Reflections on life, marriage, and a young woman who is constantly learning how much there will always be to learn!

Tuesday, October 04, 2005

This question is for mothers

Any mothers that happen to read this...

How does your life REALLY change once you have children? How do children affect your relationship with your husband? What is the best way to prepare for all of these changes?

No...I'm not expecting! But my husband and I have had some discussions about what kinds of changes children would bring to our lives and relationship. I'm looking to glean wisdom from moms who have been there.


Blogger Mrs. Happy Housewife said...

You have to stay focused on your marriage. You have to remember that you are a wife first, mother second. You have to constantly watch yourself for signs that you are neglecting your husband. Finding time to be intimate, emotionally and physically, is another problem. You can't put it off because you are too tired or are stressed. You have to make the relationship a priority. The kids will grow up and (probably) move out but you and your husband are pretty much stuck together so you better keep the spark alive. ;)

9:05 PM, October 04, 2005  
Blogger Carrie said...

Well, I'm not an expert, having only one child, but it's definitely true that having children enter the family does change things for you as a couple. As Mrs. HH said, it's so important to keep the spark alive in your marriage! Although that can be especially hard during those first exhausting months with a newborn. But it DOES get a lot easier as they grow. :)

My hubby and I were scared to death to have children. That probably sounds silly, but it's true! We were perfectly happy just being a couple, and waited nearly 4 years before starting our family. But once Sam came along, we truly wouldn't trade him for anything! He has brought so much joy to our lives, and I think having him has helped us grow closer as a couple.

I really don't know the best way to prepare for having children of your own; for us, we just grew into parenthood as we went along. Being pregnant kind of prepares you a little--you get used to sleepless nights now and then, LOL! One thing friends with kids told us before we had our own, was to enjoy every moment together as being just a couple, while you can, because once the kids come along, you don't get to be "just a couple" again for a number of years! We find that taking time out for dates is hugely refreshing--this gives some time away together for a few hours to reconnect while giving someone else the pleasure of enjoying your child! :) If you have family close by, as we do, they are usually always more than willing to do this.

I think one of the hardest things for us to get used to was just not being able to get up and go somewhere on the spur-of-the-moment like we used to. Things have to be planned a lot more. I remember one time when Sam was about 3 weeks old, I was just bawling my eyes out on the couch as I nursed him, because Jim had to take an unplanned trip about 1.5 hours away to pick up a friend whose truck had broken down, and I just didn't have the time to get ready to go with him, because he had to go NOW. (Of course that had to be when someone came to the door unexpectedly, wanting to see the new baby . . . LOL! I was a wreck!) But as I said before, things get better after the first few crazy weeks, and you settle into your new roles. And just know that when God gives you a beautiful new baby, He also gives you the intense love for that child, and the grace and strength to be the best parents you can.

Sorry, I wrote a book here . . . :) But in a nutshell: enjoy your couple time now, determine to always communicate and put each other first, and plan to enjoy all the children God blesses you with, when the time comes!

4:23 PM, October 05, 2005  
Blogger Erin said...

Thanks, ladies! I'm going to share these comments with hubby:o) We both need the assurance that, whenever the time is right that God blesses us with a child, things will be OK.

I've never actually witnessed, up close, the transition that a couple makes from two to adding a third little one. Our couple friends are all still in our place, without children yet. I'm really glad that both of you shared!

Carrie, myself being COMPLETELY unexperienced at parenthood, being scared to death doesn't sound silly at all! In fact, that's one reason I posted this question. I guess I want to hear...yes, the bad and the difficult...but how that is overcome. I'm glad to hear that you guys feel closer as a couple now because of your son (who is absolutely ADORABLE by the way:o). can write "a book" on my blog anytime you feel like it:o)

10:42 PM, October 05, 2005  
Blogger razorbackmama said...

This sounds terrible, but I can barely remember life before children? LOL! I guess since we have been married with children about 4 times as long as we were married without children???? I dunno....

Anyway! I think yeah, probably one of the biggest things is that we can't be as impulsive as we were before. We had a group of friends that we'd get together with frequently, and it wouldn't really matter how late we were out, where we went, what we did, etc. But when babies came along we had to be home by bedtime (usually), we couldn't just bee bop around town since we had a car seat to lug around (and usually other kiddos in tow as well!), etc.

It's very easy to let the urgent dictate our response to the important. For example, when we go out to eat it's all too easy to focus on what the children are needing me to help them with rather than actually talking about things with my husband. On the flip side of that though, I need to make sure that I'm talking with him at other times that are more appropriate. ;-)

I think it just comes with the realization that you're a family now and you will still be a family whenever a child comes along. You're just a slightly larger one. :-) There really is nothing to be SCARED of...maybe unsure and apprehensive, but it's all part of God's design anyway. :-) It's exciting and new and unfamiliar territory, but it's wonderful as well.

Children cause both parents to grow up and mature, so while the relationship changes somewhat (of course), it doesn't have to be a worse relationship, and children can often help a couple grow closer together.

4:30 PM, October 11, 2005  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hubby and I have been married just over 3yrs and i have been pregnant/nursing each year( #3 due Nov.)....that said we have seen the change dramatically!Raising babies is hard work, but very worth it.Its no longer about the two of you...its now about the two of you and this little person.For us it added strength and more purpose to our vows because if there is no 'us' then there is no 'family' for them.It makes us work harder on issues and put off selfishness because we know it affects our little ones too.We have to encourage one another more,because of the added responsibilities, through little kindnesses and acts like taking care of the babies while the other relaxes even though we too are tired(My husband has been very thoughtful in this area lately).You can no longer just run here and have to take into consideration nap times and the amount of snacks and sippys to bring.You have less time to yourselves so you have to enjoy the small, sweet, and thoughtful things more.You also get the wonderful satisfaction of seeing your husband turn into a father. You see them love, nurture,protect, and provide for this little person you love so much too. You see each other in this little individual and marvel at God's goodness in giving you this little soul.Then there are times when you have no clue what to do with them and you have to earnestly seek God together and talk and talk and talk...then submit, submit,and submit to your husband because you should trust God to work through hubby.Its hard work, but there is and can be so much joy in babies to be indulged in together.
My hubby and I have much to grow in and making romance for each other has been a struggle for us.We are trying to not take the little things for granted, making more time for us, and enjoying watching our little ones grow.Its hard, but its not that hard.You grow together(the whole family)and God truly provides...He is Good. I know I've rambled...but hope this gives you a little idea.

1:37 PM, October 12, 2005  
Anonymous Jaime said...

The way you overcome? Um...I have a 3yo,and I can say, It depends.
On your post Birth Health, Your Exstended Family Support, Your Husbands Helpfulness, Your finances, Your Husbands respect for Your concern with germs and careless people, alot of things. Overcomming is going to be done through prayer and Logic. Everyone may turn on you. You may have to be kinna tough. So that you can be Helped and keep your baby safe. You Must Speak Up. If you are shy by Nature, You may be in for alot of bitterness and strife.

1:25 PM, November 03, 2005  

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