- Live Entwined Lives. I talk a lot about this in my first book, The Busy Homeschool Mom’s Guide to Romance. Entwined living is the opposite of something I call “parallel living.” It means that instead of just being “roommates” with our husbands, we purpose to be intentional about doing things together. For some of us, it comes easily. When I first started living this principle with my husband years ago, it was difficult. Our lives were being pulled apart in so many ways … the church pulled at us, with it’s myriad of weekday activities, work pulled us apart, school activities and obligations left little time for meaningful interaction and eventually, we found ourselves with a so-so marriage instead of a great marriage.Entwined living means we live like that cord of three strands that Solomon talks about in Ecclesiastes. Our lives weave in and out of each other’s space and time through meaningful interactions, activites and a commitment to intimacy in our marriage. For more on this principle, check out the Guide to Romance.
2. Remember that Marriage Comes Before Mothering. This means that your marriage needs to be the priority relationship in your home. It should take priority over all your other relationships. I hear from moms every week who are so weary that the idea of spending any “extra” energy on their husbands is overwhelming.And I get it. Motherhood is demanding. It’s often 24/7, diapers, dishes and discipline. It’s enough to bring a woman to her breaking point. That’s part of the reason I’m so passionate about moms encouraging other moms. We need each other! Only a mother can truly understand the demands and pressures of another mother.
But here’s the thing: we can’t let motherhood rob us of one of life’s greatest blessings—and that’s a healthy marriage. I’ve often said that I believe the marriage comes before mothering. I’ve taken some heat for it, because some take that to mean that I don’t care about the kids. This is not the case. Here’s why:
The marriage is the primary relationship at home. Many moms believe that their children should come first; after all their husbands are grownups! I understand the reasoning behind this, but I believe it’s based in a misunderstanding of God’s design for marriage.
The intent of the mom who puts her children before her marriage is noble, but it lacks vision for the greater picture of a truly healthy family.
Have you ever heard a flight attendant as she instructs passengers before take off? She’ll say something like, “In the unlikely event of a loss of cabin pressure, SECURE YOUR MASK FIRST BEFORE ASSISTING YOUNGER PASSENGERS.” This is because everyone knows that if the parents pass out from lack of oxygen, the child is rendered defenseless in most cases.
Your marriage is a lot like this situation. Think of nurturing your marriage in the same way you might think of securing an oxygen mask to yourself and your husband. Breathe life into your marriage every day. Keep your marriage physically and emotionally healthy.
If we create a child-centered home to the neglect of our marriage and the marriage falls apart, or if we only give the marriage 50% of the oxygen it needs, the marriage will suffer. And the children of that marriage will suffer too.
3. Make Intimacy a Priority. How can we do that as busy moms? Here a few ideas to bring the “wow” back into your bedroom: :)
- Take time to unwind at the end of the day. A quiet bath with some wonderful smelling Epsom salts is high on my *love this* list.
- Prepare yourself mentally for intimacy. Think about your husband. What do you find attractive about him? What is it about him that brings a smile to your face? Most husbands don’t need this “mental” preparation. They are like microwaves. We are like crock-pots. Think 6 hours on low.
- Talk to your husband. What does he need? Does he know what you need in order to be more available for sex? Sometimes, just talking about what we need is the key. For example, it really blesses me and helps me unwind when my husband puts the kids to bed while I try to unwind from the stress of the day. Talk to your husband. He’ll be happy to hear that it matters to you.
Nurture your marriage—it’s one of the best things you will ever do for your children!