WICHITA – May 14, 2013 – It often seems like there aren’t enough hours in the day. Raising kids, being a loving spouse and tending to other daily responsibilities can be a lot to handle for one person. Love Letters from Kansas, a public awareness campaign sponsored by Catholic Charities of Kansas that promotes the benefits of healthy relationships through free relationship education and marriage enrichment workshops, encourages Kansans to learn how to strike a healthy balance between their marriages and family lives.
Whether you’re new parents or preparing to become empty nesters, kids change the dynamics of a romantic relationship. Toss careers and friends into the mix and you might feel like you never see your spouse one-on-one. Taking time to nurture a healthy bond with your husband or wife not only benefits your relationship, it can also help you approach parenting as a team and set a positive model for your children to follow.
Carol Ummel Lindquist, Ph.D., author of Happily Married with Kids: It's Not Just a Fairy Tale, recommends several pointers for those looking to balance a healthy marriage and children:
• Create warm welcomes: Greet each other with hugs and kisses regularly. The affection will help reinforce that you’re close to one another.
• Try short reconnects: While date nights are great opportunities to connect with your spouse, you might not always have time or money to do so. Try to make time for a quick walk or drive the kids somewhere together and chat on the ride home.
• Set early bedtimes: Not only will the schedule give your kids a healthy night’s sleep, it will also guarantee time together at the end of the day.
• Share the load: Work together to complete household chores. You’ll share time with each other and there won’t be any resentment for a person not doing his or her fair share.
• Encourage kids’ independence: The more your little ones know how to do things on their own, the less they’ll need your constant guidance and attention. The time saved can be spent on your relationship.
• Revive the past: Remember the dates and adventures you had when you first got together? Try doing some of them again. Nostalgia can help you remember the way you were together before you had children and as a result, strengthen your marriage.
“It is possible for married couples to stay connected through the busy shuffle of day-to-day life,” said Melissa Grelinger, interim executive director, Catholic Charities, Diocese of Wichita. “It could be as quick as a text message while you’re both at work. If you focus on strengthening your marriage, you’ll improve your family life at the same time. In our relationship education and marriage enrichment
workshops, we help individuals and couples learn how to effectively balance priorities.”
Catholic Charities of Kansas offers free workshops and support services in communities throughout the state to help couples find balance between their family and romantic relationships and much more. Free relationship education and marriage enrichment workshops are open to singles and couples, regardless of faith, who are looking for tips and tools to enrich existing or future relationships. Find more information on upcoming workshops, as well as other resources to improve your relationship, at www.KansasLoveLetters.com.
About Catholic Charities of Kansas and the Love Letters from Kansas campaign:
In October 2011, Catholic Charities of Kansas received a $1.4 million grant from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Administration for Children and Families, Office of Family Assistance to provide free relationship education workshops and services to meet family needs throughout Kansas. This grant expands current Catholic Charities of Kansas Marriage for Keeps workshops and services offered in Dodge City, Garden City, Great Bend, Wichita, Pittsburg, Salina, Manhattan, Junction City, Ft. Riley, Topeka, Lawrence, Emporia and Kansas City. These workshops and services include relationship (Within My Reach) and marital (Within Our Reach) education, assistance with accessing community services, employment and career development and parenting classes. Spanish-speaking workshops are also available. The Love Letters from Kansas public awareness campaign educates Kansans on the value of marriage and relationship stability for communities across the state as well as encourages enrollment in local relationship education workshops offered by Catholic Charities of Kansas. For more information, visit www.KansasLoveLetters.com.