Welcome back to my blog series about successful marriages/partnerships. Today’s article is about how raising children impacted the couples’ relationships. I am very grateful for the candid responses; it couldn’t have been easy to share negative experiences.
I chose the featured photo of an elephant and her babies because elephants are known to have long memories and are dedicated to their kin, just as parents are bonded to their children. Parents are responsible to teach their children about how to be and how to survive in the best possible way in the world.
Five (5) of the respondents did not have children.
Of the ones who did, most wrote that having children was on the whole, positive.
- Family made our lives complete.
- Having kids can be a handful but gratifying.
- The arrivals of children and their growing up were wonderful experiences.
- I don’t think it effected it at all. If anything it made each of us think how important it is to teach our kids what is right and wrong.
- We have enjoyed bring up our children we have had so much fun with them.
- His work days were long and we were busy with our two children and their activities. We had good family times with our children
- Raising children together strengthened our relationship as we shared not only our love for each other but also for our children. Our children strengthened our ties with our own parents and siblings and created a community of extended family.
- It has been at the centre of our collaboration. People are formed within their social networks, and having kids means creating new networks, centred upon the children as developing people.
- It has been positive: laughter, worries, special times – so much part of our shared life.
- We had four children, who we love very much. We worked harder together in business and as a couple.
But it was also challenging and time-consuming. Many mentioned how important it was to make intentional “couple time,” without and away from the children.
- It has, on occasion been a most challenging time in our marriage but in the end forged a knowledge that we could weather most any situation.
- We’ve had a lot of differences when raising children, lots of challenges, some struggling through it, but we made it.
- I worked either full or part time our whole marriage so children came first, then duties, then us.
- Raising two daughters has had its challenges because of the time dedicated to their care and activities, but making time just for each other is crucial for our self care as a couple. Demonstrating this commitment to each other is also part of showing our children what a marriage should look like.
- Raising a family can be hard on a relationship because there is so little time in the day. We both worked full time, so time together was scarce. The children take time and were our priority. We were both very involved in their activities and interests, and still are!
- Being teachers we were aware of being committed to parenting. [It] was difficult to start because babies need a lot of care which interferes with couple time.
- We also made sure we still had special time for ourselves so we didn’t lose touch with each other.
Mentioned less frequently was the importance of shared parental responsibilities, and help from parents and others.
- Team approach
- We share the responsibilities according to skill set and interests.
- We had supportive families. Both involved with their activities as they grew (father coaching sports and attending events, mother guiding and recreation programs, helping out at their school.)
- We had renters for some years so they babysat once a month so we could go out. My parents were great too so we could go away for a few days and reconnect.
Many now have grandchildren with whom they enjoy spending time.
- We did lots of grandkid-sitting for the younger ones. One of our grandboys even lived with us for over a year. I think being grandparents together has been challenging but rewarding and we have created, and continue to create, many family memories.
- Now as grandparents we share our delight in seeing the little ones blossom as little people.
- Later in life being in contact with our grandchildren has been important in our lives.
Here are some additional comments:
- Before couples have children, they should live together for at least a year – are they compatible?
- Think long and hard about having kids or adopting any children vs. having money for lots of meals out and travel instead.
- Child rearing is time consuming but rewarding. It is a partnership which requires communication for a united and consistent approach.
- Bringing up your own children is an education in its self. You try and bring up children the way you were brought up and I’m sure your partner will do the same. You’ll be doing the best you can. Once you know that you’re having a baby then all life is about the child and its upbringing. You will worry about your children until the day you die.
- Having close relationships with young people puts you in touch with new trends particularly in youth culture – it keeps one socially ‘young’, which has kept our relationship vibrant.
Raising children is a great responsibility. We did not have privilege but took special care to be involved in the lives of our great-nieces. They bring great joy to our lives and we are in awe of their caring and generous spirits and how their intelligence and curiosity about people and important issues positively impact their communities, now and into the future.
Thanks to Eric Heininger for his featured photo from Unsplash
On December 21, responses to: What are the top 3 characteristics of your partner/spouse that has kept you enthralled with her/him?