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What Makes Your Family?

By Diane Martin

We plan for the arrival of our babies with great attention to every detail. We take classes, decorate nurseries and begin investment accounts for their educations. We turn over our homes to their toys, and our nights to their feedings. As children enter our lives they assume the spot light in a staring role. We do need to remember, however, that children are not the only ingredients of a family.

There is no doubt about the enormous energy involved in successful parenting. Nor about the importance of guiding our children so that they may grow to be balanced, moral, healthy and happy individuals. The task is daunting. As we strive to wear the many hats involved in obtaining this goal one hat can easily be left to gather dust on the shelf. That is the hat which cares for the marriage.

As we muddle through everyday problems and challenges our children present it is easy to forget that our spouse is a key ingredient to maintaining that family. The importance of working on your connection as husband and wife is as important as finding those foods your children will actually eat. Often through shear exhaustion and lack of time the adults in the home end up being the last priority. The end result is that the basic needs of the parents are ignored. Over a long period the marriage can not help but suffer.

Working together, having things in common, fulfilling each other's needs, and staying connected with your spouse is as important to your children as it is to yourself. To focus only on the children's needs in a family, jeopardizes the family itself.

With this in mind the expense of a baby-sitter for a quiet evening out, or even an adult holiday seems a small price to pay for a solid foundation for the entire family. The price the children pay when a marriage is not strong is a large one.

Don't pay the price the hard way... nurture not just the children but your entire family with as much conscious effort and choice you make daily with the kids.

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