Mamas, welcome Jasmine this week! She wrote a wonderful post on marriage, loving your spouse, the perfect life with your hubby…but wait, she also included life with babies and hubby! 🙂 Because if we all have at least one kiddo, we know that marriage and raising a child can oftentimes be a little hectic. This is why I asked Jasmine to write a post on the realities of marriage after children and why it’s so important to keep that burning love goin’!
Once upon a time there was a Princess. And she met a handsome Prince. After dating for a few months, they decided to get married. And then – surprise! They found out they were going to have a Baby! Nine months later, they have a little family. And they live Happily Ever After.
That’s the fairy tale version, anyway. What they don’t tell you? Well, that side of the story is a little more detailed…
Deciding to take that huge commitment jump from “dating” to “holy matrimony” isn’t something you want to do on a whim. It takes careful consideration for yourself and your life goals; as well as that of your partner. But once you are married, you think that the hard life-altering decisions are over, right? Just wait until you decide to have kids…
Oh, you already decided to? Or you just found out you’re expecting? Well first, congratulations! Now,
I’ll stop beating around the bush: You want to know how this will affect your marriage, right?
I’d be a liar if I told you it wouldn’t. Letting you believe the Princess and her Prince still roam about the castle as they please, with not a care in the world as they play with their pet dragons and new baby in tow, would be just irresponsible of me. Life as a married couple, after Baby, is a bit more complicated now that another person is added to the equation.
It’s going to take a lot of readjustment. Right now, you’re probably used to those nice, quiet dinners with your spouse, where you can both talk about how the day went and enjoy each other’s company. Cherish these days – once you have a baby, you’ll be lucky if you both actually have dinner at the same time.
Even if you don’t co-sleep, since one (or the both) of you will routinely be up tending to the little addition every few hours (if you’re lucky), you can also expect to seldom go to bed together at the same time.
Date nights that took place at least once a week previously, will more than likely be placed on hold for an undetermined amount of time. And when the baby is old enough that you both feel comfortable leaving them with a sitter – you probably still won’t go out for that dinner and a movie date, because you’ll be too exhausted.
Still with me? Okay, before you rethink the whole ‘Family’ thing, hear me out…
Remember the whole reason you got married? SO you could spend the rest of your life with the person you love?
Even after all the changes that starting a family brings, remember that is factor will not change. It’s enhanced, really. You are creating a family with the person you love.
So are you going to have days where it’s as if you barely even see the person you’re married to, because you are so busy with your new baby? Sure. Even as your child is older…will it ever go back to “just the two of you?” No, it will not. But that’s the point. As a couple, you have decided that you love each other enough to start a family, and literally watch the blend of two hearts walk this earth. Your marriage will go through some changes, but trust me; in the long run, they are beneficial, and totally worth it.
Instead of those laid-back, chill nights spent cuddling on the couch, binge watching Breaking Bad and swapping stories about your jobs or gossiping about separate circles of friends…you’ll be spending time together raising your child! Bath time, play time, story time…and you’ll want to do these things!
You may not get as much alone time together, but you will get plenty of opportunity to spend time as a family together. And I think this makes your bond as a married couple stronger. And when you do come across those moments where you can enjoy time without the kids, you’ll cherish it that much more.
The main thing to remember amidst the hectic craziness of running a household, work, and keeping everything going with the kids – is to talk. Even if you only have a few minutes at a time with your spouse, keep talking. It’s hard not to become distant when you aren’t spending a lot of alone time together, but make the effort to keep some kind of connection going.
Whether you’re texting throughout the day, talking as you clean baby up after dinner, keeping a conversation going while the kid’s play…maintain interaction with your spouse. And let them know you still love them-even with spaghetti in their hair from feeding the toddler.
Making arrangements for alone time, when possible, and talking every chance you get, has honestly, for
us (my husband and I) been the glue that has held us
together. Because children are stressful, and the last thing you want making your marriage difficult, are feelings of loneliness and rejection, from partners just being too tired or too busy to connect with one another.
If you really can’t find a babysitter, then make the effort yourselves to set aside some time for just the two of you. If it takes staying up until 2 am, hiding in the shower so you can kill multiple birds with one stone, then do it. Have a nice conversation with your spouse, while bathing, (maybe a lil “bow chicka wow wow”) in the short amount of time you have before the kid wakes up for another glass of water.
It’s never going to be the same fairy tale marriage you’ve heard of…but with some effort, your marriage will still go on, and become stronger, after the children are born.
Jasmine is a married SAHM of one small boy. She is an avid lover of wine & Netflix, who lives in Georgia, and enjoys writing in what little time she has.