Tips for Making Marriage a Priority with a Special Needs Child

Many overwhelmed parents will benefit from these tips for making time for your spouse and making marriage a priority while raising a special needs child. All children take a lot of our time as parents.  Therefore, making time for your spouse while juggling children and housework needs to be well thought out and planned for.  Making time for your spouse when you are the parent of a special needs child can be even more challenging.  I’ve researched how parents of children with special needs make time for themselves and put some tips together here.  I hope that this helps couples with special needs children to find some time for themselves.

Communicate

Make sure to make time to communicate with your spouse.  This seems like such a simple thing to do, but often communication gets pushed on the back burner as we go about our daily tasks.  If an emotion or feeling is eating away inside of you, make sure to share it with your spouse.  Ask about each other’s days.  Talk about the highs and lows.  Even a solid marriage can become stagnant if you don’t put the time into it, for simply talking.  Make sure to listen carefully to what your spouse is saying before it’s your turn to talk. Sometimes people just need to vent and be heard.  This is especially true in a marriage. Making marriage a priority everyday

Schedule in Time To Be Alone Together

When people have an appointment or important task that needs done, most people will schedule it in.  If alone time as a couple is going to happen with the demands of raising children including special needs children, you often are going to have to schedule it in.  Find a babysitter, or trusted family member so that you can have a few hours for yourselves.  Put it on your calendar and treat it just as important, if not more important than a doctor or dentist appointment.  The main thing is to get it scheduled in.

Leave Notes For Each Other

Sometimes in the hustle and bustle of life, a small note of encouragement from your spouse can change the mood of the whole day.  Try hiding a note in your spouse’s briefcase, lunch bag, or pocket.  Or how about a little love note or silly message that he or she finds on the bathroom mirror?  Even when you don’t have a day to be together much, you can still communicate and lift each other up with a silly and/or loving thoughts left on on a sticky note for each other.  Try it and see for yourself.

Take Up A New Hobby Together

Find something that you and your spouse are interested in doing together and actively make time to pursue it with oneTips for Making Marriage a Priority with a Special Needs Child another.  Examples include skiing, painting, tying flies for fishing, or just reading the same book together. You can have your special needs child with you when you pursue these interests or find a way to sneak away with the help of a friend or family member.

Schedule In-Home Dates

If you have a special needs child that you don’t feel comfortable leaving with anyone else, then try to schedule an in-home date.  If your child naps, that is a great time to do something special together.  Or how about invite a responsible neighborhood child over for a playdate with your special needs child while you have a date in another room with your spouse.  This will most likely require some planning by thinking of an activity for your child to do along with something that you will do with just your spouse.

Swap Childcare

TIPS FOR MAKING MARRIAGE A PRIORITY WITH A SPECIAL NEEDS CHILDThe chances are high that there is someone in a similar situation as yours who would love some alone time with their spouse.  If you have a friend with children, either with a special needs child or not, you may want to schedule a time to watch her kids in return for you watching yours.  No money needs to be exchanged as you’ll both be benefiting.   You’ll never know unless you ask her if this is something she’d ever want to do.  The chances are good that you have friends, family, and neighbors out there who are desiring some alone time with their spouses too.

Do Something Special As A Family

Quality time with your spouse doesn’t always have to mean alone time together.  Instead of just doing the daily chores of life as a family such as grocery shopping and cleaning the house, schedule in a special family outing with your special needs child.  It will do everyone good to get away and make some memories together.  Go to an event that is child-directed such as a children’s museum or zoo.  Many give educational talks.  That should give you lots of time to hold hands and talk while your child engages in the presentations.

Final Thoughts On Making Marriage A Priority Everyday 

Having a child with special needs can put extra demands on a relationship.  Finding time for your spouse can be extra hard.  That’s why you will need to schedule in time and be deliberate about making time for each other.  Make sure to keep the lines of communication open before seeds of bitterness or neglect take root.  Make it a priority to schedule in time to be together.  Try leaving surprise notes for each other.  Sit down and think up a new hobby that you could do together.  Make sure that it’s something that you are both interested in.

If getting away together is hard, then schedule some in-home dates.  Ask an older child or sibling to watch your special needs child as a way of lightening the load.  You can stay home and be nearby while spending time with your spouse. Making marriage a priority means that you find ways to connect with your spouse on a daily basis. Swap childcare with a friend or neighbor and schedule in a time to do something fun as a family. All of these are deliberate things that you can do to spend more time with your spouse. I hope that these tips can help you to get that quality time you  have been craving with your spouse!

About the author: Mariann Foster is a content writer for OurStart. OurStart is a lifestyle blog that focuses on pregnancy, parenting, motherhood, and marriage. When she is not writing, Mariann enjoys homeschooling her daughter and running their alpaca farm.

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