Finding the person you want to spend your life with is never easy, but when you're a parent, there's an extra layer of consideration. You're not just choosing the person you will spend lazy Sundays (and hurried weekday mornings) with—you're choosing the person your children will spend them with, too.
Jennifer Lopez and Alex Rodriguez have been choosing each other for two years and now the power couple (who each have two children from previous marriages) are making their blended family official.
On March 9 they announced their engagement by posting the same photo to both of their Instagram accounts. Lopez captioned a photo of their hands (and her massive ring) with a series of heart emojis, and Rodriguez captioned the same photo with three simple words: "she said yes."
Here are four ways J Lo and A-Rod are totally #parentinggoals when it comes to balancing the needs of their blended family.
1. They didn't rush
The couple's love for each other is clearly the real deal and they certainly didn't jump into this. Last year when J. Lo's Spanish language single "El Anillo" (which is Spanish for "The Ring") got people wondering if an engagement was looming, Lopez told People, she wasn't in any rush to walk down the aisle.
"I've done that before. I'm a little bit more grown up now, and I like to let things take their natural course," she said. "We are really kind of good for each other and are really having the best time, and our kids love each other, and all that."
It seems that now is the time for J Lo to give marriage another chance, and part of why this is such a great match is because the couple's kids mesh, too.
"I was so loving to his kids and he was so loving and accepting of mine, and they embraced each other right away," Lopez told People. "[It was] 'I get a new bonus brother and sisters to hang out with all the time and it's nice.'"
A Rod agrees. He told People: "Our kids have become best friends and that keeps us both grounded and appreciative."
2. They consider their children's other parents family, too
If their Instagrams are any indication, Rodriguez and Lopez have a great time hanging out with their blended family, but they understand that their children have other family members, too, and they don't mind hanging out with them.
An Instagram post proves Rodriguez considers Marc Anthony #famila, and that's how it should be.
Studies show supportive communication between a parent and their ex-partner's new partner is good for the family as a whole. Likewise, when the relationship between a parent and a stepparent is antagonistic, relationships beyond their own stuffer. It's truly better if a parent's co-parent and their current partner can hang.
3. They’re a united front with their co-parents
Rodriguez considers J Lo's ex family, and he also doesn't forget that (despite legal disagreements) his ex-wife plays a big role in his daughter's lives. So he celebrates their big co-parenting moments, like parent-teacher night.
Lopez, too, celebrates the times she and Anthony get together for their twins' big moments, and she told Kelly Ripa the two are now in a really great place, and basically best friends. "The kids get to spend time with the two of us more together and see us working together," she said."It's just good for the whole family," says Lopez.
4. They make time for each other without the kids
Having all four kids together at once looks like fun, but hanging out with three 10-year-olds and a teen also sounds like it could be a little exhausting. That's why the couple takes time to unwind, without the kids, when they can.
As J Lo wrote in a recent Instagram post, "it's the lil quiet moments that matter the most."
[A version of this story was originally published July 12, 2018. It has been updated.]