I have to believe that most engaged couples think of children the same way my (now) wife and I did way back when before we tied the knot.
It’s a pretty standard process, right?
We’ll get married, party like rock stars for a few years, then we’ll have a boy, then a girl and after that we’ll probably get that whole fertility thing taken care of so it doesn’t interfere with our incessant and unwavering sex drives.
Man, marriage will be awesome, sex will be constant, and when the time is right we’ll go ahead and knock out a few little ones so we have someone to play catch and dress-up with.
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Unfortunately, the introduction of children to your marriage basically never goes like this. Life will happen to you along the way, and you will quickly come to appreciate the important role of Spirituality in your marriage as you cope with some diversions to your own master plan.
My wife and I have been very blessed and have almost nailed the main points of our script so far. We (think we) enjoyed four years of marriage without children, though we honestly can’t remember anything that we did with all of the free time we had at the time (partying like rock stars doesn’t come to mind).
We had a healthy baby boy followed by a beautiful little girl two years later. In the meantime, our thoughts on fertility and family planning have matured a lot, and we now hope and pray for a third healthy playmate.
Questions To Discuss Regarding Future Children
That said, we’ve had plenty of our own struggles over the years of marriage related to the issue of children and marriage.
In order to help engaged couples think through potential issues before they are faced with them in marriage, we developed a few questions that we present in our marriage preparation course.
We ask them to think these over and discuss them openly with their partner on the drive home. Obviously, this is only a starting point but it seems to be a real eye-opener for the young couples still blinded by idealism on the topic.
So, give some thought to the five questions below. If you are engaged, talk to your fiance about the if-then’s presented here.
If you are married, use these to spark a deep discussion with your spouse or share them with someone else who you think may be a bit blinded by their innocent expectations of children-on-demand in the land of Beaver Cleaver.
- What are your current attitudes about children and do you expect those to change over time (and why)?
- What have you decided about having your own children and why?
- Are you concerned that the inclusion of children will impact your relationship?
- If you are infertile, how will you deal that? (this is a biggie)
- Have you thought about the practicalities of raising children: child care, education, career choices, finances, etc. and how do your thoughts match up?
What other questions should engaged couples be discussing on the topic of raising children?
Photo courtesy of lou & magoo