How does becoming a parent impact a marriage?
Soccer Mom's. Listen up. Coaching Dad's. Two income families.
There is nothing wrong with any of the above, when taken by itself. But very often it does point out a tendency in society today that is not healthy.
Not long ago, and in many countries to this day, children were considered a valuable asset. They worked along side of parents in family businesses or farms, did household chores, fetched slippers, picked up stuff, and contributed to the families income till they moved out and formed their own families.
Those that didn't get married lived home and went on to take care of their younger siblings and eventually their parents.
When did this all change? Well we're not going on a historical journey as to how and why, but let it suffice that here on Long Island things have drastically changed.
When was the last time a child of any age, especially over 12 or 13 fetched anyone's slipper or picked up something around the house WITHOUT BEING ASKED OR TOLD.
We have become a child-centered society, and along with the car and the house, we now have to show the neighbors what great parents we are.
No matter how tired parents are, our loving offspring will not hesitate to make a demand on our energies and time, nor on our wallet.
And if parents don't comply there is typically anger and disdain.
We all have only so much time and physical and emotional energy.
If it's exhausted by the demands of our children we have much less of it available to give to our spouses.
Although parents want to show their children that they love them, children are temporarily lent to us - marriage, hopefully, is permanent.
A generation ago, my generation, parents had very little to do with our play activities, we asked for little or no money, and we understood that helping was not an option.
We grew up well, and as a matter of fact, we appreciated our parents a lot more.
Marriage, on the other hand, has become much more fragile than before. The social pressures that kept people together 'no-matter-what' are no longer there. It is even more important under these circumstances to pay attention to our spouses, have the energy it requires to communicate and enjoy each other.
Think about it. Your kids will grow up fine if you invest less time and money into their leisure activities, their clothes, etc.
And your marriage just might spring a few more blooms.
If you would like to hear what the experts have to say about marriage...
...this whole month, Tuesday evenings from 7 - 8pm, you can listen to 540AM - www.wlie.com for a series of programs on marriage.
Tuesday 9/9 - parenting and marriage
Tuesday 9/17 - mid-life crisis in marriage
Tuesday 9/26 - intimacy and marriage