Balancing every aspect of our lives is something that remains challenging to all of us. Balance itself is challenging to everyone in different ways. When we think of everything we must do, at times, it can become overwhelming. What about balancing marriage and parenting? How do we raise our children, maintain our marriage, and still make time for ourselves? The bottom line is we want our children and partner to be happy.
How to be on the same page?
To those of you who are parents, your main priority is your children in most cases. However, do you ever find yourself wondering are my spouse and I on the same page? Two people who share differences come together to form this new culture, your family. The differences between both individuals could also bring about different parenting styles. According to an article inspired by Gottman, couples must take the initiative to understand their differences with parenting and family values.
In the article, “Getting parents on the same page,” Gottman’s research claims the first step is to create physical and emotional safety. Sometimes in life, we will disagree, there will be arguments, and it may even go unresolved. When creating physical and emotional safety, it is essential for couples to compromise, use positive communication skills, and be willing to be calm and receptive. Gottman suggests step 2 to being on the same page is to define your core needs. What is it that you value? What is it that your spouse values? By defining these values, you also need to try to talk about them as well. Step 3 is to be willing to accept influence. So, if a disagreement comes up, an argument even, are you willing to hear your spouse’s input on the issue? In order to be on the same page as parents, you both need to be accepted, understood, and willing to compromise.
Making time for each other
Going back to making our children happy, maybe we are saying, how do we make our children happy? Research indicates children want love from their parents, but they also want to know their parents love each other. To strengthen the family unit, children need to feel secure. If children see their parents arguing, it affects them negatively. One of the challenges parents may experience is finding time to be together. With work and your schedules, you do not have enough time in your week to find time for each other. Research suggests parents need private time to feel not only as parents but also as partners. Spending time with your children is essential for you and them, but you may want to ask yourself this question. Are you pushing your spouse aside? By doing so, what does this teach your children? In an article, “Putting your spouse before your kids,” the way you treat your spouse models how your children may treat their future spouses.
Making time for your spouse is particularly important for your children and you. To make time for your spouse, you can start by making a calendar and setting a regular date night. Look into maybe getting a babysitter or a family member to watch your children ahead of time. Even if it is just once a month, you can start small to prioritize your marriage. Balance is key. Change does not necessarily happen overnight. There will be struggles along the way; however, individual and couples therapy will also help guide you through this process.