to pick up the slack (and the shoes) when necessary.

Consider a few extra resources:

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Leslie Means

Leslie Means is founder and owner of the popular website Her View From Home, which features heartfelt contributor stories on motherhood, marriage, faith, and grief. Her book, So God Made a Mother, releases in April.  She is a former news anchor, weekly columnist, and has published several short stories.  She is married to a very patient man named Kyle, and together they have three fantastic kids: Ella, Grace, and Keithan. When she’s not sharing too much personal information online or in the newspaper, you’ll find her somewhere in Nebraska spending time with family and friends.

Read more about Leslie

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