Marriage is great before children, or at least it should be. You experience genuine bonding time with your significant other, you are able to travel whenever you please (or when your job allows), you get to waste precious time arguing about matters involving your “fur babies” or which movie you want to go see on Friday… life is pretty care-free.
But one day you might catch what they call baby fever and pop out a kid or two (or four). It will be the best thing you’ve ever done in your life, but your marriage may experience some pretty drastic changes. You may not notice it instantly, but one day, as you and your spouse are arguing about how to correctly wipe a human butt, you’ll realize that you are no longer honeymooning.
Listed below are some ways your marriage may change once children make their way into your life. Feel free to take notes or nod your head in agreement as you read.
- Arguments reach a whole new level of stupid.
If you haven’t argued with your spouse about how to correctly fold a soiled diaper, then are you really even a parent?…. I’m not so sure you are. Or arguing about how small the infant’s food should be cut up? Have you ever screamed at your spouse for asking where your son’s socks are because you have never moved them from the drawer they have ALWAYS been in? Well, that’s the excitement of marriage mixed with parenting!
If you’re a newlywed and plan to reproduce, I want you to take a good look at the man or woman beside you and just know and accept that you will argue about another human’s poop together in due time. Just wait, it’s coming and it’s stinky. (pun intended.)
- The “sexy standards” drop a bit.
I don’t know if men lose a large portion of their vision upon having children or if they just get so desperate for sexual relations that they don’t care how their wives look, either way, after children you won’t need lingerie. There is an extremely high probability that your spouse won’t care that you are in a milk stained t-shirt and sweatpants, if you’re down, they’re down. No sexy needed. You really don’t even have to try, just be there and be breathing oxygen.
Post-baby Tip: Your sexy lingerie can make excellent burp cloths! (With the exception of lace. Lace is pretty much useless.)
- Innocent white lies are strongly encouraged.
Prior to having children, I was very open about discussing my cooking with my husband. As we would sit and eat our meal I would ask, “Too much salt? Not enough salt? Should I have cooked it a little longer?” Now after managing to throw together a meal in the midst of child chaos, critiquing my cooking is the last thing I want to engage in. Trust me when I say that 97% of cooking spouses out there just want you to tell them that the spaghetti you just ate, the spaghetti that they made while combatting several small children all at the same time, is the best spaghetti you have ever tasted.
This also applies to household chores. Sure, the house may be a wreck and you may have zero clean undies left, but no one needs to go around expressing their thoughts on the matter. If it bugs you that much, fix the problem yourself, otherwise tell your sweetheart that the house looks fantastic.
White lies are acceptable in some circumstances post childbirth. When it comes to housework, being honest 100% of the time is overrated.
- Your secret language strengthens.
Couples have a secret language, facial expressions, and cues that allow them to express a thought with their significant other without saying anything at all. Before kids, you would use this language when out to dinner with friends or out at a bar. Your friend would say something stupid and you could look at your partner and say, “She’s crazy. I told you last night that she was crazy… SEE?!”, all of this could be communicated with one look.
After you have children that secret language gets even stronger. With one look a mother can give her husband an entire command.
Example scenario based on true events:
Toddler: “Daddy! I want to play on the Ipad before bed! Mommy said ok!”
*Mom gives emotionless glare to toddler’s father with ease.
Father: “No, I don’t think that is a good idea. It’s too close to bedtime, let’s go brush our teeth and read books.”
That right there is a perfect example of a successful conversation using a
very obvious facial expression secret language. This language can also be used for positive conversations such as, “we have the cutest kid ever” or “did you see that?!”.
- You find intimacy in new ways.
Intimacy pre-childbirth meant something R-rated, but now I personally find that some of the most relaxing activities feel intimate. I never thought that sitting on a reclining couch watching recorded television with my husband while laughing about things our kids did that day would ever be considered intimate, but it really is. Adult conversation was taken for granted before I stayed home with two kiddos all day, so now conversation about anything other than poop and sippy cups could be considered intimate for me. Don’t get me wrong, good ole’ fashioned “intimacy” is very important in a marriage, I’m just saying that after kids come in and trample your brain and body all day, there is something really sweet about cuddling, joking, and talking with your spouse.
Who knew The Walking Dead and House of Cards could be so romantic?
6. You find out who your partner really is.
What makes them sad, what makes them snap, what makes them laugh the hardest you’ve ever heard, all of these are revealed throughout the parenting process. Parenting for me has brought some of the best memories I have as well as some of the stressful memories, but through all of them I have learned more not only about myself but about my spouse as well. Kids can bring out the best and worst in a person and they force you to figure out how to deal with another adult’s strengths and weaknesses. Parenting has to be done as a team or the house may catch on fire at any given moment.
If any or all of these sound all too familiar, just know that you are not special, weird, or pathetic.
This is marriage after children.
Although all of these things sound incredibly negative, somehow they aren’t. Kids can stress us out to no end, but they also can make a marriage more fun and meaningful than you ever thought possible.
(But seriously, when your husband can’t find the socks that have been in the same drawer for three years, don’t kill him, because that would leave you alone with the children.)
– Until the next time this Redhead rambles.
My husband is the larger male with his finger up my nose.
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