Me-time, partner time and parenting - finding the right balance

Did you take time out from your kids to celebrate Valentine's Day with your partner?

Amid the demands of busy family lives and providing for those families, parenting expert Nikki Bush examines why couples often "lose themselves" in parenting.

Visitors to romantic Cape Town.

When we get together as a couple we create and birth a new entity and when we then have children, we create another entity. I think often we don't make that transition that actually, we've created something new and so we're always trying to get back to where we were.

Nikki Bush, Parenting expert

Our expectations become really unrealistic because you actually can't put the baby back... you will never be that person again who didn't have children.

Nikki Bush, Parenting expert

And the demands on you as an individual and as a couple once you become parents, are extreme, especially if you work and most are two-income families.

Nikki Bush, Parenting expert

Bush notes that we're biologically wired to nurture our children.

We have to become more consciously aware that if we don't find a way to fill our own emotional tap and re-fill our energy tank, how do we keep giving and filling their tanks.

Nikki Bush, Parenting expert

By the same token, if you're in a relationship how do we keep making that person feel important to us and loved?

Nikki Bush, Parenting expert

She warns against measuring love against the commercial values we're constantly bombarded with. Valentine's Day is a prime example.

That whole thing of 'what is love' - love is just a series of continual, congruent actions that all point in the same direction. It's not really about the flowers and the teddy bears and the chocolates.

Nikki Bush, Parenting expert

Bush says it's a perfect time to teach children about what love is, and isn't.

She emphasizes co-ordinating time for self-care, together.

Love also includes self-care and taking time to create intentional white space which, when you have very small children, is difficult to do in long periods of time.

Nikki Bush, Parenting expert

Maybe love between partners is ensuring that each of you - once a week - has the 15 or 20 minutes of alone time.

Nikki Bush, Parenting expert

For more insights from Nikki Bush, take a listen:


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