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How Having Children Changes Your Life and Marriage

Updated on August 16, 2017

This article is a testimony of how children change your life (big times!) and how my husband and I survived.

I guess in short, the ingredients for survival are:

  • Sticking together and helping each other.
  • Putting up with a messy house.
  • Finding ays to communicate.
  • Keep the intimacy up.
  • Creating opportunities to talk.
  • And of course being loving and understanding, especially under stress.

A Baby: What a Life Changing Experience!

Marriage after children can be hard, but fortunately most couples survive.

No more us before anything else, no more free schedule. Without having to word it out, you know that the priority was now to protect that new tiny person and do your best to make him/her grow to be best possible individual.

You decline seeing friends because of napping schedules. You practically only go to family-friendly events, and slowly your child-less friends disappear from the radar.

The Beginning: Falling Deeply in Love

You met, fell in love, your lives entangled, joined, and fused. Your spirits leaped and magically hyped in unison. You learned the joy of sharing all the important moments, both the serious and silly ones. You spent hours on the phone talking about who-knows-what...

Family of five
Family of five | Source

Tying the Knot, for as Long as You Shall Live

Then you got married, you really enjoyed the beginning of the rest of your lives, so promising! The joy of finally falling asleep embraced each night, talking about anything that crossed your minds, in full sentences, without interruptions. Whole weekends dedicated only to togetherness, often in the confinement of your bedroom.

Of course marriage brings challenges too, one being transitioning from being your own separate entity to belonging to a team, thinking for two; understanding that each decision effects and involves both of you. I sure had to learn how to think as two.

Becoming a better team player cut down in misunderstandings and discussions a lot. Everything was going great.

Until one day, you’ve got the sweet news of a positive pregnancy test.

Happy Family with newborn baby
Happy Family with newborn baby | Source

The Happy Day: Holding Your Bundle of Joy

Delight, panic, happiness, and the stress of the upcoming responsibility fills your minds with conflicting feelings - especially mom’s, so hormone altered and with a spiked emotional sensitivity.

The bundle of joy is now in your arms, looking at you with trusting and expectant eyes, like you were supposed to know what to do.

The immensity of parenthood love hit your happy and loving hearts and changed them forever.

Look at Life as a Pie: There Is Only so Much to Go Around.

When you try to throw anything else into a busy schedule – like girls night out or picking up a new sport or hobby –you risk to throw the pie off, making the things you like most suffer for it.

There is only so much pie to go around

Example of life as a pie. You can call your slices of pie anything that you spend time doing in your week, but there is only so much pie, and adding one thing will have to sacrifice another.
Example of life as a pie. You can call your slices of pie anything that you spend time doing in your week, but there is only so much pie, and adding one thing will have to sacrifice another. | Source

The Smartest Idea: Let's Have Another Child!

Things are going pretty well, you start feeling comfortable with your new life-style, you even like the role of parents, and you get the smartest idea: let’s have another kid!

And when the second little blessing of life arrives, what a joy!

... Then life as you knew it is really over.

Bye-Bye Full Sentence Conversations

Don’t you love family time? The kids are funny and lively, a joy to have around. But trying to have a decent conversation with your spouse is now a luxury, even finishing a sentence is a challenge.

No matter how many times you explain it, kids don’t seem to get the interrupting thing, or do they just smartly ignore it?

Oh, the Joys of Parenthood! - My Experience

When my oldest was 3 ½ years old, our daughter was born. We really wanted a second child, and we’ve been blessed with a boy and a girl, as healthy and as beautiful as they could be.

After few week of maternity leave, I went back to my job. A full time job. And my husband continued his busy schedule of working 10-12 hours a day. Oh, Lord!

With both of us working full time and two small children, taking care of housework and errands became unbearable. Things started falling behind.

No more taking turns watching the baby while the other spouse got things done, now in many situations we had to split, each parent taking care of one child. Divide and conquer, we called it, but in reality we were stretching it too thin.

No Time for Yourself, and Plenty of Guilt Feelings

The image I remember og that period is being in a black tunnel, where I had no time or opportunities to do anything for myself.

I used to fill the gaps between work, home, cooking, and errands with plenty of guilt feelings, for fear of not being a good mom and wife.

My husband and I would both collapse each night during the children's bed routines.

The house was a mess, we both gained weight, our intimacy took a dive.

Not to mention two pairs of little feet trying to sneak into our bedroom at all times of night. Thank Goodness we both agreed to be very firm on not allowing the kids to sleep with us, and we proudly nipped it in the bud.

Waking up still sleepy and an inexplicable pain on your lower back?
Waking up still sleepy and an inexplicable pain on your lower back? | Source

How Did I Get Out of the Ditch?

Most days I felt like screaming; so many things I wanted to do and I had no time for any, so many things I had to do, and I was falling behind on those too.

On top of it, I kept feeling guilty that my children were in daycare for 10 hours a day, and I was spending very little quality time with them.

I decided to approach my boss and see if she would let me work only part-time for 6 months. Thank Goodness she approved the temporary part-time, because I was ready to leave my beloved job (which I left anyway few years later due to relocation, but that’s another story).

Even working part-time, days went in a blur, but much smoother. I realized how much of my edginess and lack of patience was due to stress. Reducing the job related stress helped me being more cheerful, having more time to get things done, made me feel in control, and the whole family benefitted from my new positive outlook.

Of course the children grew older too, and became more independent, which surely helps.

Still today, to be able to have a conversation with my husband and some us time, we treat ourselves to lunch together, either eating out or packing our lunches.

Also, I really enjoy when he calls me on Skype from work, just to update on how things are going. We talk only for a few minutes, but seeing each other in the middle of the day has a special feel to it.

I Would Do It All Over Again

I love my children so much, and they give me the deepest joy and the loudest laughs.

No matter what I had to go through with them (and still do): sleepless nights, poopy clothes, vomit-filled sheets, tantrums, terrible twos, and worse threes, I would do it all over again in a heartbeat.

Children are such a joy, and they are mirrors of the household situation, so if you strive to keep your home serene and worry-free, they will benefit of the calm environment and be even more lovely beings.

Source: ©RobieBenve, all rights reserved.

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    • Robie Benve profile image
      Author

      Robie Benve 5 years ago from Ohio

      Tina, I just watched the video with your daughter going hunting with daddy, too cute! I'm not into hunting at all, but it's great to see the images of your girls bonding with daddy and making their own discoveries. Kids definitely change our lives, but they make it richer too.

      Thanks for reading and commenting.

    • Tina0607 profile image

      Christina 5 years ago from Baltimore, MD

      I find this very useful & cute. I have 2 girls ages 6y & 5y. They are 15 months apart. Both love to hunt & fish (w/daddy) but also love to be girly girls as well!! Great reading!

    • Robie Benve profile image
      Author

      Robie Benve 5 years ago from Ohio

      Hi Marcy, can you tell I'm a very visual person? It always helps me to "see" how things are to understand better consequences and options. Thanks for your support. :)

    • Marcy Goodfleisch profile image

      Marcy Goodfleisch 5 years ago from Planet Earth

      Your pie chart is sobering - what a terrific visual tool for showing us how thin we are spread through the areas of our lives. My children are a blessing, but gosh, I sure didn't know what I was getting into! Voted up and up!

    • editorsupremo profile image

      editorsupremo 5 years ago from London, England

      Thanks Robie, that's a good idea, I think I write a hub on how I brought up my three children and how it was a positive experience on my marriage. Just as a heads-up I had premature twin boys who were born at 30 weeks but we managed to look after them, care for their 3 year old sister, work and still keep the love interest in our marriage!!

    • Janine Huldie profile image

      Janine Huldie 5 years ago from New York, New York

      Thanks Robie. Believe me I love my girls more than life itself, but my life is truly crazy and insane at times. Wouldn't change it for the world, but can totally admit it was not what I thought it would be like to have kids and definitely take each new day as it comes if that makes sense.

    • Robie Benve profile image
      Author

      Robie Benve 5 years ago from Ohio

      editorsupremo, I knew it, you are my new hero. You should write a hub on how you managed that (if you haven't already). It's too late for me, but many could benefit from your experience. :)

    • Robie Benve profile image
      Author

      Robie Benve 5 years ago from Ohio

      Hey Janine, look at the bright side: the days with the little ones that are now absolutely crazy, one day will be fun memories . :) In the meanwhile, hang in there and be strong. You are not alone. :)

    • editorsupremo profile image

      editorsupremo 5 years ago from London, England

      Oh don't get me wrong, I did focus on my childrens' needs and provided everything they needed, but to a routine that benefited everyone, so sleepness nights were over in 6 weeks, nap time meant I could tidy the house and when they were awake I could focus on them and have fun.

    • Robie Benve profile image
      Author

      Robie Benve 5 years ago from Ohio

      @ editorsupremo, it's refreshing to hear that you have been so successful at making your children's routine adjust to your life style.

      I worked hard to establish a good routine for my children, but I admit I was mainly focused on their needs, not on mines, so I guess I let them determine my own schedule quite a bit.

      Thanks for reading and taking the time to comment. :)

    • Janine Huldie profile image

      Janine Huldie 5 years ago from New York, New York

      I can truly relate to your article. I have 2 little girls, who are 16 months apart. My Emma is 3 years old this July and my Lily is 19 months old. My husband and I also waited until our 30's to have them and were married over 3 years before we had our first. We love them dearly, but trust me everything you wrote could apply to us right now. I am a SAHM right now and have a Master's degree and was a teacher who lost her job due to the economy. We felt that it was not worth making very little and me using that money for daycare, but trust me even the best day can be absolutely crazy with 2 little ones. Not to diminish anyone's opinions, but those who say it is easy having children and that they will follow the parents' schedules I give them credit for finding a way to do this, because after 3 years I am still just finding my way everyday.

    • Robie Benve profile image
      Author

      Robie Benve 5 years ago from Ohio

      Thanks Paul, I appreciate you reading and your comment. :)

    • editorsupremo profile image

      editorsupremo 5 years ago from London, England

      Interesting hub on one aspect of how kids can change a marriage. We had children in our 30s and we firmly believed that they would fit into our routine and not theirs. Whilst having them changed our marriage, it was in a positive way. We still socialised, traveled and had fun, whilst holding down jobs (p/t and f/t). When my daughter was 6 months we went hiking in Snowdonia, I was breast-feeding so food was on tap and the rest was just changing nappies and lots of cuddles!!

      The tip to having a children make a positive effect on marriage is to remember that the little tikes depend on you, so you should set the routine and not run your life on their time-table!

    • Paul Kuehn profile image

      Paul Richard Kuehn 5 years ago from Udorn City, Thailand

      This is a very useful hub an accurately describes how having kids changes a marriage. Voted up and sharing.

    • Robie Benve profile image
      Author

      Robie Benve 5 years ago from Ohio

      I totally understand the love/hate feeling. :) I don't know how old you are, but we did not try to have children until we felt ready, so we ended up in our 30s.

      Thanks for reading. :)

    • profile image

      WhydThatHappen 5 years ago

      I have a love/hate relationship with the idea of having children right now, and this hub does nothing but intensify that- that makes it useful