Relationships are not always easy to maintain—especially long-term ones. Many factors potentially challenge a marriage, such as conflicting lifestyles, money issues, or clashing long-term goals.
Children are indeed a blessing. However, there are times when children can be a challenging factor in a marriage that often goes overlooked. For couples that are not prepared, children can put a huge strain on a relationship in many ways—whether it’s financially, emotionally, or physically.
However, this doesn’t mean that you and your spouse can’t be happy after having kids.
Quite the contrary. While you may have to put forth some extra effort and get creative, you can absolutely live happily ever after when you have children!
Make Sure You’re on the Same Page When It Comes to Parenting
It’s unlikely that you and your spouse will agree on every single parenting decision. However, it’s important to ensure that you both are on the same page about the important things.
For example: What sort of morals will you teach your children? What kind of environment do you want your kids to grow up in?
These questions may seem unimportant initially, but when you bring a new life into the world, making those decisions will be more important than ever. You won’t want to be arguing with your significant other about parenting styles after the fact—both for the sake of your child and your relationship.
Split Parenting Duties Evenly
If you and your spouse mutually decide to have a child, then you should mutually contribute to child care. Changing diapers, feedings, getting up in the middle of the night—it should be a team effort!
If one person is working while the other stays home with the kids, then it makes sense that the duties won’t be completely 50/50. Nevertheless, there should never be an assumption that one spouse is more responsible for their care than the other.
Children are a big responsibility, and if one parent feels as though their spouse is slacking in helping out, it can easily lead to resentment.
Make Time For Your Relationship
When two people have a baby, they tend to shift their focus to the child’s wants and needs. And, of course, this is how it should be!
However, it becomes a little too easy to ONLY focus on your child. It’s just as important to still make time for your significant other and your relationship in general. If you haven’t had alone time together in a while, consider finding a sitter and having a date night. Or make a special effort to just spend a little extra time with your spouse.
Many couples worry that they’ll drift apart when they have kids. But this doesn’t have to be the case. By putting forth the extra effort, you’re keeping the intimacy alive and showing your spouse that you care.
Be Honest and Straightforward
You should never hold back your emotions or hide them from your spouse. Having children is an emotional process. Be honest with how you’re feeling, in regards to your children, relationship, and even just yourself. Odds are, your partner will share similar feelings, and you can bond over your struggles.
Furthermore, by being open and honest, you can help keep each other afloat when times get particularly trying. If you don’t express what you’re going through, you’ll come to feel isolated and possibly depressed.
It’s incredibly common for people to experience rough patches in their relationship, especially after having kids. You are not alone, and help is readily available.
Marriage counseling is a great solution for parents, both new and experienced. It’s also a great option for couples who are considering having children but want to make sure they’re on the same page before doing so. There will be stressful moments—that’s inevitable. But if you have a strong foundation and make the effort to maintain your relationship, then kids will ultimately only add joy to your lives and marriage.
If you are considering marriage counseling or parenting counseling to ensure your marriage and family stays as strong as can be, please contact a Crossroad’s therapist to see how we can help you.
Contact us by calling 623-680-3486, texting 623-688-5115, or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org and ask to speak with one of our counselors for couples. We offer a 20 minute complementary phone call. You can ask all the questions you have and see if couples counseling at Crossroads is the right fit for you.