I’m super excited to share the reveal of our newly re-designed foyer area this coming week! (If you missed the post about my foyer inspiration board, you can find it here!)
Today, though, I’ll be talking about the biggest project that is always being worked on in your home – marriage.
My husband and I got married last Spring, and I’m so excited that we are alllllmost to our first full year! 🙂
As exciting as this truly is, there’s a lot that goes on in the first year of marriage that either no one remembers to tell you about or just doesn’t see the reason too! I can kinda see why, though – it’s the little, tiny details that actually end up making this first year either amazing or hard.
Below, I’ll tell you a few top honest tips and advice on how to make your first year (or any year, really) better and fruitful!
- Set A Budget
I know this isn’t necessarily a fan favorite, but the money aspect can be pretty stressful in a marriage at any time, but especially the first year.
You have got to budget everything, right down to the last penny!
Another place to budget? The Honeymoon – don’t get so wrapped up in the moment that you spend a ridiculous amount of money while on your Honeymoon. Take pictures, eat at a nice place once or twice, and buy a couple souvenirs. You’re there to celebrate and cultivate your new marriage – not buy the whole city!
2. Meal Plan
This kinda goes hand in hand with budgeting, because meal planning provides a vital role in grocery shopping – and how much you have to spend!
I usually plan 2 weeks ahead and found printable meal planner sheets that goes with the decor of our kitchen. I post this on our refrigerator, and we always know what those two weeks hold!
Even if I cannot buy everything for the month (which this is most often the case) I take a Saturday afternoon and plan the whole month about a week in!
This also gives me more time to hunt for coupons and such that I can use at whatever week I’m buying for or planning for.
3. Set A Daily Schedule
As a SAHW, it’s so easy to get up and make the Hubby’s breakfast and then just go back to bed – but is that really helping you and preparing you for the rest of your day?
I’m usually up anywhere from 5:15 – 6:00 to make my Hubby’s lunch and see him off, and to be honest if it’s the earlier time most often I do go back to bed for at least 30 minutes.
Because he has to get up so early in the morning and I choose to make his lunch in the morning rather than the night before, getting to bed at a decent time is a priority!!
Setting a daily schedule (weather you have kiddos or not 😉 ) will give you some structure and help you be more accountable for the day to day tasks you have set.
4. Look Nice
I can’t stress this one enough, even though I’m just as guilty as the next person on this one!
Look nice when your husband comes home – hair combed, teeth brushed, clean clothes, nice attitude.
How would you like it if you went and slaved all day, and came home to your husband all disheveled and not taking care of himself?! You might not care at first, but eventually, you would appreciate it if he did – same goes with the situation reversed.
Also, we are taught in the Bible to keep clean and presentable and also to take care of ourselves and keep ourselves up – to take care of others, we must care for ourselves too.
5. Have A Cleaning Schedule
Oh, goodness, this one is important.
It took me almost 5 months to find a cleaning schedule that worked for me, and I’m still tweaking it some!
I’d say to definitely find a cleaning schedule that works for you as soon as possible, tweak it if need be, and stick to it! Having a clean, tidy and organized home is such a joy and automatically makes everyone’s lives better and happier.
6. Find Godly Friends
When you’re a SAHW or SAHM, having some girlfriends is pretty important.
It’s even better at times if they are in the same boat as you – married or have kiddos of their own.
This provides you some support, companionship, and someone to bounce ideas off of or deeper things such as marriage and raising children if you are very close.
Have your girlfriend and her husband over for dinner, and just have a couples date, you’ll love it!
7. Make Your Home A Haven
I think a lot of modern day SAHW/SAHM forget this little nugget, but it can make such a difference in your marriage and even life!
Making your house a home has more to it than just keeping it clean and tidy – decorate it, personalize it, get some candles, etc etc!
Make your home a haven so that when your husband comes home it is exactly that – a warm, clean, inviting atmosphere that is uniquely yours as a couple.
Guests will also appreciate it, too, and feel more welcomed by your hospitality!
Your home is the abode of you and your husband, make it a beautiful representation of both of you and just wait to see the difference! 🙂
8. Find Something To Do
If you follow some of the advice I’ve given you thus far, you may find you have some time leftover in your day that is just “free” time for you to use!
There are times, when, as a SAHW or SAHM you may find yourself with this bit of free time and be a bit lonely.
The best fix for this is to do something!
Are you crafty? Make things and sell them on Etsy! This will give you something to do, and if needed, help contribute a little bit to the household money.
Like animals? Volunteer at your local vet’s office or animal shelter and help care for the animals!
Wanna Blog? Start a blog to keep track and chronicle your life!
Into plants? Start a garden and learn to can what bounty you get, or share with friends.
Were you an A student? Why not take on a student and tutor them!
Like music? Depending on your level of expertise, you might could teach music lessons.
The point is to do something beneficial with this time, and maybe even do something that could put a few extra bucks in the household checking account.
Whatever you choose, make sure it is okay with your husband as well – and then go for it!
9. Don’t Expect To A Pro
What do I mean by this? Don’t expect to be your grandma/mom/special female friend who has a haven of a home, is very tidy, is the perfect hostess, cooks like a dream and has a beautiful home right off the bat!!
You won’t have the 10+ years of experience as they do in your first year, second year or third year – and even those women you look up to are still learning!
Maybe you and your Hubby are renting a tiny little house or even an apartment right now – that’s perfectly okay if you are in God’s Will, grow where you are planted and be content.
Don’t expect to have a beautifully designed house that looks like a magazine cover (talking to myself here 🙂 ) because that won’t happen in the first year, probably not the fifth year either, or maybe even never happen!
Please do not judge the house that the Lord and your Hubby has provided for you – your house should resemble you as a couple and not be a carbon copy of a magazine! You need to live in your home and experience life in it, not pretend to be a robot in a perfectly designed space.
Is it wrong to have a pretty, manicured house? NO – see point 7.
Just don’t expect a Better Homes and Gardens house in your first year, it takes a lot of time to build up that kind of design styling and you’ve got to remember your Husbands preferences, too!
10. Have God At The Center Of Your Marriage + Spend Time With Your Hubby
I saved the best for last, ya’ll!
This is the most important advice I can give you for your first year of marriage that should last until “till death do us part” – keep God at the center of your marriage.
It’s vital, it’s important, and it should be first priority on your list every day that you live on this earth!
Also, spend quality time with your Husband! This is so very important and oftentimes gets overlooked because of a busy schedule or higher priorities, but honestly, after Christ, your Hubby should be your next priority and the next biggest relationship to cultivate!
Turn the phone off, be present, be available, be caring.
I’m working on this myself consistently because it is just so vital and needed, and it’s honestly the best part of my everyday!
So there you have it, friends! A few tips and advice for your first year of marriage (and beyond!) to help get you on the right track at the very beginning of your journey as a wife!
I hope these have helped you and encouraged you to be the best Christian, wife, and helpmeet you can possibly be! 🙂
XOXO – Autumn