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Inside: Marriage after kids comes with challenges that I never imagined before. Even if it’s hard to admit, parenthood has taken a toll on our marriage. And we do our best to not let hard days affect our relationship.
I wake up and the first thing I saw was my husband’s face. He was sleeping next to me and I cuddled next to him. I wanted to enjoy a few more quiet moments before starting the day.
But my son had different plans. I heard his little steps getting closer and soon he was slipping into the middle of the bed, between us.
A few hugs later he asked us to wake up and go to the living room.
As he was searching for some tiny pieces in the Lego box I started to talk with my husband about some vacation plans. But we only got the chance to exchange a few phrases and the interruptions started.
The blue piece from the Lego design was missing. The cereals got scattered on the kitchen table. Or the toy car race couldn’t start without us watching it.
By the time we were able to return to our discussion, it was already late and we needed to get ready to leave the house. Instead of enjoying a nice conversation we started to throw tasks at each other. Packing things, putting dishes in the dishwasher, making sure that all the tasks on our son’s morning routine get checked.
In the middle of that little morning chaos, we gave up the idea of having any meaningful interaction.
When we finally got out the door things seemed to finally be back under control.
We started making plans for the evening. But as my husband was talking the interruptions started again. I stopped to explain to our son why he cannot play in the front seat because we are late. I asked him to get into his seat and this brought some more talking and negotiating.
By the time we were getting out of the garage, all I could hear was a combination of children songs from my son’s favorite CD and him talking about dinosaurs.
“You never listen to me anymore”, my husband told me when my son finished his story about dinosaurs.
“Maybe if you would help me more I wouldn’t have to take care of everything and I would have more time to listen to you”, I replied with an angry voice.
What should have been a pleasant conversation about our evening turned into a fight.
We ended up agreeing that we will try to do better next time. But even if we finished the fight in a positive manner it still affected both of us.
After he went to work I kept thinking about the toll that parenthood has taken on our marriage.
All the chaotic mornings when we don’t even get the chance to have a decent conversation.
All the busy days when taking care of a young child leaves us with no time for our relationship.
Or all the evenings that find us too tired to spend quality time together.
Parenthood has brought us so many wonderful moments! We have an amazing son and we are grateful for all the joy and love that he brought to our lives! But we still struggle with finding the right balance between our roles as parents and our marriage.
We had so many ups and downs in the last years! We had good times and bad times, we found balance and we lost it again, we felt defeated and we learned to fall in love again.
Most of the days we do our best to overcome all these challenges together. And we were lucky to discover this change that saved our marriage in the first years of parenthood.
But then there are those days when I feel hopeless. When I’m afraid that parenthood has taken such a huge toll on our marriage that we won’t find the strength to recover. When making room for happy moments together seems so hard!
We both make mistakes and we try to learn from them. But sometimes our strong emotions get the best of us. At times we feel frustrated and overwhelmed.
And even if this is hard to admit, we sometimes feel alone even if we are together because we don’t really get to connect and enjoy each other.
I know that it takes a commitment to make our relationship work in this busy season of our lives. I know that we have overcome many challenges before and this gives me hope when things get hard.
We love each other and this is the only certainty that we have.
The last years have taught me that it takes effort to keep a strong relationship in the midst of trying to be good parents for our son.
A few days ago I joined the Marriage Club, an online membership created by the Dating Divas that offers tips and ideas for a happier marriage. I knew that I needed a strong commitment to helping me focus on my couple relationship and this club is exactly about this!
I like that it’s a club for both me and my husband because the only chance to make things work is to make this commitment together. Hopefully, this decision will bring us less hard days and add more joy and connection to every single day.
I don’t believe in magic solutions for building a happy marriage. But I believe in the power of being intentional about building the relationship we want. And I truly hope that this will help us overcome all the obstacles along the way.
More from Playful Notes
- Dear husband, thank you for always being there for me
- One year of date ideas for happy couples: A love coupon book for parents
- 30 reasons why I love you: A jar of love notes for my husband
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