Raising children is enthralling and fulfilling yet fraught with challenges. Future parents must be in a stable place in their relationship in order to survive raising children. Check out the many ways that parenting can stress the relationship of co-parents to be sure you and your partner are ready to take on this awesome responsibility.
The myth that children can fix a bad marriage or relationship is completely false. Children come with awesome responsibility, consequence, and expense for parents. The myriad challenges associated with parenting are stressful and often cause considerable co-parent relationship strife.
Parents often discover parenting preferences or orientations that only crop up once individuals face serious parenting challenges. Humans have different responses under stress as compared to normal situations. Parents may be unable to explore deeply held parenting beliefs until faced with a serious parenting crisis. These deeply rooted responses may present serious challenges to parents, who may have dramatically different parenting philosophies and reflexes.
Children have physical and emotional 24 hours a day. Parents suffer from an interruption of intimate time as a practical matter of changing diapers, feeding, caring for sick children, and typical parenting duties. The decrease in time and attention from a partner can threaten the stability of a relationship. Some couples are simply unable to sustain a meaningful connection after children disrupt the rhythm of the relationship.
Raising a family is expensive. Parents allocate resources for children that were previously available for personal and shared interests. Meanwhile, parental income and career opportunities may suffer as at least one parent may be required to cut back on work to attend the needs of children.
Social and professional factors additionally impact co-parents. Extended family members may create problems after children are born. Neighbors might resent noisy children. Employers could take exception to parents taking time off for birthing, nursing, and caring for sick children. Some social and recreational locations are off-limits to children, interfering with parents’ access to employment and pleasure related past times.
As adorable as they are, babies can irritate a wide spectrum of preexisting challenges within a relationship. Couples with intimacy problems may find that children create one more excuse not to connect. Partners who deal with feelings, real or imagined, about their partner’s abandonment may experience an intensification as both parents must invest time and focus in the children.
Challenges with finances, housing, and transportation may also be intensified by children. Medical problems can result or become intensified by pregnancy, childbirth, and parenting. Relationships that are stretched by sexual dysfunction or greatly differing levels of sexual drive may be impeded by pregnancy, breastfeeding, and childbirth as well as parental exhaustion.
Some parenting situations carry additional burdens for parents. Attachment parenting is a child rearing style that demands good coordination and support between co-parents. Raising children who suffered trauma, abuse, or neglect may have serious challenges that require excellent parental teamwork. Caring for children who are placed through adoption or foster care programs may also involve serious challenges such as disorders of attachment. Attachment disorder is a serious developmental challenge that affect some children and it takes a serious toll on parents.
Couples must enter into parenthood with their eyes wide open. Children do not solve relationship problems. While they are wonderful and precious, children add incredible stress to family life. Couples must establish a strong and stable relationship to provide a stable nurturing environment for little ones.
Darleen Claire is a Parenting Expert with a background in Clinical Mental Health and Exceptional Student Education who focuses on Brain-Based Strategies to Promote Healing and Development.
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