I get to speak to a lot of mom’s groups. And if there’s any way to fit it in to whatever topic I’m talking about, I say this:
The goal of parenting is to raise your children so that some day they will move out.
Moms and dads often seem to forget that. You are raising children to be capable of functioning on their own, as adults, out in the real world. When they move out, you’ve been successful.
And then what?
Well, what happens next depends on what you’ve invested in during all those years you were raising your kids. If you invested all your time and energy in your children, you may be in trouble. If you and your spouse spent your time together talking only about your children, their schedules and their needs, your marriage may be in trouble.
Because … when the kids leave, it’s just the two of you. And what do you have? If you haven’t been careful, you may be left with a hollowed out shell of a marriage, a marriage relationship starved almost to death from lack of time or attention or investment.
I could write much more, but I’m on vacation (investing in my marriage!), and besides, this Time magazine article by Belinda Luscombe says it so much better than I could:
And the good news is, your healthy marriage is a great gift for your kids—they’re happier as children and then less likely to get divorced themselves.