You’ve gone from a carefree adolescence to a carefree young adulthood, but you are now ready to settle down. You want to be married and have a family. You’re ready to move to this next stage of life.
As couples delay marriage until their late 20s and early 30s (or later), they must then consider having children soon after marriage. For many couples, marriage and raising children practically coincide with one another.
Many young adults have prolonged their carefree years well into adulthood and have a difficult transition from carefree independence to marriage, then quickly to parenthood.
Marriage does no more than offer the opportunity for a couple to develop an intimate bond, but building that bond takes time and effort. If you are distracted from the work of bonding with your partner by parenting, then you can find yourself easily disconnected from your partner but doing a terrific job as parents.
Parenting is an extremely important job, but children also need parents who love one another. Parents are older than previous generations. With this seems to be a greater priority on structuring the child’s life such that he or she is prepared for a successful future.
This structured childhood also structures the parent’s life, soccer three times a week, dance twice a week, after-school projects, etc., etc. Saying no to the children’s activities feels as though you are compromising their future.
Yet, such structure often leaves little room for parents to nurture their marriage. Perhaps you need to give your children a gift that will enrich their future more than soccer or dance classes, parents with a strong bond that will build over the years. Your bond will better predict your children’s future success than their participation in sports or cultural enrichment activities.
Forge time for your marriage. Schedule regular date nights. Have mini-dates in the evening where you send the children off to depend on themselves while mom and dad have time together. You will feel more connected to your partner, but will also note that your children will become more self-reliant in the process.