Things change tremendously when you have children. It can really rock your marriage and cause you to have to step back and re-evaluate how you do things. I invited Julia on today to share with us her advice on how to balance marriage and parenting.
This is what she has to say-
One of the marks of a successful marriage is great children. After all, children take a lot of cues about how to navigate the world with their parents. That said, marriage and parenting are not exactly the easiest things to balance. These are seven proven ways that can help you balance parenting and marriage properly:
1. Be Romantic
One of the biggest complaints married couples have about their partnership is the fact that partners sometimes have prioritized the children above all else. This can leave the husband or the wife feeling insecure. What married couples need to realize is that you are as much a lover and a parent.
One way you can do this is by planning date nights every few weeks. This brings a jolt to the routine that the couple is already used to at home. You can take your partner to a fancy restaurant so you can enjoy the night. Or if you more budget-conscious, you can go for a romantic walk in the park that can end in a picnic. You may also give your partner flowers every now and then.
The key here is to make sure that the other partner understands that romance does not have to die down once you have children. You can be romantic in your own way.
2. Do Chores Together
Doing chores may not the first thing you have in mind when you think of being a good lover and a good parent. But there is actually merit in doing this as a bonding experience. Get your children and partner together and collectively tackle the chores that you need to do. By doing this, you are instilling to everyone that cleaning and doing chores is a shared responsibility.
To make the entire activity even more fun, you may want to try playing the family’s favorite songs over the speaker. This is so that all of you can sing along while doing the chores. It sounds almost saccharine but it works!
3. Be Constructive When Making Comments
When making comments to your children or partner, try to not be too negative in how you say things. Negative words can affect self-esteem and affect relationships. The truth is, parenting and marriage are already stressful enough so you do not want to stress yourself further.
When you are trying to criticize how some things are done by members of the family, it would be helpful if you structure it in a way that would lessen the negative impact. Some people just shut down when they hear anything negative, which you do not want. Instead, suggest what would have been the best way forward.
4. Pay Attention To The Little Things
Most parents focus a lot of their attention to their children. While this is not wrong, it can result in a strained relationship with your partner. Because of this, no matter how busy you are with your children, always make time for your husband or wife.
Little things like compliments and finishing small tasks for your partner are already a big step. One suggestion that works in almost any marriage is leaving little love notes for each other.
5. Explain To Children When There Are Disagreements
Seeing or hearing their parents argue in front of them can have long-lasting effects on the children. If you do have disagreements with your partner, it would be a smart move to explain to them that arguments are normal in marriage and that you are working on fixing whatever issue you have.
As much as possible, parents must be able to retain their calmness and positivity during an argument. This will help develop their conflict resolution skills, which they may have to use later on when they become parents.
It is also important for children to understand that it is not their fault. Research has shown that a lot of children blame themselves for parental conflict.
6. Find A Shared Interest
As a family, there should be a field or activity that you share an interest in. This way, you can find common ground and bond with each other. Doing and talking about your shared interest will help in solidifying the closely knit bond that the family has. This is an effective way for parents and children to meet halfway on something.
7. Prioritize Child Education And Mental Development
Just like you can’t be too focused on your children and overlook your partner, sometimes people do the reverse by not giving enough time to children especially when they have multiple kids. No matter how busy you are and how many kids you have make sure you make education and mental development of the kids a top priority before it is too late.