Motherhood vs. Marriage
Updated: Feb 21, 2019
A letter to my husband
If you have a husband and children just by reading this title alone- you get it. This versus is relatable. We all have felt the shift our marriage or relationship makes when you add children to the mix. It really shouldn’t come as a surprise, since people have always told us how hard marriage can be and all of us have had or seen failed relationships before.
We know the insanely high divorce rate statistics but still we take the risk.
Why? Because it is worth it and usually in that space of time we are more than fine. Our relationship is newer and we are happy and maybe we have been through a few difficult life things and we truly can’t think of anything that would ever break us.
We think we are invincible.
For me, my relationship with my husband began with children. Which these days, is not so abnormal but it does heighten the challenge. Trying to date with two small children that have their own minds, mouths and agendas is pretty difficult. If you add the inconvenience of working full time, going to school full time and having a spread out family village to help you -it is just almost impossible.
I knew that I would find love one day- I am an alright human, but what I didn’t know was if my kids would find love and if that person would return that love and be everything to them and for them.
Little did we know, that love was even bigger than we could have expected. I truly believe that there are people in this world that are just born to be parents and have the genuine, selfless love, and patience built into them innately and that type of person is exactly what we found.
I am not going to sit here and say it was like we just met and boom life was rainbows and cute pics. It wasn’t that easy. There were moments I didn’t think it would work out. Moments I didn’t think he would want this hot mess of a life I lived. Moments where I didn’t think he would be what we needed. Moments where my kid is literally puking on him and I am crying and we don’t know where the cat is after looking for two hours and the other kid might have let it out, and our political views don’t match up and we are just like okay what the hell have we gotten into here.
The truth is, doing life together is hard. Being someone’s everything. Their best friend, their roommate, their co parent, their lover, just everything is hard. I used to think I could barely keep myself alive and now I have to keep all these kids and a man alive? Yikes. If you add our own personal struggles, insecurities and past relationship traumas into the mix- it becomes a lot. A lot to personally work through and a lot for the other person in your life to learn how to navigate through.
Plus, it is 2019 and as much as we fight the stance – we are truly disconnected from each other. As you and I sit here in silence in front of the television after a long day, staring at our phones or laptop screens for the only hour to two hours we have to spend with our significant other- it is easy to see why. Why divorce rates are growing. Why it is hard to have a simple conversation with the one we vowed to always be there for.
Motherhood or Fatherhood is not for the weak and neither is marriage. You better have a bullet proof vest and level 10 determination to make it through sometimes because words can dig really deep and saying you're sorry is really really hard.
In a few short years, we have been through job changes, illness, and the loss of family members. There have been financial stress and more “adult” decisions than I thought was even possible. And if we are being totally honest, I think we’d both admit that adding another baby to the mix has been one of the hardest changes of all.
We fight over things that wouldn’t exist if it weren’t for our kids—things like, who has to get up early on a Saturday with the crying baby, who is in charge of the discipline after the tantrum in the middle of the frozen food aisle, and who’s turn it is to get your kids poop to make it down the toilet pipe.
We spend very little time as just the two of us these days, and when we finally do find time, we usually spend it watching TV or watching the baby sleep. We don’t spend as much time talking and laughing and playing as we used to, because we are both so tired. When we get the chance, we just want to turn our brains off. We don’t want to think. We stare at our phones instead of each other. Some days, it feels like we hardly talk at all. And when we do, it’s often to take out our stress and frustration on one another.
We don’t go out with our friends as much as we used to and staying up late usually means 10:00. Our idea of partying is ordering pizza or Chinese so that neither of us has to cook or clean up the kitchen. Our most valued time together has went from comic cons and movie premieres to 11 am brunch at home with the kids and lots and lots of coffee or a family snuggle session while we all just stare in awe at the baby.
But, if my husband is reading this, I want you to know something.
This season? It hasn’t surprised me. I knew it would be challenging. And I’m not naive. I know that we aren’t going to “outgrow” the hard. It’s not like learning to ride a bike. You don’t just figure out the hard part once and then cruise through the rest of life. Each season ahead is bound to bring challenges of its own. I know our marriage will continue to change, and there are sure to be continued growing pains along the way.
Yes, it’s hard. So hard.
But it really boils down to the fact that it isn’t you vs. me and it’s not motherhood vs. marriage. We can have both. The season of this is hard. And there will be more hard seasons, no doubt. There will be days when I’m crazy about you and days when I don’t like you at all as a person.
There will be hardships and obstacles ahead like nothing we’ve ever faced before, and there will be times so wonderful that we will do everything in our power to hold onto them forever. We’ll face the boring and crazy, easy and hard, babies and budgets, wins and losses, joy and pain, long hours and sleepless nights. The seasons will just keep changing, and so will our life together.
But one thing will never change, the fact that I love this life and the person I am doing it with. Every. Single. Day.