3 essentials for sanity and marriage when you have kids



Life with kids is ridiculously busy right now.  Though I hate giving the time of day to that word, it is true and I have this feeling it’s not going to be getting any quieter anytime soon.


Now that Rory is up on his feet my house consists of little people chasing each other, shrieking, jumping off the furniture, fighting and just generally giving me heart attacks all day long.


Whilst these 3 things were saving our sanity when we only had one, they’ve become essentials for everyone’ sanity and for our marriage now that we have two.


By the way I can’t take credit for these essentials, it’s the advice our marriage counsellor gave us a couple of years back and without fail I know when we’ve gotten out of balance with any of them, because life starts feeling stressful, resentment creeps in and I start feeling like it’s all too much.


So what are the three essentials for sanity and marriage when you have kids?


1. Time alone
2. Time with your partner
3. Time as a family


It’s not rocket science but for some reason sometimes it feels like we need permission to take number 1 and number 2.  It was marriage changing for us because now it is not uncommon for us to say to the other ‘why don’t you go do something for yourself?’ instead of being stuck in that negative place where you’re too busy feeling sorry for your own lack of time that you wouldn’t think to offer it to your partner.  Trust me – I know that place far too well.  It has also made us guard our time against little people who like to take all of it – even if it is only a conversation after work.




I know when we first started trying to balance these essentials we struggled for ideas of what to do – especially ideas that didn’t cost a whole lot of money – as anyone with young kids knows it’s not always in abundance after you’ve had a few years on one wage.


Time alone

  • Time in the library to read.
  • A walk on the beach / round a park with your favourite audiobook/ podcast/ music in your ears.
  • A solo cafe date
  • A solo bath with music and candles


Time with your partner

  • sharing wine and a chat once the kids are in bed
  • a walk together after dinner while someone else watches the kids
  • a picnic dinner
  • watching the sun set somewhere beautiful
  • doing house errands without the kids


Time as a family

  • a picnic in a new place
  • family bike rides
  • a walk after dinner to get an ice-cream / hot drink
  • a morning at the park
  • afternoon at a public pool
  • movie night with popcorn and ‘special treats’
  • kids choice dinner


I’d love to know what are your essentials for sanity and marriage?  How do you make sure that you balance them all?

2 Responses to “3 essentials for sanity and marriage when you have kids

  • Love your pictures. And lovely tips too. It takes us a while to learn the wisdom that we have to be good to ourselves so we can be our best for those we love.

  • Michelle
    8 years ago

    I really enjoyed reading this post. After almost 4 years with kids, we still have to work at striking this balance constantly.
    We are both very good at offering solo time to each other but we really struggled to accept each other’s offers until maybe the last year. My husband works 60-80 hours a week so for a long time I really struggled with accepting solo time since it seemed like he never had a break and it would either infringe on our time together or on family time. He has learnt over time to take at least a couple of solo hours each week and, as someone who has always needed alone time, is much easier to live with when HE ensures he takes the time.
    I’m slowly learning (both to take him up on any offers and to ask for time)… I now take an early mark one evening a week to go to yoga and I try to use nap times well by making sure I have enough sleep the night before so that I don’t just nap too 😉
    We do very well with quality family time – hiking, fishing, dinners, camping etc.
    What we still haven’t worked out is time together (due to a babysitter drought, living out of town, no relatives nearby…) We’ve been out to dinner once since the littles arrived…. Dreaming about a weekend away together… All in good time I guess 😉

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