Can marriage survive small children?
Can a marriage survive small children?
The short answer is no…….
The birth of a child sends shock waves through most marriages, not all, but most. Children do strange things to a marriage. During the “early days” it turns two devoted lovers into sleep deprived, irritated idiots functioning with the sole purpose to get through the day, and the stress over time slowly begins to chip away at marriage happiness.
There is no doubt that my marriage have taken backseat in my pursuit to figure out motherhood. I’m not saying its right, but it happened. Resentment flared especially around 3AM after I have been up for hours trying to settle an upset baby while he sucked the walls in through his nostrils. There has also been many times where we have hurled insults at each other during phases of sleep deprivation and utter frustration, and arguments about seemingly petty issues turned a previously loving union into a battlefield.
From the minute my first son was born more than 3 years ago, I have literally been nothing but a mother….a good mother…..but little else.
Motherhood for me has been overwhelmingly satisfying, gratifying and fulfilling, but it has also been a journey of helicoptering guilt inducing personal battles, and it has completely consumed me.
Somehow overtime catching up on long-lost sleep or spending time with the kids and hearing their enthralled screams as we play hide and seek in the house became exceedingly more heart-warming than any sweet nothings my husband could whisper in my ear.
I read about this new “religion” that has infiltrated mothering in the 21st century, it’s called parenthood, and instead of God, we’ve made our children the center of our universe. This religion has been gaining more converts every day, and it requires thoughtless devotion from its practitioners. Our children should ALWAYS come first, and we accept this principle so instinctively today that we forget that it was not always so.
As I continue to read, the tightening in my chest confirmed, I am that parent.
Back in the day when we were children, parenthood was easier, more cheerful and to the point, yet in passing years it has morphed into a highly stressful, taxing and demanding task, with every parent under constant scrutiny and judgement for the most trivial actions.
Since I became a mother I have focused on the kids to the exclusion of everything else and it has encompassed my entire identity. Only now suddenly I’m starting to realise maybe it shouldn’t be that way.
Can a marriage survive children? The long answer….Yes.
As my youngest approach the 5 month mark, the dust starts to settle around the house and very slowly things are starting to return to normal, and I have time to ponder on this subject.
A valuable lesson my kids will have to learn later in life is that the world doesn’t revolve around them, and I would have to concentrate more on raising self-sufficient little humans rather than self-centered ones by example.
So for one I will not be practicing this “new religion” anymore.
In addition they need to know that we love them unconditionally, but first and foremost God is and should be the center of our universe.
Furthermore I realise that we should make our kids as well as our spouse priority, which would not only solidify our marriage but also by doing so we will be setting a solid example for our kids of how a healthy relationship should look.
And lastly I will enjoy the beautiful chaos that surrounds me every day, and start to appreciate a marriage that HAS survived the baby years.