“A child is a grenade. When you have a baby, you set off an explosion in your marriage, and when the dust settles, your marriage is different from what it was. Not better, necessarily; not worse, necessarily; but different.”-Nora Ephron
John Gottman, famous marriage and divorce researcher, wrote in his book The Seven Principles for Making Marriage Work that 67 percent of new mothers feel miserable, yet 33 percent sail through the transition to motherhood unscathed. This transition to parenthood will go well if the father is included and does not get left behind.
“The important thing here is that they (the couple) are in it together. To the extent that both husband and wife make this philosophical shift, the parent-child relationship and the marriage thrive.”
I love these tips on how to involve dad in the transition to parenthood! Thank you Mr. John Gottman! Here they are:
-Focus on your marital friendship
-Don’t exclude Dad from baby care
-Let Dad be baby’s playmate
-Carve out time for the two of you
-Be sensitive to Dad’s needs
-Give Mom a break
My husband had been married for four months when I became pregnant with our first child. That felt like hardly enough time to get settled in our own marriage relationship. I remember when our first child was born, it was life changing for both of us, as it is for any couple. I remember my husband feeling like he wasn’t really needed very much because the baby always wanted me. After all, I had the “equipment” to feed him. So what did my husband do? He jumped in with two feet. He changed diapers any time he was home, gave baths, wore the baby in the front pack, watched baby so that I could have a break, We both loved to work together as much as possible. Some things we did together include packing the diaper bag, snacks, folding the laundry, staying up with a sick baby, etc. We were a team.
Was it stressful for both of us? YES. But, for any of the stress we received 100 times more joy. Having children come into our family has been the single greatest and hardest part of our life and marriage. It is easy in this day to write off the inconvenience and hardship of having children as “not worth it” or “we have dogs” or “I’d rather pursue my career” etc. It is definitely an individual choice that I honor in everyone 100% but having children– through it may be a figurative “grenade” to your marriage, you rebuild stronger and more full of love and growth then you ever could have imagined. Plus you get to be a part of this new baby’s life and watch them grow, progress, and learn. It is beautiful!
In college I could have easily wondered, “Do I really want to have kids?” Having children is the most beautiful gift. A gift that will pay in beauty and joy infinitely forever— no matter how HARD it is.
To quote President Nelson,
“Marriage is but the beginning bud of family life; parenthood is its flower. And that bouquet becomes even more beautiful when graced with grandchildren.”
And to close with a quote from The Family: A Proclamation to the World:
THE FAMILY is ordained of God. Marriage between man and woman is essential to His eternal plan. Children are entitled to birth within the bonds of matrimony, and to be reared by a father and a mother who honor marital vows with complete fidelity. Happiness in family life is most likely to be achieved when founded upon the teachings of the Lord Jesus Christ. Successful marriages and families are established and maintained on principles of faith, prayer, repentance, forgiveness, respect, love, compassion, work, and wholesome recreational activities.
I know this is true! And I am so grateful for this knowledge.Share This: