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Good parents start with a good marriage

July 20th, 2009 / 9 Comments

(Disclaimer for this post: This is addressed to married couples, not for single parents. If you are a single parent, I want you to know this is not meant to make you feel guilty. It’s written to encourage couples to build a good marriage.)

I admit, I am a better mom than I am a wife.

I make cookies with the kids, go to the park with the kids, read with the kids…while my husband gets leftovers.

A few years ago, it suddenly occurred to me that perhaps, just maybe, my husband would like to be treated nicely too.

Whether you have one child, 8 children, or 14 children, our first responsibility as parents is to make sure we have a good marriage that does not end in divorce. If what the tabloid news about Jon and Kate are true, I feel very sad for the children. No fame or fortune will replace a happy home for children.

After all, if you were a child growing up again, which would you choose – to grow up in a home with a mom and dad who are happy, or to grow up in a divorced home?

So it makes sense that one of the main responsibilities of a parent is to make sure you have a good marriage. It ranks higher than saving money for your kid’s college education, or paying for piano and ballet lessons, or getting them a new laptop.

Since a few years ago, I’ve been trying to treat my husband better, and asked him to do the same to me. I found that it’s really very simple.

1. Observe common courtesies. The magic words are not just for kids. I don’t know about your husbands, but I had to remind my husband to serve me my food first, and to open the car door for me (if I remember to wait for him!). He’s catching on. It’s ok to tell your spouse what you want, and it’s ok to keep reminding him/her.

2. Don’t be too sensitive or take things personally. When my husband forgets to serve me first, I have learned not to be upset. I know it’s not because he doesn’t love me. He’s just not the detail type of person. It’s ok to remind him, even for the 100th time. Don’t let little things make you lose sight of the big picture.

3. Give at least one kind word of affirmation to each other every day. We compliment our friends and our co-workers, but the ones most important to us are taken for granted.

A friend of mine was complaining about her husband’s messy habits to a widow. The widow replied, “Oh, I wish I had that problem to deal with!”

Yes, it takes effort, but it’s all good when you focus on what’s at stake. The future literally hinges on the strength of our marriages, the future of your children and generations after them.

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  1. Yes, a good point to remember.

  2. Asianmommy, I often forget and I treat my husband like one of the kids!

  3. Good post, Katy! One of the best gifts we can give our children is the example of a happy, intact marriage, one that they will want to emulate in their own home/s some day.

    We became empty-nesters about a year ago, and though we miss the kids and all the noise and activity that swirls around their presence, we are thoroughly enjoying each other. Our kids know this and are not at all miffed by it.

    Our daughter and only grandson who live 700 miles away were just with us for a week, which drew our two local kids to our home far more frequently than usual. We treasured every crazy moment of the full, noisy house, but we are now enjoying the return of normalcy where we can talk to each other without “competition” for air time. 🙂

    You and your spouse will face this some day too. Keep your relationship with each other close so that you will have more in common with each other than just your kids. 😉 Couples could easily have as long with each other as empty-nesters as they had with the kids still at home. Don’t wait till then to have a healthy relationship.

  4. Thanks, Rob. Great advice. The stuff my husband and I used to do, like skiing, we don’t want to do anymore. We have to find new hobbies and interests.

  5. My husband and I make an effort to go away at least twice a year to reconnect. It’s amazing what it does for our marriage.

  6. Really good post. It is too easy to forget about being a good wife and good mom. My husband and I are very lucky that we have two sets of grandparent babysitters so we go out on dates to stay talking about everything.

    P.S. I have a poster giveaway you may be interested in.

  7. I totally agree – to be a good parents start with a good marriage. Our children will make us as an example or a role model. So first and foremost, we need to be a good one.

  8. Patrice, thanks for reminding us that we are a role model, whether we like it or not.

  9. Yes it is very much necessary to keep a look at your better half. Or else it may lead to divorce. You have to give time for your wife/husband.May be once a year you can go somewhere to spend some time together. That will keep a marriage intact and healthier.


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