Parenting Done Right!Aug 30, 2023
Ah, the age-old question: Are we bad parents for taking time out for ourselves while our children are, well, living their best lives without us? The guilt associated with enjoying time as a couple often plagues parents, especially those with young children. So, let's dig into this complex topic.
The Stigma of "Selfish Parenting"
There’s a stigma in many cultures around the idea that once you have children, your life should entirely revolve around them. As parents, we're told that our needs and wants should take a backseat to soccer practices, school meetings, and bedtime stories. While it's true that becoming a parent requires a certain level of selflessness, this doesn’t mean you should completely let go of who you are as an individual—or who you are as a couple.
Why Date Nights Are Important
Prioritizing date nights doesn’t make you bad parents; it makes you human beings who understand the importance of maintaining a healthy relationship. A loving, stable relationship between parents is actually beneficial for children for a number of reasons:
Children feel more secure knowing their parents have a strong bond. This emotional security can make transitions like moving or going to a new school easier.
A Healthy Example
By prioritizing each other, you set an example for your children about what a committed, loving relationship looks like. This can impact their future relationships and give them a healthy model to follow.
Happy Parents, Happy Kids
When parents are happy in their relationship, this positivity trickles down to the kids. Children are very adept at picking up on emotional cues, so your happiness directly influences their emotional well-being.
Making It Work
For those wondering how to balance couple time with family time, here are some tips:
📝 Plan Ahead
As with anything in life, planning is key. Make sure to choose a night that works for both of you, and sort out the childcare situation well in advance.
👌 Quality Over Quantity
If a weekly date night isn't feasible, aim for a monthly outing. The quality of the time spent is more important than the frequency.
❤️ Stay Connected
If leaving the kids for an evening makes you anxious, consider a date night in after the kids are in bed. You could also go for family outings where you steal some moments just for the two of you.