As my husband and I are getting ready to have our second child any minute now, and in light of the upcoming Valentine’s Day, I wanted to turn to the question of parenting and romance. More specifically, I wanted to focus on 3 reasons why it is important to make room for each other when you have children.
Reason #1. A strong parenting couple makes for a strong family.
This is true regardless of your children’s age. Kids don’t only need you to be united when they are toddlers and learning right from wrong or when they are teenagers, rebelling against all social rules and norms but also, when they are off to college and begin their own families.Many people make the common mistake to stay together for the children and then once the kids are off to college and they have to finally face each other alone in the home, they decide to divorce, thinking that the kids don’t need them anymore.
Well, actually, they do.
Not only because they are at the age when they are exploring who they are as people and what they want to achieve in the world but also because this is the time in their lives when they get to experience the world of dating and relationships and build the foundation for their own families in the future.
If you, as the role models for your kids and the ones, who have taught them what it means to be in a committed relationship, cannot work things out and separate, you shatter your kids’ sense of security and trust in relationships. I hear this all the time from my clients, who after their parents divorced when they were in college, really struggled to commit and begin their own families.
Reason #2. You as a couple is not the same as you as parents, and you need to nurture both. Let’s face it, being a parent is HARD work. Deciding on having children is a major step for any couple and you need to be aware of the sacrifices you will need to make in order to parent together. However, just because your relationship changes, it doesn’t mean that who you used to be as a couple prior to kids has to vanish completely. But, you need to put a little extra effort into trying to preserve it.
In the midst of parenting responsibilities, school schedules and play dates, it’s very easy to forget that you both have emotional and physical needs. Making time for just the two of you will help you remember what brought you together to begin with and will strengthen your relationship as a couple.
Reason #3. You are a role model to your children about what it means to be loved and in a relationship.
Again, this is true regardless of your children’s age. In fact, people begin to “learn” how to love as early as infancy – the love and care a baby receives from the primary caregivers provides the foundation for his/her later development of sense of self, self-esteem and a sense of trust in other people to be there for you and to love you.
What does that mean for you? Well, it means that if you are not happy in your relationship as a couple, your children, who are very sensitive to their parents’ emotional states, may grow up to fear long-term commitment or may develop unhealthy patterns of relating, mirroring your relationship to your partner. This, of course, is not a conscious process and it happens almost automatically, much like how a two-year-old begins to mimic every gesture and word that you say to them.
For that reason, it is essential that you make time to nurture, cherish and pay attention to your partner and your relationship. It may sound old school but trust me, romance doesn’t get old.
Do you have friends and family, who need a little reminder to spend time together as a couple? Share this post with them.
You may also like:
7 Secrets to a Happy Long-Term Relationship
The Role of the Father When Raising Children (Part I)
The Role of the Father When Raising Children (Part II)