Does having kids change marriage? Like most people, you might have asked yourself this question at some point in your life. No doubt, bringing a life into existence is one of the most magical things that you and your loved one will ever share in this lifetime. Ideally, your child should fit perfectly into your lives and make very little impact to your marriage, right? Sorry, but that is practically impossible unless you are one of the few lucky ones out there. If you are anything close to the millions of other couples around, this magical experience will feel less of a blessing and more of a curse to your relationship especially in the initial days.
It is bittersweet – on one hand you are sinking deep into this unconditional love you have for your child but on the other hand, you know you are compromising on the quality of your marriage – and you can see it being damaged right before your very eyes.
So does having kids change marriage? Yes it does. As soon as you hold that cute little being in your arms, you will come into the painful realization that it is the end of your married life as you know it so far. Having children affects marriage; in fact it changes the entire dynamic of your relationship. The transition from coupledom to tripledom is exciting, wonderful, and exhausting. The combination of all these extreme emotions can be toxic to any romantic relationship if not handled well.
Does having kids change marriage? How?
When a baby arrives, he/she comes with added responsibilities, which means added pressure that is likely to make both of you unusually edgy. You might find things that didn’t bother you before annoying. Your partner’s spontaneous trait, the one that made him/her fun, now goes by a new name; disorganization. You might even find that you will hate your partner a little courtesy of the infamous baby blues.
The bad news is that maintaining keeping your marriage strong after kids requires the one thing you are running low of right now, energy. The not-so-bad news is that you are going to use your energy anyway, either working on your marriage or staying annoyed at your spouse. The only difference is that the latter does not benefit anyone and will lead to marriage problems after children. So, how do you work on your marriage after having a baby? Here are a few tips on how to resolve marriage problems after children.
Chores will double if not triple once a baby comes into the picture. At first go, you might not see how this is even an issue since most of these chores were there long before the baby came into the picture. Sure, laundry and cleaning had to be done before but now there is little room for procrastination, if any. Laundry has to be done daily, sometimes more than once, or it will stain and stink; the baby has to be fed on time and the mess to be cleaned up is likely to be messier. With an infant in your arms, chores will be a loathsome experience. With so much to be done, getting everything done and still maintaining your sanity can be tricky.
You can keep score and complete the chores using a system that divides the chores equally among both partners. However, most people tend to feel nagged, which can eventually result in resentment being built up. To avoid this, make a duty roster and switch the duties daily or weekly. That way, you will not have to ask your spouse to do things constantly. Even with a duty roster, you might feel like your partner is not pulling his/her weight. In such situations, remind yourself and them that the household tasks have significantly increased and the need to step up.
If you still feel overburdened, do not let it get to you to the point of acting out. Instead ask for help. Do not assume that stating what needs to be done means your spouse will volunteer to take care of it. Your partner is likely to help you with something when you ask for it directly. Finally, thank your partner for the tasks successfully completed. It may seem unfair that you should thank someone for doing their duties but a simple ‘thank you’ will make your partner more receptive to requests in future. Furthermore, it will create a more conducive atmosphere around your home, which is a major aspect of keeping your marriage strong after kids.
Having a strong marriage after having a baby requires that you spend time together. However, with all the things that you have to do in one day, you are unlikely to cover everything on your to-do list. Spending quality time with your partner is most likely to fall below the cutoff line on your to-do list.
You have probably heard that the best way to strengthen your marriage after having a baby would be to plan dates, just like you did before the baby. However, with so much in your plate, you probably won’t have time for those all so special date nights. In case you DO get a chance to go out on dates, you may not even enjoy it as much. You will have to take the baby with you or you will be on your phone half the time checking on the baby, or you will be worried about all the things the sitter could miss or get wrong the entire time.
For the ladies, date night is that time when you get to find out how uncomfortably strong your bond with the baby is. That is the turning point, the time when the answer to the question – does having kids change marriage hits you like a hammer. There is an innate instinct that will bond you and the baby but you should remind yourself that being away from the baby for a short time. Spending time with your spouse will keep both of you sane and strengthen your relationship. At the beginning it will be hard but do it anyway, it gets easier and the best part is it pays in spades.
As you might have gathered, your priorities turn upside down immediately the baby arrives, and this includes your sex life. If you have a good libido and are left wondering does having kids change marriage, then this is going to be an important point for you. First, you will have to wait about 42 days after delivery before you can have sex. After the 6 weeks you will get a go ahead from your doctor but your body might not be ready for it. After everything the woman’s body goes through sex might be slightly uncomfortable, it might even hurt. Throw stress, sleepless nights, exhaustion and hormonal imbalance in the mix and you could be looking at months of a sexless marriage. If you are not ready to get naked under the sheets, do not rush into it but communicate to your partner. Explain how you feel and discuss the way forward together.
When you do get in the mood, you will find that sex will be a hassle. It is almost impossible to have sex in between nap times when you are tired and running around to get chores done while covered in slobber. Having date nights will help you in creating time and the mood for sex. Get a sitter, dress up and flirt like you used to will definitely light a spark. Lastly, make your bedroom a baby free zone. Having toys poking out on your back when you are trying to have sex will kill the mood faster than any amount of slobber ever will.
Making good decisions is a great part of parenting. From feeding and sleeping times to disciplining methods to important child-rearing philosophies, you will have your hands full. The unfortunate thing is that you are unlikely to agree on each of these decisions. Even if you have talked about some of these issues, you are unlikely to predict how you will feel about certain issues when they come up. When you are on your fifth night up with the baby, you might find that your views on different sleep-training methods might change.
When your parenting styles clash, it might help to let each party deal with the consequences of his/her parenting style. If your partner who is babysitting decides to let the baby sleep outside of the scheduled naps, do not fight over it but instead let he/she stay up with the baby at night if that is the consequence. Don’t be shy to seek assistance from books, professionals, family and friends.
So does having kids change marriage? Yes, having children affects marriage. There are going to be challenges but bringing a new life into existence and caring for it as a team will make your relationship stronger than you could have possibly imagined. Even with the ups and downs on the road, you will have moments when you will fall in love all over again. If you can find ways of keeping your marriage strong after kids, you can make it through just about anything.
What are your thoughts on this? If you care to share some of your tips on this fascinating topic, don’t hesitate to use the comments section below! And while you are at it, take a look at this fantastic article that we found on this topic.
We look forward to hearing from you 🙂