What is the best way to parent? Forget your kids for a little while and make time for your spouse.
In February, I will become a first-time parent. Although I’m ecstatic to become a mom, I’m worried about balancing my relationship with my husband and my duties as a parent.
Luckily, there’s gospel-based advice to assuage my worries. In “How a Happy Marriage Makes for Better Parenting,” an episode of Mormon Channel‘s Gospel Solutions for Families, host Amy Iverson interviews Sister Neill F. Marriott, second counselor in the Young Women General Presidency, and her husband, David C. Marriott, about balancing relationships with spouse and children.
Brother and Sister Marriott assert that your relationship with your spouse is your most important relationship. Brother Marriott would even tell his children, “We love you, but we love each other more.” According to the Marriotts, putting your marriage first will never destroy your family structure. Instead, prioritizing your spouse will help build a secure and solid foundation for your family.
But how do we learn to prioritize our marriage over our many demands as parents? The Marriotts share these tips:
- Never stop dating your spouse, even if the date is locking yourselves in a room away from the kids.
- Ask yourself the question, “What is one thing I can do today that will add a little bit of joy to my spouse’s . . . day?” Then do that thing.
- Turn to Jesus Christ to solve relationship problems. As Sister Marriott says, “He fills in those bruised spots and those holes in our heart.”
When I become a parent, I’ll use these tips to prioritize my marriage—even when my children demand my attention, even when I am incredibly busy, and even when I have conflict in my marriage. I will put my spouse first.
For more tips on prioritizing your marriage—as well as advice on what to do if you’re a single parent, you’re an empty nester, or your spouse doesn’t put you first—listen to the full Gospel Solutions for Families episode “How a Happy Marriage Makes for Better Parenting.”
Source: Mormon Channel
—Katie Stanley, Mormon Insights
feature image by denise husted
Find more insights
Still stuck on how to balance family and marriage? Read the Ensign article “The Marriage Balancing Act,” by Gary and Joy Lundberg.
Another wonderful Ensign article on balancing your relationship with your spouse and demands as a parent is Steve F. Gilliland’s “Me and Three: Finding Balance in Marriage.”