Many parents feel that all their energies should go into meeting the needs of their children, and this can sometimes mean a marriage ends up getting neglected. Not only can this be detrimental for the couple, it can be so for the whole family. Respectful relationships could deteriorate.
Good Marital Relations Teach Children How to Love and Respect Others
Watching how parents interact with each other can be an excellent opportunity for children to learn how to respect and love others. Children learn best from parents by observing their actions, not being told what to do. So, if they see respectful relationships between parents they will be more likely to emulate the same behavior in their own relationships with others. But the reverse can also be true, if there are a lot of troubled communications or even lack of communication between parents, this also is sending a message to children for how to interact with others.
Role Model What Respectful Relationships are for Children
Kids should see their parents laughing, holding hands and sharing meaningful and loving moments with each other. If parents hope their kids grow up to have respectful relationships and families, then the best thing to do now is to put time and effort into their own marriage. If that means saving up for a babysitter for a date night, reading marriages books or going to counseling, then do so. Parents will not only be investing in their own marital health, but their children’s as well.
Conflict in a Marriage is Normal
Many people think that conflict in a marriage is a bad thing, but it is actually part and parcel of any long-term relationship. The key is how parents deal with their disagreements. It’s important for kids to see that people don’t always see things eye to eye, and even more important for them to see that despite this people can work things out and still remain close. Teaching children how to resolve conflict by doing so in a healthy manner between husband and wife will be a life lesson they take to their own relationships.
Making Mistakes and Saying Sorry
No one is perfect, including parents and it is good for children to see this. Sometimes people say and do things to their loves ones that they regret later. Instead of sweeping it under the carpet and pretending it didn’t happen or even worse, holding a longtime grudge, parents instead want to role model to children how to express hurt feelings and how to say a heartfelt “I am sorry” between husband and wife. By showing kids to take ownership over mistakes and how to be forgiving, it makes it easier for children to take responsibility for their mistakes and to forgive others.
Parents teach their children by what they do, and their marriage gives kids a front row seat for observing how two people who love each other should interact, love and respect each other. Role model what a healthy relationship is, and if there are serious problems in a marriage, then address them.
Parents wish for their kids to have good marriages and respectful relationships when they get older, and one of the easiest ways to help with this is to work on making this a reality in their own marriage. Conflict is part on any relationship, including marriage, and the important thing is to show kids that differences can be worked out in a caring and healthy manner. Remember too, that even with the best intentions, spouses can hurt each other and the key is to take responsibility for mistakes and to make heartfelt efforts to make amends.
Balancing Marriage and Baby
New parents have a lot of big decisions and changes to make as they embark on the beginning of their journey with their new baby. And although our generation is “all about baby,” parents might want to talk to each other about how their marriage will be affected by the life-altering change of adding to their family.
Parents Prepare for Baby
Having a baby for the first time is a huge life event and many new parents read as many books as possible, surf the internet for resources and/or take classes to prepare themselves to take care of this precious new life. It’s important and valuable for parents to prepare for the baby, but often what new moms and dads are not so prepared for is the impact a baby can have on their marriage.
Baby Impacts a Marriage
Before baby, the married couple could spend their “undivided attention” on each other. But the time that was spent on just two is now shared between three, and often all of the available attention and time goes straight to the new baby. The baby is completely dependent on his or her caregivers and it’s important and only natural for new parents to be making the newborn their focus. But throw in the stress of dealing with a completely new situation, learning how to cope with the loud cries of a needy baby and sleep deprivation and it can lead to some rocky moments between spouses.
New Parenthood and Difficulties in Marriage
It might not be talked about often, but conflict and growing apart can easily happen between husband and wife following the birth of a baby. Neglecting a baby leads to serious and obvious consequences and neglecting chores around the house leads to obvious messy and dirty results. It’s a lot easier to neglect a marriage because there are no obvious signs like a pooh-filled diaper or stacks of dirty dishes to show that something needs to change. Husbands and wives can also assume that their marriages are strong enough to be put on the back burner for awhile, but couples can pay for this later. The respectful relationships can reach an all time low before partners recognize that they have been neglecting each other.
Couples Need to Take Time for Themselves
While it is necessary for parents to do all they can to meet the needs of their new baby, they should not feel guilty about having some quality alone time. Moms and dads need to take time out for themselves as individuals and as a couple. New parents might not be able to squeeze in a movie and a date night, but even a TV dinner with a candle as soon as baby has gone to sleep can do the trick. Talking about the importance of having a strong relationship and making a conscious effort to keep the bonds between partners strong will help keep a marriage going during these exciting but challenging times with a newborn.
Taking care of a new baby is a wondrous responsibility, but with it also comes new challenges for making time for the respectful relationships between the parents. It’s easy for a marriage to be neglected once a baby is first born, and many new parents have had this experience. Talking about this reality ahead of time and making sure to make time for each other as a couple once baby is born can help keep everyone in the family feeling loved and happy.