Two of the biggest changes a person will go through in life are marriage counseling and parenthood. However, the road will not always be smooth, no matter how beautiful it is. Marriage alone is already a huge change, and throwing kids into the mix is enough to overwhelm anyone. But hey, nothing worth having ever comes easy, right? You just need some tips to better handle your very active life both as spouses and parents.
1. Be Prepared for Changes
According to Dr. Paulette Kouffman Sherman and Dr. L. Gordon Brewer, Jr., having kids will change the routines couples have already started, and those changes will continuously happen as kids grow up. While you cannot be truly prepared for the role of parenthood as that will always come as a shock, you can be prepared to accept changes so that copying and moving forward become easier.
2. Be A-Team
Unfortunately, there will be times when you will feel or even think that you’re alone in it, especially when the two of you are disagreeing about something. Despite this, keep in mind that you are partners, and just like Dr. Julienne Derchs said, your marriage and parenting experiences may differ, but you are still in the same boat.
3. Keep The Marriage
Of course, children are now the priority, but that does not mean that your marriage will have to take the backseat. Love and relationship coach Jessica Elizabeth Opert said that those daily stolen moments are where real intimacy comes.
4. Have Some Me-Time
Before you’re a parent and spouse, you’re you first, which is why having a me-time is extremely important, too. It’s important that outside the marriage and parenthood, you still have your own identity. Psychotherapist Kristie Overstreet agrees with this, adding that it’s important you show this to your children, too.
5. Talk About Other Things
Dr. Sherman said that you should talk about your parenting styles before kids come and that you should always stand side by side when it comes to them even when you disagree with each other. You can always argue in private. Having said that, learn to talk about other things as well in order to grow as individuals and a couple.
6. Do Ask for Help
It takes a village to raise a child. You ought to know that though they are your responsibility first and foremost, you are not alone in this. Sometimes, asking help from family and friends is needed. Even help from professionals through couples therapy may be required, and there’s nothing wrong with that.
7. Learn to Appreciate and Show It
Raising kids is never easy. It’s actually tiring, and since you both know this, it’s easy to appreciate what the other one is doing. Do not take each other’s hard work for granted. appreciate and do show it.
8. Do Take Turns
Dr. Brewer also recommends dividing work. Take turns in doing chores or taking care of the kids. If one gets up tonight in the middle of the sleep to tend to the baby, make sure that the other does the same thing next time. This way, the load is split and happiness is doubled.
9. Do Compliment One Another
Compliments are a very strong motivation. Jessica Opert said that this is a simple way to boost each other’s confidence, which will result in better performance. After all, you are a team, so some cheering is imperative.
Marriage and parenthood are the most challenging yet most rewarding jobs you will ever have. Make the most out of it by having each other’s backs.