By Patricia Gonzalez
“Like passing ships in the sea,” one woman once said, of her changing relationship with her husband after 3 years of consecutive pregnancies and their increasingly busy schedules as professionals. “Our conversations suddenly became exchanges of task lists and appointments. He began to feel more like a co-worker than a husband.”
And who could blame them? With full-plates and numerous roles to juggle, many couples find themselves evolving from lovers into business partners or roommates. This, in fact, is the part of marriage after children that many couples worry about. The majority of engaged couples express wanting to wait 1-5 years before having children because they hope to “enjoy one another first”, “travel the world”, or “have fun” before they become bogged down by the responsibility of having children. Without agreeing or disagreeing with this statement, perhaps we should consider couples who don’t have that option to wait. Those who were taken by surprise 2 months after their honeymoon, or even those who married precisely because of a ticking biological clock. Does this leave them with a doomed and boring marriage? Hardly.
Having a child is possibly the biggest and most exciting thing you can ever hope to do with your spouse. If you don’t quite believe this yet, let us spell it out for you. You’ve just created a human being that is capable of thinking, feeling, loving and doing a whole lot of good in the world. And that baby is not just super cute, but also half you, and half the person you love! So our proposal is that instead of seeing a child as a buzz killer in a passionate marriage, why not just try to embrace the possibility of being blessed with a child and committing to make it work? Isn’t that what you promised to do at the altar anyway?
And if you find yourself already in this situation (sorry MomCenter, you might think. That ship has sailed.), perhaps now it is the time for you change your course?
Beyond the fact that you might actually be missing the glory days you once had with your spouse, you may want to reconsider putting off Friday date night this weekend because studies have shown that children grow up to be more confident and emotionally healthy adults when they are able to see that their parents are in a loving and secure relationship. The most common excuse for not prioritizing time together is the guilt of leaving their children behind. This is well and good, but knowing that going out for dates may actually benefit your children in the long term may be something worth considering.
Another reason to consider saying yes the next time your husband asks you out is to remind yourself that before there were kids, it was just you and him. And before you know it, it will just be you and him again. “My daughter is now working in Singapore, and my younger son plans to move out after graduates this year. Our nest became empty sooner than expected” one mom confided. “And this is why I’m glad I got the advice early on to prioritize my relationship my husband!” When women become moms, the most natural thing is for them to pour all of their energy into loving their children. Understandably so, because they did carry them around for several months in their bellies. But the importance of treating your husband not just as your partner but as your lover is as practical as it is emotionally rewarding. Wouldn’t it be terrible if 20 years down the road you wake up to find your kids gone and realize that you are married to a complete stranger?
Thankfully, it is never too late change course. This week, why not try to schedule some quality time with your spouse in your planner, and put it under the URGENT category of your weekly to-do list.
We promise that your marriage, your kids, and your future self will thank you for it. Enjoy!
Patricia Gonzalez is MOMCENTER’s Editor. She has two adorable daughters–ages 1 and 2, and is married to a man who inspires her to be a better woman everyday.
She is a woman on a mission, and believes that motherhood is not limiting, but empowering. Join her on her journey by following her on instagram at @patriciaogonzalez.