There’s a long-standing belief in the married world that, once you have children, all other things in the world fall to the side so you can spend time with them – including your husband. Many women (and men) believe it’s not only “normal” for parents to let their own relationship (and their own time alone) slip to the side in favor of spending time with their children, but what they don’t realize is that, just maybe, this isn’t the right way to go about things.
Of course children take up a lot of our time, and they should, but it’s really important for men and women alike to remember to focus on and spend time with one another, and not just for the sake of their own relationship. In fact, spending time with your husband (alone, and without your children) can teach your children insanely valuable lessons that will help them grow into healthier, more well-adjusted adults than children whose parents don’t make an effort to spend time alone together.
In fact, experts agree that one of the reasons most marriages see a decline in overall happiness when the kids are born is because both parents tend to stop spending enough time together to keep their relationship firm, and when parents are unhappy, kids can sense it.
Here are some important lessons you give to your children when you make sure to make the time to focus on your husband instead of them:
They learn to understand what a partnership really looks like.
It’s hard for kids to play one parent off the other if Mom and Dad are always on the same page. By spending time alone with your husband, you two will be more in-sync with what you want to accomplish parenting-wise. You’ll know the boundaries you each have on what is and is not okay for the children to do. Your kids will see you two as a combined parental unit instead of as two individual people who may give him very different answers (and hey, you’ll also avoid a lot of fights that start with the words, “I can’t believe you let him do that!”). Your kids will respect you and your husband as a team, and they’ll also know more what to look for in a solid partnership later in life when they’re looking for one for themselves.
They learn to appreciate marital love.
And it’s not just the “partnership” aspect of your relationship that they’ll get to see. They’ll get to really appreciate how much you and your husband care about and take care of one another. When a child’s parents are distant with each other, it’s hard for that kid to really see what does and doesn’t work in his parents’ relationship. If you make sure to make time for each other, your children will see and respect that. They’ll also see the added benefits of you and your husband being happier and healthier in your marriage than their friends’ parents who don’t make time for one another. Essentially, if you spend more time with your husband, your kids will learn what a really, truly happy marriage should look like. That way, they can really develop one of their own someday.
They learn to wait their turn.
Probably the most important lesson you can teach your kids is that they won’t always come first – not even for you. It’s a lesson you’d rather them learn young than wait til they’re young adults and the world feels like a hard, uninviting place. The harsh truth is, no one but you will ever give your kids nearly as much time as you will. If you give them all your undivided attention growing up, it will be harder for them to adjust when they become adults to not having that kind of attention all the time. By making sure you and your husband get time alone, your kids will learn to be alone with themselves and to respect the fact that they have to wait their turn for your attention. This will make them appreciate the time they have with you even more!
Of course, everything must be balanced, and the best way to have a healthy, happy family is to balance the time you spend with your kids, your husband, and with yourself!