Everyone loves their children and wants the very best for them. And why shouldn’t we? Children are our legacy and the future of the world lies in their hands. Having said that, many couples have fallen into the trap of thinking their world, and their relationship, has to constantly revolve around their children. Nothing could be further from the truth.
In fact, we do our children a huge disservice by allowing them to ruin, oops I mean run, our lives. Why? Because when they grow up, I can guarantee you their significant other won’t think the world revolves around them – so they might as well get use to it now. This way it doesn’t become such a shock to them when they go into the real world!
Some couples haven’t been alone with each other since the day their first child was born (including sleeping at night). Others haven’t taken a vacation without their children in tow. And some wouldn’t dream about going out to dinner without the little darlings. We have become a kid-obsessed society – and it is killing many of their parents’ relationship in the process.
It is imperative that you take back your relationship from your kids before it kills your relationship with your spouse. Below are four tips that will show you how to do just that!
1. Maintain your identity and your sense of self after the children arrive (or what I refer to as our B.C. life; i.e. life before children). Do not lose your sense of self and who you were prior to becoming a parent. You are still a woman, professional, artist, etc. Parenting should be viewed as adding another dimension to who we are as we evolve and grow; it is not meant to eclipse everything else we were prior to becoming parents.
2. Keep up with some of your hobbies and/or interests that you enjoyed before you had the kids. Of course you can’t continue to do everything you use to do before you became a parent, but you can certainly continue to participate in some activities that you use to enjoy. This will help you stay connected to the pre-mommy person you were (and the one your partner fell in love with).
It is a mistake to make parenting an all-consuming, all-obsessed thing that totally and solely defines who you are. Your partner fell in love with you before you ever had children. And while they probably love the parent you have become, they don’t want to make love to their children’s “mother” – they want to make love to their “wife”!
3. Prioritize your relationship. It is really important to prioritize your relationship by creating (and scheduling if need be) quality time alone with your partner, especially once you begin to raise a family. This will help you re-connect with your partner as a spouse and not just as a parent. Mommy and daddy must not lose perspective of the value of their relationship as husband and wife!
4. Your post-pregnancy wardrobe should not consist of merely sweatpants and T-shirts. There is no such thing as a “mommy uniform”. Stay stylish and trendy even if you gained a few pounds over the course of the years. So what? Don’t fall into the trap of thinking you have to dress as a “mommy”. Stay chic in the way that is true to who you are. It is okay to have a few “mommy outfits” for running around with the kids, but Saturday night calls for those sexy clothes you shoved in the back of your closet once the kids were born. Find them and start wearing them again, or better yet, buy new ones!
We send our children a healthy message when they see us take care of ourselves and when they see us take care of our relationship! The incredible new realities and responsibilities of parenting are made easier when we maintain a sense of who we are as an individual and who we are as a couple!
Our children will learn best how to love someone, when they grow up in a home where they watch their parents love themselves and each other. After all, aren’t we raising our kids to grow up and be able to enjoy healthy, happy relationships? Their ability to do this starts at home, with you, and how you and your partner relate to each other! As we all know, the kids don’t miss a trick!