I’m going to kick off this week’s post by letting you know, I’m aware that this content probably won’t be popular with some of you, and that is ok.
Time management is HARD! Most of us, before we got married, lived however we wanted to. I went to college. Justin went to the Marine Corps. We established independent lifestyles and did what we wanted to do, when we wanted to do it. Marriage is quite the adjustment from that lifestyle. All of a sudden, you’re sharing a bathroom, and a bedroom, and every other space in your home. It is a wonderful change, but it is definitely an adjustment.
I believe one of the most common mistakes newlyweds make, is NOT changing the way that they spend their free time, once they are married. Most people are very socially engaged, and so yes, you got married, but you still have weekly Girls Night, he still has weekly Guys Night, and then you have a dance class one night, he goes to the shooting range another night, and before you know it, the only night you see one another is Date Night, if you even have time for those.
When you get married, the person you should be spending the most time with is your spouse. Yes, you should have a social life, but the goal is for social activities to be done at least 50% of the time WITH your spouse.
What does this look like practically? For us, if Justin is home from work, 90% or more of that time, we are together. We are fierce about guarding our couples time, and our family time. I slip away 1.5 hours on Mondays to do an Entrepreneur Podcast with my neighbors, and I go to Worship Team practice for 2 hours on Wednesday nights. Outside of those two engagements, we spend every night TOGETHER. We are not always alone together. Sometimes we have families over, or go out with other couples, but Justin and I don’t separate most nights.
Why are we so obsessed with spending this much time together? Well, first of all, we are madly in love, and enjoy time together. But second of all, we want our marriage to last. We want to invest this time in getting to know one another, and cultivating our relationship, so that we aren’t strangers when our kids move out. We also fully recognize that because we have children, we both work, and we are involved in a Church that we love, the remaining social energy we have is sacred. It belongs in our family. We say no often. We only commit to things we really believe we can manage without it being a point of stress. We don’t have endless lists of activities for the kids either, because what works for us is a simple schedule.
So what do we do with all this time together? We laugh. We remember. We talk about anything and everything on our hearts. We cook big meals and clean up the messy kitchen. We go running, and take family nature walks. We sit outside on the back patio, drink coffee, and watch our kids play. The time we spend together is RICH!
So, married people! Here is your call to action. Write down what a typical week looks like for your family, and see what can go, and which activities can be done together! See if you can spend 2 extra hours with your spouse this week, and soak up those moments!