I've been pondering some of the questions presented to me last month and trying to figure out how to answer them.One reader asked last month: What is your best advice to those of us still waiting for our little miracles?
My best advice is to work on your marriage relationship during this time of waiting.
One author and parenting expert says: "The strength of the parent-child relationship is dependent on the quality of the husband-wife relationship. You might always strive to be a sacrificial mother, but you will never be a better mom than what you are as a wife."
Isn't that incredible? The parent-child relationship is only as strong as the husband-wife relationship. So now is the time to make your marriage strong. Build a great foundation for your future family.
If you're not sure how to do that, here are a few suggestions:
Pray - Pray individually and together. Ask one another what you can pray for and pray for your spouses needs and concerns. Pray together at night or in the morning. Get in the habit of praying together. Follow up with one another and ask about those prayer requests shared.
Join a small group or Bible study. Build relationships with other believers. Study the Bible, study Scripture, study marriage. Doesn't matter. Just keep growing and learning. Your spouse is not the same person you married. He/she is constantly growing and changing so you better be growing and changing along with him/her.
Read marriage books. I have a long list of books I/we have enjoyed reading and discussing throughout the years. I learn about marriage, my role as a wife and more about my husband. My mother-in-law always says, "When you love someone you become an expert on them." When you get married your assignment is to become an expert on your spouse.
Meet with other husbands and wives and talk with them (together or individually). Be accountable for working on different aspects of your marriage. Go out for coffee or breakfast with your guy friends or gal friends and learn from one another. Ask hard questions and be accountable to one another. Ryan and I have marriage mentors that we have met with every few months for the past 5+ years. We love them dearly and they have greatly contributed to the health of our marriage. We also have dear friends that we go to when our hearts our heavy and we can confidentially talk to them about our marriage struggles.
Learn to manage and communicate about money/finances as a couple prior to growing your family. Kids are expensive and financial challenges only add to marital stress.
Parenthood is hard. Really hard. Ryan said to me the other day, "I knew parenting would be tiring, but I had no idea how exhausting it would be." But Ryan continually reminds me we are a team and we are doing this together.
One of my favorite marriage quotes is, "Marriage is hard. Good marriages are harder."
Use your time now to take the necessary steps to make your marriage a good one. Your future family will be incredibly blessed.