Inspired by a discussion on Hybrid Rasta Mama's Facebook page
|Image: Courtney Carmody|
I started reading that book and with every page I turned I was more and more appalled. Basically, this was a book about how to keep your partner from cheating on you. It started from the premises that every relationship is deeply flawed, that men can't be trusted and that partnership is an illusion.
This book also believed that once the baby was born, you had to put your mothering on pause every so often, again to make sure that your partner doesn't cheat on you.
This was not the book for us.
My husband and I have been together for 8 years, married for 5. As natural parents, we believe that parenting is a lifelong journey, on that doesn't stop at night or in the weekend, or when the kids are asleep.
We haven't spent the lot of those 8 years on a pink cloud. We have had hard times. There have been doubts. Parenting sure changed the paradigms of our relationships and has us searching for new ways to enjoy each other. And yes, we have put our relationship on the back burner a little. We don't get to spend long weekends in luxurious hotels with nothing but each other, we don't get to play the Playstation for hours in a row. No more TV marathons and very few romantic candle light dinners.
But you can't put parenting on hold. Your child needs you every minute of the day, it is time consuming, especially when they are still tiny. They will need you less and less over the years.
Yes, relationships tend to be put a little in the fridge, or on thebackburner, but if you're relationship is strong, built on trust, love and friendship, then that isn't much of a problem. You'll be happy with the sparse moment you do have. That doesn't mean you don't have to create these moments and actively work on them, but that means that there is enough trust and understanding and enough mutual marvell in those kids, that it doesn't matter. You learn to enjoy each other through the kids, with the kids. Your relationship evolves to something new. You can't expect it to remain the same when there is an new human being in the mix. It has to change. Then one day when the kids get a bit older, the spark will be lit again, because it never fades.
I think a huge problem is that a lot of people who have kids don't have a strong relationship, that are together for lust or power or money or what not and then indeed, it can be a problem, a partner can start to feel neglected. So if a relationship dies because of children - in my opinion - it just wasn't meant to survive.