By Kel Tan
Whoever said becoming parents would have to take a toll on your marriage?
Parenthood is life-changing in more ways than one. While kids bring immeasurable joy into our lives, raising them is a 24/7 task that demands a lot (Yes, A LOT) of your attention and energy.
But, this doesn’t mean that your relationship with your spouse should be placed on the backburner.
Here, four couples share how and why they keep the spark alive – or intend to – after having children.
Francisca and Sebastian
Francisca: Sebastian and I will be getting married in September this year. Our main aim is to not worry so much and enjoy our big day, so we’ll just be holding a simple church wedding and reception with our close family and friends.
Sebastian: We’re even thinking of wearing inflatable T-Rex costumes during the celebrations!
Francisca: *Slaps forehead*
Francisca: Sebby is loving and caring towards me, and he is also great with kids, so I can see him being a good husband and father down the road. That said, we will try for kids immediately after getting married, but we don’t have a magic number now to share.
Sebastian: And while we are looking forward to building a family, we will always have each other’s back first and foremost. So couple time will always be integral in our relationship. And it doesn’t have to be difficult – for us, we simply make it a point to sit down together, talk about our day, and listen without judgment.
Francisca: We also have movie nights every Tuesday, either in the Cinema (when membership tickets are cheaper) or at home. We don’t see this changing after having children; we could still enjoy movie nights as a family at home or as a couple in the cinema when our parents can take care of the kids for a few hours.
Sebastian: When there is a will, there is a way, it’s a lifelong relationship after all – till death do us part!
Cheyenne and Joshua
Cheyenne: Joshua and I have known each other since we were kids in church. We became good friends while attending the same connect group, but only decided to get together after deliberating about it for a long while. Luckily, it turned out to be the right decision and we've recently tied the knot in January this year.
Personally, I would like to wait for three years before trying for kids, as I really want to travel the world and enjoy life together with Joshua first.
Joshua: I hope to have kids within the next two years, as I feel that we would be able to better cope with the challenges of parenthood while we are still young.
Cheyenne: We both fully agree that kids should never, ever be the reason why the fire in a relationship dies out. It’s extremely important to strike a balance between your children and your spouse. When we eventually do have kids, we fully intend to still enjoy our time together as a couple.
Joshua: Fortunately, we have a supportive family network – I’m sure our parents and aunts would be more than happy to chip in to look after our little ones every once in a while!
Jazlyn and Hazam
Hazam: Jazlyn and I met while we were both studying at Republic Polytechnic, but we only started dating after seven years – I mistakenly thought that she wasn’t interested in me! *glances over at Jazlyn*
Jazlyn: *pretends not to notice* I had a little, tiny...crush on him, and I didn’t know he liked me until he asked me to be his girlfriend!
Hazam: Haha! Ok, WE eventually realised our feelings for each other, started dating in 2011, I proposed to her while we were vacationing in London in 2015, and we tied the knot in 2017.
While we don’t have any children yet, we plan on having two kids in the near future. We still intend to make time for each other after becoming parents – primarily by managing our time well and making the effort to do the things that we enjoy as a couple like catching the latest Blockbuster movie or even just to enjoy a cup of coffee.
I’m sure our siblings and parents wouldn’t mind enjoying the company of our children for 3 to 4 hours while we spend a little couple time together.
Jazlyn: Couple time is of paramount importance to us, as it encourages us to communicate, connect and offer each other emotional support. It also helps us not to take each other for granted. Ultimately, it reminds us about why we embarked on this lifelong journey as a couple.
Camille and Mahendran
Mahendran: Camille and I have two kids – Kierann (4 yrs) and Aarrann (2 yrs).
While we have since had to take on new roles as parents, we always make it a point to remember the love we have as a couple. Children feed on their parents’ vibes, so through loving each other, we build a strong support system for our little ones. Plus, we grow as people after becoming parents, so there’s always something new to learn about each other.
Camille: Parenting undoubtedly takes up a lot of our time, so whenever we go out together occasionally as a couple, it’s something very special to us. Date nights are so important, as they help us fall in love all over again. We also try to make time for each other in other small ways – even if it’s just watching movies in bed together.
Mahendran: I would really love to go on a romantic holiday with my wife, but we would likely do so when the kids are older. But that’s okay, as we see ourselves travelling the world together – just the two of us! – 30 years down the road. Till then, we will continue to work hand-in-hand to raise our two little ones. After all, we’re partners for life!
Click here for tips by marriage educators, Boaz and Claire Nazar on how to keep your marriage alive.