Is parenthood taking over your marriage?

troubled marriage

Some say parenthood is fulfilling work, but it can take time. Have you ever looked at your spouse and wondered when you last had an adult conversation without the kids around or interrupting you? Becoming a parent is delicious and scary, all rolled into one. Unfortunately, it can also be the beginning of the end for some marriages.

Research indicates that nearly two-thirds of couples see their marriage decline within three years of having a child. As sad as it may be, having a strong union has a positive impact on your children. According to a Article by Brookings as of 2014, “children raised by married parents do better in school, develop stronger cognitive and non-cognitive skills, are more likely to go to college, earn more, and are more likely to train themselves -even stable marriages”.

So you’re doing the right thing by being married. Yet the sad truth is that as soon as some married couples get married, their marriage falls apart and parenthood comes to the fore. If you’re wondering if parenthood is consummating your marriage, here are some signs that being parents may have become more valuable than being husband and wife and how to shift things around to focus on your union.

Your days are filled with activities for children.

You shouldn’t have any problems with your child playing sports, playing an instrument, or being in a scout troop. Yet, if your family schedule resembles a military operation, you may be overloaded or focused on your children for too much of your free time. To combat this, you should consider reducing the number of activities each child participates in to dedicate time to family hobbies. You could use this time to reconnect with your husband or wife, adding some family activities. Unfortunately, your children may complain about this decision, but they may thank you one day.

All conversations are about your children.

All parents like to talk about their child, especially when they are young. However, it is not healthy for them and their parents. Think about this: On your date night, do you spend the whole night discussing your son’s football game or your daughter’s grades? Do your children dominate the conversation at dinner time? If so, start by having a conversation with your spouse that isn’t about the kids.

You and your spouse could make a pact to go out and talk about things other than the kids. You can also try talking about things that don’t involve your kids right in front of them. Your children need to learn that they are not the center of the universe and that silence is a great starting point while adults are talking.

You consult your children for every family decision.

Getting your kids’ approval on certain things can be helpful, but if you’re constantly asking your child’s opinion on where to go on vacation, what to have for dinner, or many other decisions, it can be a few too much. Marriage is not a democracy and children do not vote on decisions that affect the whole family, regardless of their age. That’s not to say you shouldn’t ask their advice once in a while, but in reality, adults should be making family decisions, rarely involving children.

As a solution, you should stop asking your children for their opinion and instead let them make decisions about things that only concern them. This way, they can take full responsibility for their choices. For example, instead of asking them where to go on vacation, let them figure out what classes they want to take in school. If they are unhappy with their lessons, they have no one to blame but themselves.

You don’t have time between husband and wife without the kids.

What happens when a baby comes on stage? Your sleepless nights turn into tiring days, and keeping baby happy and fed adds to your exhaustion. Unfortunately, many parents don’t get their adult time when the baby starts sleeping through the night. For parents with more than one child, it can be difficult to spend time together as a couple.

Unfortunately, regular date nights aren’t feasible for many parents, refreshing as they are. Consider these options instead: If you have young children, consider taking advantage of their early bedtimes to spend a few minutes alone with your husband or wife. If your kids are older, give them 30 minutes before or after dinner so they can play in their room or outside. This will allow you and your spouse to spend time alone while finishing dinner or enjoying some quiet time after dinner. You can also exercise by cycling together, walking or running as a couple.

One way to keep marriage at the center of your family is to view parenthood as having four seasons, a concept first introduced by John Rosemond. The first is the season of service, where the parents, primarily the mother, provide everything for the child. This period is the only time when the child should be the focal point of the family. The second season is the season of discipline. This season is when you teach them about your family rules, your values, and what makes your family exceptional. During this time, you train your children on how to act and do chores. You also remind them that they are not the center of the house. Parents are.

Seasons three and four mostly focus on stepping back from your parenting role and letting your child leave the nest, making their own decisions. This part can be difficult for any parent, but you have to trust that you have raised them well and allow them to flutter their wings. Any parent will agree that children are a blessing to a marriage. However, it can be easy to let your children take over. Although your children are essential, you should not forget to take care of your union while raising your children. A day will come when your children are gone, and you will both be together again, so in the meantime, do not neglect your marriage to become parents.

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