Balancing between being a spouse and a parent
When was the last time you spent quality time alone with your spouse? If you struggle answering this question, you are not alone. Some couples spend less time nurturing the marriage after having children because of the responsibilities that come with being a parent. However, having a strong marriage is essential for keeping the family together and provides a safe environment for children to grow confidently in. Here are some ways you can strengthen your marriage while meeting your children's needs.
Encourage independence: As your child gets older, they may look for more opportunities to explore their independence. Try your best to accommodate and give your child that freedom to grow. However, giving your child more independence does not have to start from adolescence. In fact, you can start teaching them from a young age by asking and training them to do simple chores on their own, such as putting toys back after playtime . You will not have to worry as much if your child already knows how to take care of themselves. It would also give you more time to rest and bond with your spouse.
Prioritise each other: There will be many inevitable changes as you become parents. It is crucial that you continue to put your spouse first and not let your marriage take the backseat. Ensure that your focus should be evenly spread between your child and your spouse. Continue paying attention to the little details of each other’s lives, such as the joys, likes, dislikes, fears, and stresses. Remember to commit to maintaining and improving the relationship, especially when both of you are facing increased responsibilities as a parent.
Work as a team: When you and your spouse are on the same page about how to raise the kids, it becomes easier solving conflicts when they arise . You might face some challenges while trying to reach an understanding about parenting styles, as both you and your spouse grew up in different environments. As such, both parents should communicate openly about their values and learn to compromise. This would result in less instances of conflict.
Spend quality time with your spouse: It may not be easy to find alone time for yourself when there are so many things to take care of in the family home. To make things easier, have a chat with your spouse about a family schedule . When planning the family schedule, ensure that it does not entirely revolve around your child’s daily routine. You should set aside time for you and your spouse to go on date night without the children. If possible, enlist the help of close relatives or trusted friends for babysitting duties so that you and your spouse can fully focus on each other and enjoy creating new experiences and memories.
Marriage and parenthood are learning journeys, and growing together as a family is part of that experience. It is possible to have a fulfilling relationship with your spouse and still be a great parent. With constant effort from both sides, your relationship can stand the test of time and bring stability into the family home.
TOUCH Marriage Support aims to enrich marriages to build a strong foundation for families. Through a range of holistic programmes led by experienced marriage educators and counsellors, TOUCH Marriage Support prepares young couples for marriage, strengthens spousal relationships, guides couples through conflict resolution, and empowers couples to navigate and cope with the stressors and challenges which they may face in their marriage.
1. Smith, Sylvia. “15 Tips for Balancing Marriage and Parenting.” Marriage Advice - Expert Marriage Tips & Advice, 28 June 2021, https://www.marriage.com/advice/parenting/balancing-marriage-and-parenting-without-going-crazy/.
2. Montes, Stephanie. “Why My Children Will Always Come Second to My Marriage.” Parents, Parents, 17 Dec. 2022, https://www.parents.com/parenting/relationships/sex-and-marriage-after-baby/why-my-children-will-always-come-second-to-my-marriage/.
3. “How to Balance Parenting & Marriage.” ReGain, ReGain, 30 Dec. 2022, https://www.regain.us/advice/parenting/how-to-balance-parenting-marriage/.