Taking that new baby home is a gift. I have had two daughters and I understand the miracle of life, and how incredible it is that this small being came through me to be here. However, your marriage is a gift too, and its survival is more important to that small baby then either you or your husband's alone. Children born into a healthy marriage have better health, better finances, and a better chance of being educated and successful in life. I have listed five things you should not sacrifice for that new precious life. Talk to your partner during those nine months to negotiate what you think is important to continue a healthy marriage. Agree to have a plan, so both parents can feel loved and return the love to their baby.
5 things you should never let go of in your marriage:
1. Your date nights with each other. You can always find a sitter, and no matter how tired you are, take the time to get dressed up and go out with your partner.
2. Your marital bed. Kids have their room and bed and belong in them. They do not belong in the parent's bed. Keep that boundary.
3. Intimacy and sex. Sex is the glue of a healthy marriage. It should take priority. That becomes difficult if women feel like they have too much work or other family stressors. Guys, this may not make sense how a woman could not want sex because the dishwasher needs emptying. Don’t question it, empty it.
4. Self care. Each of you has a responsibility to take care of yourselves. The baby can never be used as a reason why you didn't exercise, or take care of yourself. If you don’t care for yourself first, you cannot care for the baby. Make sure you take turns with caring for baby to have that time to care for yourself.
5. Time to talk about your marriage and goals. The baby or young children should have a bed time. That time is for mom and dad to talk, bond, share a glass of wine, or whatever. It is also a time when the marriage is restored. Do not give that time up or sacrifice it.
I have seen many couples who love their kids, but no longer love or know their spouse. This is largely due to the fact that they put their parenting needs before their marriage. This is a mistake. Your marriage must come first, because it provides the foundation for a healthy family. The marriage is alive, and it is a creation of two people. Nurture your creation just as you do the child you created together. –Mary Jo Rapini
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