Courtesy of Angie Grace

I Love Being a Mom, But I Need to Focus on My Marriage

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I'm a stay-at-home mom, and my husband has a full-time job. With four kids, we rarely have any alone time, and when we do, we're too tired to enjoy it. Between taking care of the kids, cleaning the house, and doing various other tasks, there's not a whole lot of time left for me, let alone my husband. We've been together for 16 years, and we've been married for almost 13.

Of course, I know things aren't going to be as hot and heavy as they once were, and truthfully, we are pretty happy. But I would really like for us to work on our marriage more. I love being a mom, but honestly, I need to focus more on my marriage, and not spend so much time worrying about my kids.

I know a lot of our issues have to do with the fact that we just had a baby. My son is attached to me 24/7, whether I'm babywearing or just holding him while he sleeps. Yes, I could put him down more often, but honestly, I don't want to. My three older daughters help as much as they can, but they are just kids themselves.

Before we had a fourth child, my aunt would come visit and stay with our three daughters while my husband and I went out for "date night." Sometimes date night just consisted of us going to Starbucks and having coffee and talking. Sometimes, we'd just spend an hour at Target, shopping and joking around. But we haven't had date night in quite some time. After the kids are in bed, we usually stay awake in the living room, watching television. By 10:00, we're both so tired and worn out that sometimes we'll fall asleep on the couch.

Courtesy of Angie Grace

My husband and I are total goofs. Sometimes, if I'm in the kitchen cooking, I'll yell "Butt-scratcher!" and he'll yell it back from another room until my 10-year-old daughter goes, "OK, mom and dad." But lately, it feels as if goofiness is all there is in our relationship. We are great friends, and it's awesome that we can joke around with each other, but there should still be romance in our lives, too. I'm not asking for romantic nights in front of a roaring fireplace, listening to light jazz while we lie on a bear-skin rug, but something other than going to Target would be nice.

Maybe the main problem is that I now see myself as a mom more than anything else.

The problem is that every day, by the time he's gotten home from work, I'm usually quite tired. I cook, I clean, and at some point I need to find time to write. That means my life usually revolves around my kids. I don't do much besides take care of them. When we go somewhere, we usually go as a family. So most of the time, we're mom and dad, not Angie and Bry, and it is a problem. Maybe the main problem is that I now see myself as a mom more than anything else. I think a lot of women have this problem when they become parents.

Courtesy of Angie Grace

I've tried to talk to my husband about the state of our marriage. I know that relationships take a lot of work, and that we need to figure out how to make time for each other and check in with each other to see how we're feeling. But my husband doesn't think there's a problem. He says that as long as we're not fighting, everything is good. And since we're not yelling at each other and only bring up the d-word (divorce) jokingly, he doesn't see our relationship as an immediate problem that needs fixing.

There are small romantic things we do for each other on a regular basis. If I tell him I'm having a bad day, he'll stop off at my favorite donut shop on his way home from work. And when he gets a migraine, I take the kids in the other room and do a quiet activity with them so he can take a nap. He's also willing to discuss suggestions I might have so we can spend more time alone together. Things certainly aren't perfect, but I truly believe that we can work through anything.