Challenges Of Marriage With Kids
Marriage is a lot tougher than I ever thought it would be! I mean......WOAH! It's kind of like having a new sibling to fight and argue and bicker with, as weird as that may sound, I have the same urges to punch my husband in the face just as I sometimes had with my brothers. Except I'm a lot closer to my husband and of course it's a completely different dynamic.
I love my husband so much. I married young (21) and it's only been 3 years since we tied the knot. Every year I feel like we are maturing more and more and growing together. However, there are plenty of challenges in marriage especially with young children. And our own immaturity contributes to our lack of proper communication sometimes, but I'm sure everyone young and old can attest to some of these challenges. Let's break them down, shall we?:
I'm a stay at home mom, my husband is a Glazier in the local Union. He wakes up up far before I do and is out of the house before anyone wakes and comes home around dinner time, completely exhausted. He has a long, traffic-ridden commute on top of a physically exhausting day, so I try to let him relax as much as possible to give him time to unwind from his day. That means that the week days are not ideal for "couple time".
Usually, he eats and then lays down for video games or football and is NOT in the mood for my antics. It's hard because I've been around kids all day and I want nothing more than a grown up conversation and a nice break myself. But I know that's a sacrifice I have to make in choosing to be a stay at home mom. I take on ALL of the duties of the kids during the week and he works full time to provide for us all. Not having time/energy during the weekdays for bonding, snuggles, convos, etc. when you really want it, can be really straining on the marriage. We see each other every day but, QUALITY TIME is usually lacking. Rare actually!
I feel the BURN!...Out that is. For every activity, teacher meeting, doctor appointment, grocery shopping, school drop offs and pick ups, meltdowns, meals, cleaning, the list goes on and on.....That's all on me. My husband is constantly feeling burn out too. At the end of the day we still have fights to separate and negotiating to do over 3 more bites of dinner, it can really send a person into their darkest place. Fatigue and kids do not mix well. Fatigue, kids and a spouse........That's just a disaster brewing.
We've been able to find our rhythm when it comes to the kids but it still falls on me a lot of the time because I have way more patience with them at night than my husband does. I feel resentment towards him a few times a week due to burnout and a never ending list of things to do. Still getting used to having school aged children that need to be somewhere on time in the morning and in bed at a decent hour. Kids come first, then my hubs. Sad, but true and puts a damper on our marriage at times.
ONLY HEADS TO BITE OFF ARE EACH OTHER'S
Pretty self-explanatory. Kids are stressful, jobs are stressful, outside life is stressful, marriage is stressful, EVERYTHING IS STRESSFUL!!!! Who can we take it out on? Only each other. We are each other's counselors and enemies, and best friend all wrapped in one bundle. It's a magical thing if you land on a day where you feel like best friends. If it's an enemy day....not so much.
Kids are expensive! Preschool, uniforms, bottomless food pits, clothes, car seats, diapers, dr visits, haircuts, fundraisers, boys scouts, school pictures, weekend activities. It seems like there's never enough money in the paycheck for self pampering after bills are paid and the kid's have what they need. We push off our own hair cuts and new clothes to help the budget and it still seems like we can never get ahead. Most available money goes to the kids. When we can't get what we need every now and then to make ourselves feel good, it's just another strain on our marriage. My goal is to better plan out the budget for occasional spoil days for ourselves to get new clothes or haircuts or whatever else WE need. For now, it's still a challenge.
Now, all of this isn't meant to bring you down. Life in general comes with many challenges that affect your spirits. You just have to get into a rhythm that works for you and your family. It may take time, but after you've found it, all the tasks become a little easier. Knowing my place and remembering that my JOB is to take care of the kids, helps me through the week. When the weekend finally arrives, I try to make sure that everyone has fun in some way or another. A family trip to our amusement park, or dining out for brunch, going on a walk, or letting everyone have a tv day to relax in their pjs all day. The weekends are my favorite.
During the week, just remember to be kind to your spouse. Both of you are feeling the same stress and are both tired. Don't beat yourself up, either. It's normal to question your sanity sometimes. Being a parent and a wife/husband takes effort and lots of LOVE and PATIENCE!
A marriage is about being with someone through the highest and lowest parts of their life and everything in between. It's giving space when needed and welcoming them back with open arms when they're ready for comfort and closeness. It's loving them no matter what and sticking together like GLUE when shit gets tough.
So make your spouse a love filled snack, even if it's just salami and crackers. Be the one to change the dirty diaper when neither of you want to do it. Put the load of laundry in and stay up a little longer to make sure it gets into the dryer so your spouse has clean clothes in the morning. be goofy together. Be sexy together. Be bored together. Binge Netflix together, the good and the bad. Be madly in love. get mad, annoyed, and frustrated. Then make up and move on and do it all over again. Every. Single. Day. Marriage is a wonderful opportunity for growth. Stay with it and enjoy the ups and downs. Appreciate the fact that you can FEEL the love, the pain, all the feelings that you can share within the comfort of each other.Live for today and LOVE for tomorrow.
Stay tuned for my next post on "Fun Family Activities" for ideas on how to make the most of your time together!