We have been married 14 years and dated several years before marriage. We became parents after 5 years so we had a good time to build foundation in our marriage, travel, date, have two nice incomes etc.
We always knew we wanted me home for several years so it was a given I would not have a large wardrobe, travel as extensive as we did, and drive brand new shiny cars.
We practiced AP with both of our children which also meant DH has many pictures of holding on to babies, cosleeping w babies, and changing diapers, feedinng the babies...
With our first, she would wake up at 5am, nurse, and go back to sleep which as she got older, several hours. She still enjoys sleeping in to this day. So several years ago, we were awake at 6:15 am and had coffee and read the paper together. Still do this each and everyday until 7am when dh showers etc. Its our couple time to talk like adults, share current events, maybe have some relations etc. It certainly made up for not going out as much as we do now (kids older now) because as anyone with young children know, it takes some prep or maybe the kids or parents are not ready. Or maybe a sitter is $$$. But at least we had that time everyday.
I would say we have always nurtured our relationship as husband and wife even with a newborn. Right after our first was born, like day 3- my MIL called and said she was bringing dinner. They brought it in, set the table, presented it and then took the baby in the living room to stare at and hold while we ate. The baby ate right before so she just slept on her grandpa. They said they were babysitting. They did that a few times.
I would say yes, make your marriage a priority within reason. Yes, have couple time but no dont put down a hungry baby because you want adult time. During naptime, you guys can go do the same. We would wait until the baby was as dh called it- milk drunk and sleeping off her meal and go out to the local burger joint on a quiet evening. She would sleep in the sling or carseat and we would have a quiet but quicker meal to recharge.
Now, we do date night once a week during summer months and 1-2 times during winter months. We have a teen who comes once a week for 3 hours on thursday evening. She also comes one morning a week and I run errands. For date night, we can walk a block to a favorite patio martini bar, we have taken a long bikeride, gone to the mall to shop and walk around, or even meet another couple. We ran into our pastor one night at a cafe and he remarked how wonderful it was we did datenight.
If you start to make your marriage a priority from Day 1, it falls into place because its always there, even in difficult times in your marriage like unemployment, death in family, colicky baby, sickness, raising kids, but do it within reason for you and your partner. For some priority is going to Italy for 2 weeks while the kids stay with grandma and are fine with that. For others, its sneaking down the street to have a coffee together. As your kids are growing, show them you appreciate you marriage and go off alone to do something. My children have a wonderful relationship with their grandparents now because they have spent time with them over the years. They also can deal with other people because they have had several babysitters over the years here and there while mommy and daddy go out to a party etc.