How have children enriched your life

How children enrich your marriage

Children remind us that we are one

These small, lively creatures are a constant reminder that you are literally "one". Every time you look at your junior's toes, you have to admit that "all the father" comes through here, or that your daughter inherited that charming smile from her mom that you couldn't resist then, and still has his now Effect not missed.

Think about each and every one of your children. What does the child have from you? What about your partner? Even if you are a blended family or have adopted your children, give them many of your qualities and values. Go looking for it. When the opportunity arises, compliment your partner. “Robin laughs just as contagiously as you do”, or: “Jessica has exactly your big blue eyes”, or: “Annika is just as uncomplicated as you. She will surely get along well with others one day”. And: Don't hesitate to share your observations. It will encourage your partner.

Children challenge teamwork

There is no doubt that parenting can be managed better if the parents see themselves as a team. Single parents know how difficult it is to be responsible for everything on your own. When our children were young, the evenings went better when we had a division of labor. I whirled in the kitchen and Dave did the bathing and bedtime story. We also looked for other solutions - for example we asked the eleven-year-old daughter of a neighbor to look after our three boys during the famous “main fighting time”. That was a certain time in the late afternoon when I (Claudia) could almost no longer and had dinner on the table. Occasionally give your partner a voucher for an hour without children - it will benefit your relationship.

How can you become even more active here? Collect ideas on how stressful situations, for example the “morning chaos”, can be straightened out. One of you could make breakfast while the other makes sure that the children are fully dressed and leave the house on time. In the evenings, when the children are in bed, you could discuss together how you want to deal with stressful situations. Just knowing that you are understood is a great help in reducing stress.

Children help us see and appreciate each other in new ways

Since working as a parent leaves you less time together as a couple, you will learn to appreciate each other in a whole new way. Uncovering moments of solitude is not easy, but it is worth the effort. When you have some time, make a list of some of the positive traits that you discover in your partner through their dealings with the children. And share these discoveries with him too. “You know, you are incredibly patient with Jenny. That always helps me not to freak out when one of the children annoys me ”.

Children encourage creativity

When you have children, your creativity is challenged. You can think of countless ways to spend time alone. In a marriage seminar for young parents, we asked participants for suggestions on how to find time for themselves as a couple. Ursel, mother of six-month-old twins, reminded the group that walks with a stroller can also be very nice. The baby comes out into the fresh air and you enjoy the conversation.

Other suggestions were:

  • Plan a “rendezvous with utility”. Do multiple errands together. On the way to the post office, to the dry cleaner or to the supermarket, you will have time to talk, and on the way back you may still have an ice cream in there.
  • Use the time when your children are at soccer practice or other activities. If you need to stay close, take a walk together.
  • Go to a tennis court or a fenced playground. Take plenty of balls for the kids. This turns the tennis court into a large playground and you have time for a chat.
  • If your children are teenagers, plan Sunday morning as time together. You will definitely not be disturbed by the kids until noon!

Children are a very clear mirror of our communication. They make sure we stay honest

It's amazing what you say or not say when little ears are listening in. You are a role model. It's enough if we think about it before we open our mouths. That alone can have a positive impact on any relationship.

We also learned that we need to essentially agree and say the same thing to the children. Children will ask the same question of both of you, using the answer that they like most. If there was no agreement in this direction, our boys played us ruthlessly against each other.

Also, use conversations with your children as a stepping stone for your partner conversations. Discuss how you can cope with the resolution: "I say what I mean and I mean what I say". Children are a reality test. If we do not speak and act, children notice this immediately and confront us. You tell them, "Lying is not good," but then they let themselves be denied on the phone. Or you willingly overlook the information "Free from 16" at the box office for a film that your twelve year old son absolutely wants to see. Children need parents who are honest and authentic and who can admit mistakes.

Having children means: no more boredom

There is always something going on with children. Gone are the days of sitting on the sofa in the evenings not knowing what to do. If you don't have plans, your kids must have some. Children can also relax and loosen up tense situations. In most families, it seems, there is a puppet who brings ease and surprises into life. Your marriage will be happier and less boring if you learn to laugh with your children and at yourself too.

Having children means: they will be richly rewarded

To be able to witness how our children go their own way and manage it, makes up for all the effort. The many memories of the wealth that the children mean for their own relationship and their own lives are also part of this compensation. You will always be able to draw on these memories.

source

Claudia and David Arp: Love is not a coincidence. What happy couples do right. Giessen: Brunnen Verlag 2002, pp. 97-100

 

Created on April 11, 2003, last changed on February 19, 2010