Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Babies & Marriage

Babies are rough on a marriage relationship.

If your marriage relationship isn't going so well and you're thinking maybe a baby would magically fix it, you're wrong. If you're marriage relationship is kind of blah and you're thinking a baby is the thing you're missing, you're dead wrong. Anything wrong in your relationship with your spouse will only get magnified by children. Even if your marriage was perfect, a ten out of ten, you're going to hit some rough spots with the addition of kids.

Kids make any financial problems worse- Did you know it can cost about $60 a month for diapers?! And baby formula?! Yikes. Abigail's formula is special, I admit, so it costs more- we would spend a little more than $200 a month on her formula if we didn't qualify for some assistance. Plus there's clothes (they grow out of their clothes faster than you can find new ones, and the prices for something made out of less than a quarter of a yard of fabric are ridiculous)...

Kids make time problems worse- You want to spend time with your husband alone, but there's always a baby in between you, quite literally. Household chores have to be shoved into time frames when a child isn't crying or needing to be fed or needing to be changed or just needs to be played with for a bit. You have to take stuff with you whenever you leave the house- diapers, formula, bottles, cups, extra clothes. And packing that bag takes time... It takes me about a half hour extra if I take my girls with me to the grocery store.

Kids make every household chore bigger- more dishes, more trash, more laundry, more messes... How do you divide this stuff? Everybody ends up feeling like they have the short end of the stick.

Kids make sleep scarce (even when they're three they get nightmares) which means you end up on the raw edge of sleep deprivation, which makes everything much bigger- annoyances are bigger, anger is bigger, depression is bigger, offenses are bigger.

Discipline- Even if you've talked this scarey subject over and agreed on how you're going to deal with stuff, there are always exceptions to the rule (she's hungry & crashing and throws a temper tantrum, which you would normally deal with by giving her a time out, but since she's hungry her tantrum is bigger and just gets worse the longer she waits till eating). One of you wants to stick to your guns, the other wants to bend...

My girls are precious to me. I cannot even begin to describe the joy and delight they are to me. I do not want to "return them to their sender". But there are times when I long for the years when it was just Jake and me alone in our apartment. Our arguments were clearer, less muddy. There was less at stake- now we've got two babies depending on us and our decisions. We've got to make the right choices the first time because we won't be the only ones paying for our mistakes. Kids are forgiving, more than I believed they would be, but they are worth trying to make the right choices, trying to put the right time in.

God, thank you for my girls. They are an amazing gift- they bring such joy and laughter! To be given the gift of children when I didn't think I'd ever have any is so amazing. I don't want to take them for granted. Thank you. Please help me be the best Mommy I can be. Please help me put my relationship with Jake first. I don't want to lose him in the midst of diapers and library time and dishes. If I've got You first, and Jake second, and then the girls, it's going to work out.

No comments: