How Parenting has Deepened My Love for My Spouse
 

How Parenting has Deepened My Love for My Spouse

Growing more in love, après-kids

By Mark Lim | 4 March 2020

The night was still. There was not a sound all around, except for some random street noises that were all part of the post-midnight ambience.

Suddenly, a sharp, shrill cry filled the air. It permeated my senses.

“Not again”, I sighed.

I knew I needed to get up to attend to the cries, but I continued to lie in bed.

The cries persisted. And just as I was about to get up to feed our newborn milk, the crying stopped. My wife had gotten up to tend to him.

“It’s late,” she said. “You still have to go to work tomorrow.”

I was thankful.

It struck me then how important the little things in life were, and how my wife has chosen to do these things unceasingly for years.

A growing gratitude

All this took place more than 9 years ago, when our first child had just joined the family. Every new parent knows that disrupted sleep is one of the most tiring aspects of baby-caring. Yet my wife chose to sacrifice her sleep so that I could catch just a few more winks, and get up slightly fresher for my new day in the office.

I remember thinking then that my new status as a parent had made me all the more grateful for my spouse. And 9 years on, this sense of gratitude has only grown stronger.

From getting breakfast ready for the whole family each morning, to washing the clothes and cleaning the house, my wife has tirelessly worked hard to keep the family in good order. All this on top of meeting the physical and emotional needs of our kids.

During the early years when our kids were still young, we were both exhausted after a full day out and just about to sleep. At that moment, one kid soiled his diaper. My wife looked at me and said, “At this point I would feel more loved if you helped to change the diaper rather than give me a massage or take me out for a good meal.”

It struck me then how important the little things in life were, and how my wife has chosen to do these things unceasingly for years.

In a world where the stresses of parenthood can sometimes end up tearing couples apart, how did we buck the trend?

Why do I feel a greater love for my spouse?

We have been happily married for more than 12 years. In a world where the stresses of parenthood can sometimes end up tearing couples apart, how did we buck the trend and grow closer to each other?

The answer is teamwork.

Because of the huge responsibility that parenthood is, we have focused our energies on finding out ways to work better together.

It didn’t happen overnight but now, we work almost like a tag team in terms of complementing and supporting each other’s roles in the household.

Sometimes we utilise our strengths to compensate for the other’s weaknesses. For instance, I am not very good in physically caring for my kids when they are sick. On the other hand, my wife is highly competent in this area, not only knowing exactly what medicine to feed them, but also tending to their physical and emotional needs, in spite of their whining and complaining.

Conversely, when there is a need to whip up a quick meal and feed the kids in a hurry, my wife may not always be the most effective. My skills seem to be handier in this area, and I can easily get a meal on the table expediently.

The need to support each other in our parenting became evident very early on in our parenting journey. I remember taking turns to manage the night feeds, and although my wife did feed them most of the time, there were still times when I would get up slightly earlier and feed my child, in order to let my wife sleep in just a little more.

In recent years, this mutual support has also taken the form of adopting a united front as we discipline our kids or make important family decisions on how best to parent them.

Supporting my spouse has also meant that I take care of the kids exclusively in order to give my wife the night off to catch up with friends and engage in self-care. (Just as she would do for me when I invite my friends over for a board game party, and she takes that time to care for the kids.)

Parenting is best done when both parents are lovingly engaged and mutually supportive.

Building a life-long partnership

At the end of the day, a marriage is a partnership. Just as we fall in love with the person of our dreams, and choose to say “I do” to a lifetime with him or her, when we begin to take up our new roles as parents, the parenting is best done when we are lovingly engaged and mutually supportive. As we focus on building this partnership, it is likely that we will experience a deeper love than when we first met.

 

Mark Lim is Consultant & Counsellor at The Social Factor, a consultancy company which conducts training on life skills such as parenting, counselling, mentoring and special needs. He and his wife Sue co-write a parenting blog Parenting on Purpose, where they chronicle the life lessons from parenting two young boys aged 9 and 7.

 

Think about:

  • What can you do this week to build better teamwork with your spouse?

Share this article with someone you care for today, and you might encourage them in their journey. Click here to share on WhatsApp Mobile instantly.

© 2020 Focus on the Family Singapore. All rights reserved.

 

 

Sign up for regular Marriage + Parenting tips!

 

Related Posts

/images/fotfs_sitetemplate/Blog/TalkAboutSex/tas_header_17.jpg
/images/FOTFS_SiteTemplate/Blog/Parenting/blog_img_14_indoor_activities_to_keep_your_child_busy_at_home.jpg
/images/FOTFS_SiteTemplate/Blog/Marriage/blog_img_can_tech_actually_build_a_marriage.jpg