Thursday, March 15

Marriage is Hard{er} With A Kid

There. I said it. I've had this post swarming around in my head but I haven't wanted to post it. For fear of disapproving nods or my thoughts being perceived as something they are not, or for negative comments.
{Warning: Honest Post :) therefore won't be posting to FB}

So if you're in a judging mood, please do not continue to read.

First off, my husband is amazing. He is truly a gift to me. I have never claimed to be an 'easy' girl. I'm half crazy most of the time. He does a lot and puts up with a lot, and I love him. A lot.

But, relationships are work. If someone tells you they aren't, they are lying and probably don't have too good of a relationship/marriage. There. I said it. :)

Obviously, we haven't been married for very many years, but during our first part of marriage it has been pretty easy. We transitioned wonderfully into living together after our wedding. We didn't have any arguments on money, time spent, chores, etc. We pretty much knew where we each stood on hot topics before going into marriage, so things had been pretty smooth!

And then we had Harper. :)  We were lucky enough to have a very positive 'trying to conceive' amount of time.  Of course the old saying that 'a baby fixes everything' is silly. Duh. Who thinks that? But I had no idea. Yes, yes, yes, a baby brings you and your husband very close. Throughout my pregnancy there were many things and instances that only he and I know about - and that's something that we hold dear. The entire birth process {albeit not the greatest experience for me!!} it was just me and him in the room.  There are times we both shake our heads when looking, thinking, or talking about Harper that we just cannot believe we are given the opportunity to have her as our child.

But then that isn't part of my point in this post.

Harper was a colic baby. So she didn't fit the mold of what the books say. We had to do a lot of figuring out on our own so to speak and that was very hard and very terrifying for first time parents.  We were up all through the nights and days because Harper never did {and still doesn't} require as much sleep as one would think a baby or newborn would. Still, at 5 months old, Harper doesn't sleep through the night. So, she gets up on a good night 2-3 times.  We both work. We both hold day jobs that require our full attention and doesn't leave much room for mistakes {me with kids depending on me, him with people relying on money moves}.  So we are exhausted. All the time.

So, sometimes, I let my exhaustion get the best of me. For instance, the chores of the house used to be left all up to me. I didn't mind and I said that was my wifely duty. But I just can't now. I don't have the same time or the same energy as before Harper. I need help. But, you know, boys don't see clean or doing things in a certain time frame as a big deal. 
Sometimes on Brian's turn to get up during the night, Harper will have a good night and only get up once. Man, that makes me so mad! But I turn that into being mad at him. So silly, right? But I do. I think to myself, he only had to get up once...i had to get up 3 times last night... That isn't fair to him.  When dishes are out or wrappers left around the house, I get upset when I find myself picking it up.

I also feel like I put a lot of my energy into Harper. Which I should, of course, but sometimes Brian gets left to the side. We've talked about this and how we both are to blame. We are just so exhausted from working all day and then not sleeping well for so long, we are ready for bed when we put Harper down and usually, we really do go to bed at 8:30! I know, so sad.  And then there's that fear that I have about leaving her still. I don't really want to do things without her. Well, let me rephrase. I do want to, but not enough to actually do it.  We were SO good at weekly date nights when I was on maternity leave. I loved that time I had with Brian and a little bit of a break from my Mommy role. But since I've been back to work, it's hard for me to justify being away from Harper for 40+ hours a week and then choosing to be away from her even more. I know, I'm crazy. Refer to the statement at the beginning of this blog... I know {or at least people say} that it will get easier to leave. Maybe it will. Maybe it won't.

And yes, yes, yes I KNOW that the key to giving Harper a wonderful and happy life depends greatly on Brian and I having a good, healthy, and strong marriage. But, once you are in the midst, it is much harder to do than to say.

.... So then I read this blog post. It came from The Better Mom. It's the only email I get sent to my work account. I get it sent there because I just feel like each day with each post is something that hits home and that I need to take the time to read it. I read it and instantly emailed Brian. I told him I was sorry for doing the chores and home duties in spite instead of joy. {i think he thought i was a tad crazy. normal.} Now, please do not think that my husband never helps. He does a ton. But you know, when you are tired and you see a million things that need to be done, but see one person sitting on the couch - that's when I get upset. But I know he doesn't think of doing those things. And I need to stop.  Sometimes, I think I need to be more like Mary and less like Martha. I've always thought of that Bible story and wondered what all the fuss was about. I mean, who wouldn't want their house to be nice and a nice home-cooked meal made for JESUS for goodness sakes. But, I guess, I'm finally realizing the point. I need to put my energy into people that matter, not things.

So, the point is, I'm going to try harder at working towards finding the joy in daily activities, realizing that I cannot place blame or get upset over such silly things. Of course, it is silly when you truly think about it; but when you are in the moment and you are exhausted with a little precious, adorably happy baby {if you've been there, you might know} its a major struggle, at least for me.

I'll be working hard at making a conscience effort.
our first summer together...
My husband means more to me than I think he knows. When we do have our alone time {date nights} together, it is SUCH a refresher for us. We really need that. Weekly or bi-weekly, we need to get back to that. It's so amazing how one little hour date can truly help us feel closer.

What are ways you Momma's keep the love alive?

{Also, this is a pretty neat site - Marriage Missions. I like this article for new parents. :)}


  1. I'm totally going to judge you...for being so normal :) Babies are amazing, but certainly not easy on a momma's sanity or marriage. I just read your post on her eating cereal too! Can't believe how well she took to it! Yay! Hope she continues to sleep better. I once read a suggestion that spouses take turns (like you and Brian do), but each does two/three days at a time. That way you get more than one good night of sleep. (I used to go to the guest bedroom and turn up the white noise to block out crying). Makes a world of difference to feel rested for at least a couple days.

  2. I think marriage is hard withOUT a baby :) I hope you don't get any negative comments from that. You were completely honest. We all know you love your husband :) I get mad about those things now. Marriage is hard work. It always will be. The sleep thing will get better....and then you'll have another one ; ) ha. And don't worry, Matt thinks I'm crazy too!

    This post just made me want to have kids more because it was real :) Good for you!

  3. YOu are SO not crazy:) Marriage is hard and adding a baby adds a whole new dynamic. A few things I have learned are that you need to set realistic expectations on what can be done in a days/weeks/months time once you have kids. There is no way that Matt and I could ever do a weekly date night so we aim for once a month to go out. Instead we do date nights in, we occasionally make a nice dinner after the kids are in bed and watch a movie or something. I also have had to come to terms with the "level of cleanliness" my house needs to be in. I can have white couches and clean floors when I am old and gray, but for now I just decided that I will not get angry over a cup left out, or a clothes on the floor. It is just a day to day to decision. I have to live in the now and be ok with what does not get done.

    Lastly, I promise promise promise it does get better. Really good actually. 3 kids is WAY easier than our first ever was because now there is a lot less that is unknown and once you make it through the sleep deprivation stage you can handle almost anything:) Also, it is SO much easier the second (and third) time around. LIke Jenn said, we figured out a system so we maximized both of us getting as much sleep as possible.

    Once again, you are not crazy:) Just hang in there. Carve out even small moments of time with your hubby, think of your kitchen sink as your alter to bring your burdens before the Almighty.

  4. Use your date night money to get your house cleaned professionally :) Even if it is just once you'll feel so much better! I did that a couple of weeks ago when I just felt like I couldn't handle things anymore and I'm going to do it once more a couple of days before Peter gets back.

    I know people always tell you that things will get better but they say that because they really will! It is just hard not knowing when!! Maybe you could try a couple of date nights after H goes to bed? Even if you just go out for a couple of hours it will feel nice to get dressed up and be out. I'm home with S all the time and still don't like to leave him so you are totally normal for wanting to be with your sweet girl. However we know we need to do more together...whether that is dates at home or out.

    Also keep telling Brian how wonderful he is! I'm sure he reads this but tell him as often as you can!! Our sweet husbands love to be praised by us!

    You are doing great and you are totally normal! Will be praying that you start getting some good rest...that always changes my perspective...and gives me renewed energy to press on!

  5. We do date nights. Sometimes we go out (we have lots of family here that jump at the chance to baby sit C), or we just make plans that after C goes to bed we will watch a movie computers, phones or distractions.

    If you aren't ready to leave after being gone all week (which I totally get...when we do I try to wait to leave until as close to bedtime as possible) start with short dates. Like going out for ice cream or grabbing a coffee, then you won't feel as guilty :)

    Totally relate to all parts of this post :-)

  6. Hi I'm Kelley. I have a 9 month old who STILL doesn't sleep through the night. I always said I would NEVER co-sleep...but here we are - cosleeping!!! It is the only way we all get sleep. My hubby and I both work full time but my job is a little less demanding so I do the night time care most nights. I get myself all bent out of shape just like you when I come home from work at 6 and have to spend the next hour doing household chores while he lays on the couch and plays with the baby! He is a big help but just doesn't see the big picture sometimes lol I am trying to clean/do laundry as I go so that I don't get bogged down on Sundays and feel overwhelmed with the amount I have to do. I feel like co-sleeping is hindering the "bonding" between hubby and me because there is no time for cuddles at night with a baby in the middle. I am slowly trying to transition him to the crib so that we can have some "US" time back. We are lucky that my MIL watches him whenever we ask (usually about once a month) so that we can have a date night. It is SO refreshing! Good the both of us lol

  7. I love the honesty of this post! I hope you don't get any judgy comments. Even if someone can't totally relate, we should all support each other as mommas =) And you are totally right that putting a colicky baby puts a whole new spin on things, I can't even imagine who on edge that would make someone. You are doing a great job, and I totally agree with the previous commenter that you should take your date night money and hire a house cleaner, then have an at-home date night after H goes to bed!

  8. So true... you have to find a new normal and new level of partnership that didn't exist pre-baby. I totally agree with Allie and the need to find new expectations. You are normal for not wanting to leave Harper so once a week to go "out" on a date is a lot. We have dates "in" when the babies go to bed- order carry out, watch a movie, play a game, reconnect. Going out is nice but once a month is probably the most I am ready for as a working mom. Clean a little here a little there (bathrooms one day, dusting one day, floors one day, etc) and TELL Brian what his new jobs are. Helpful husbands are helpful when we tell them how to help. Let a lot go.... and know it is for the good of your family and your sanity :) (For example, I shut the blinds when I can see the dust!! Or I keep the lights low when the little stuff on the floor is getting to me!! Haha)

  9. i love this post, too. i think everything you are feeling is how almost every mom feels at one time or another. i can't relate with the colicy baby, but i know that this week i was working full time and mine woke up at least twice every night. it was terribly hard on me... and that was just for a week. i am completely exhausted and my house is a mess. i honestly don't know how some moms do it all... but you will get through it and have a stronger marriage because of it!

  10. Amen, Sister!!! :)))

    Megan, everything you've written is absolutely true!!! It IS hard balancing everything, especially when you're exhausted! I still consider myself a "new" mom... but now that Rosie is getting a little bit older, it does seem a *little* easier for Nick and I to sneak away for dinner &/or a movie (BIG date night for us!)... and even if we only do it once a month, it really DOES help :)

    Also, I feel like my house is a disaster zone 90% of the time; however, I try to tell myself that my baby won't be a baby forever and that I just *have* to let some things go... so right now, seems like my house is getting the shaft ;)

    I hope Harper gets into her sleeping groove soon! I will pray that you guys get some rest. Take care!!!

  11. I loved this post, Megan, and I know exactly how you feel. I get so frustrated with Dave when I see him sitting down playing on his phone or watching TV. And it's mainly because I'm jealous that he takes the time for himself and I do not. If I have a few minutes, I'll run around the house tidying up because I feel like I should be productive. We haven't had a date night since Jade was born either (unless you count the date "day" we had the day after Christmas when we were both off work and took her to daycare anyway). I cried when we dropped her off because I felt so selfish. Neither of us really wants to leave her with someone else in the evenings because our time with her is so precious.

    I don't have any answers... :( But you are not alone!

  12. There's nothing quite like a baby to make you more exhausted than you can stand. It's totally normal! Just try to keep it in your minds that it will get easier. Eventually she will sleep through the night (Em doesnt yet either, btw) and you won't be so cranky and ready to claw his eyes out for leaving clothes everywhere or whatever it is that grates on your nerves! ;) Hang in there, momma! It will be okay!


Thanks for taking the time to comment! I love hearing positive comments from you!


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