Becoming a parent has immensely changed my relationship with my Husband. We have even sought marriage counseling because, man, this raising humans business is rough! Fun, but rough.
Fellow blogger Kate from Blending Lives talks with us how having kids has changed her marriage:
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We, parents, know that becoming a parent changes your life drastically. Even people who don’t have kids know this.
You go to college, get a job, start a career, get married and then you have kids. Not all families follow this order. In fact, many people don’t.
Whatever the order is, having kids changes how the rest of your life is going to go.
I’m not saying that once you have kids, you won’t be able to focus on your career, or you’ll never be as thin as you were before. But your life will never be the same as it was before kids. Your life will be BETTER! It will be full of struggles, obstacles,
It’s hard for me to hear that some people blame innocent kids for their failed life. You can do all of those things! In its own time, and it will be different, of course. But I think you can still have career and focus on the kids at the same time. Or you can take your kids to travel around the world. People do that.
With that being said:
Having kids has definitely changed my marriage. On top of that, I have a blended family. I have been married before and have a son. My husband has been married before and has a daughter. We both came into this marriage with kids and it drastically changed our marriage. In fact, we didn’t have our first wedding together, it was our second. We never had a “honeymoon phase” because it was never just the two of us. We didn’t have a “normal” family.
So, when we had a son together, it drastically changed. AGAIN.
How having kids affected my marriage?
It’s no surprise that having kids affects your financial situation. Both, my husband and I, came into our marriage with some financial obligations. The biggest was child support. My husband pays a lot of money for child support. And I, while receiving some child support money, spend money on my oldest as well. So, we never had all of our money combined that we spent on just us and our kids together. We had financial obligations that affected our marriage big time. Because, when our son was born, there were a lot of expenses. Normal expenses that come from having a baby. We just don’t live as freely when it comes to money as we used to. We have kids and, while it’s something we knew would happen, it’s really hard to predict how hard financially it would hit us.
When my husband and I were dating, we took a vacation to Miami together. We already had kids from previous marriages, but they were older and we could leave them with their other parents for a week. Now, that we have a baby, we can’t do that. We can’t do that not because we have a baby, but mainly because of the money. We have three kids and one salary, so we just don’t take vacations. We can’t afford it. I would love a vacation with just my husband and without kids, but right now, it’s not doable. Spending quality time together is very important in any relationship. You need to be able to just focus on each other and keep your marriage strong. For me, taking a vacation, just the two of us, would make us feeling refreshed so that we can come back and be better, more patient parents. Which brings me to my next point.
We just don’t give each other the same attention as we did before. Before we had our baby, two older kids would stay at their other parents’ houses half the time which gave us time for just the two of us. We could do whatever we wanted. We laid in bed until we were ready to get up, went places, watched whatever we wanted on TV and just hung out together. We gave each other a lot of attention because we could concentrate on each other. Once our son was born, it started being harder and harder to give each other attention. We were always focused on our baby, especially during the newborn phase. Therefore, our marriage suffered because we just didn’t spend time together. And I know that they say that you need to make time for each other, but by the time the day was over, we were so exhausted that all we wanted to do was go to sleep. We are working on it though.
Before kids, we could take our time making dinners, going to grocery stores and drinking enough water. It sounds ridiculous, but sometimes, we just can’t do it all. There are days where I forget to eat breakfast or lunch. Majority of days, if I drink a glass of water, it would be a good day. Kids keep you busy. I always make sure that my kids are full, not thirsty, dressed and bathed first before I even think of doing the same for myself. We, as parents, tend to forget to eat, skip meals because we just don’t have time, or say that we’ll have some water after we feed/bathe (insert anything) the kids, and then you forget about it. Our dinner plans consist of making easy and quick meals. I try to make healthy meals for my kids, but sometimes it’s hard to do the same for myself. Sure, it is not like that every day and I try to eat healthy as much as I can, but the reality is that it just doesn’t happen as often as when we didn’t have the kids.
I think this one is self-explanatory. You just don’t sleep as well as you did before you had kids. Never! Not when they are newborns, not when they are school aged, not even when they are teenagers or sometimes, even adults. I remember when my mom used to say that she could not fall asleep until I got home safely when I was 18 or 19 and went out. I could not understand why. Now I do. My kids are not even close to that age, but I know that is how I will feel. Not to mention, kids have nightmares and wake you up to comfort them even at an older age. I haven’t slept for longer than 4 hours at a time since I was in my third trimester with my second! And he is almost 9 months old.
The bottom line is:
When we become parents, everything changes. And because of those changes, the relationship between you and your partner changes as well. For some, these changes strengthen the relationship, for others, they break it, unfortunately. No matter what, it is very important to take steps to improve your marriage and keep it alive. Because, it’s you and your partner, who will be together long after the kids are grown and out of the house. Then, it’s just the two of you. And you need to have a good base in order to make the marriage work. It helps when you know how to identify in what ways exactly having kids effects your marriage. Because then you will know how you can improve it.
Having kids is a blessing and the best thing ever! I would never trade having kids for anything. You just can’t forget about your marriage.
About the author: Kate is a wife, mom to two boys and a step-mom to a girl. Her blog, Blending Lives, focuses on motherhood, parenting, marriage, stay at home moms on a budget and lifestyle. Her inspiration to start a blog came from wanting to help other parents overcome struggles that come with parenthood and also showcase mom lifestyle.
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