Monday, June 24, 2013

Wife vs mother

We all talk about motherhood and our kids often but what about our role as wife. Not only is motherhood hard but being a wife becomes a lot harder too once kids arrive. In the balancing act of motherhood I often feel like the role I sacrifice the most is that of wife. I do "wife" things but I feel that I'm so emotionally overcharged with all the other obligations of life at times that I neglect to put in the emotional connection to my marriage.

Marriage after kids is a different relationship than it was before the kids. I look at my husband and I in our crazy hectic lives with two kids, a dog, homeownership, two careers, side pet projects, and grad school and will occassionally wonder are we normal? Is this the way our relationship is suppose to be at this point? We're here together still almost a decade later; we're a team working together to manage this crazy life we love but drown in sometimes. Even though we rarely fight compared to the crazy fights we use to have long ago I feel that there's a lake of distant between us even though we sit beside each other at the table and sleep beside one another in bed (usually with a four year old between us though) and have even carpooled together a lot the last four years. But sometimes I feel like we're going through the motions of life and even though we smile and hug each other, we rarely connect like we use to. Date nights are few and far between. I'm plumper than I use to be, I rarely put in the time to fix my hair or clean myself up it seems like, and I fall into bed utterly exhausted some nights and so does he. Living life as parents is hard exhausting work sometimes. Some nights we'll sit together at the end of the day to watch television together, but that's if there's no "work" needing to be done on something or one of the girls aren't fighting against going to sleep on time. We love each other, we can't imagine our life without the other, but the butterflies and sparkles when we first fell in love fizzled out long ago. Now we're comfortable with one another and the routines of our life together. I feel that we're all ready at the rocking chairs on the front porch holding hands stage, but we have years to go to get to that point.

I always envision us taking the time to "journey back to us" one day in the future when the kids are older and more independent, but I don't want to wish these precious years away.  I always hope one day our story is like those of my parents and grandparents that I look up to so much with their 32-54 years of marriage. I get anxious sometimes that these overwhelming years of raising small children is going to create a gap between us that's too wide to swim across in the end. I am a worrier by nature. Hopefully I worry for no reason and this is just the reality of raising kids that wasn't quite so apparent in that romanticized vision of parenthood that we all have before we live the actual reality. As I continue in my journey to connecting who I am to who I want to be in all the roles I play in this crazy life, I hope I can put more time into being the role of wife in the future.  

I'd love comments and thoughts. As always thanks for reading!

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  1. Marriage does change once you have kids. My husband and I will be married 10 years in August and I know that we will be married for a very long time. I do make sure to carve out time without the kids just the two of us, since sometimes kids can run the household :)

  2. It definitely changes after you have kids. Heck our relationship changed when we got married and got our own place. Your priorities change. You have a lot more things to do in a day...instead of just focusing on one another.

    I have found that it is important to make sure you figure out a time that you can have "alone" time. You don't want to lose everything you have :)


  3. My hubby and I will be celebrating our 10 year anniversary next month. What you said in your blog is so true and so close to my heart, as i've been thinking about that too. It's been really hard to have a "couple" time and date nights are almost non-existent unless our families come to visit. I applaud you for juggling so many hats. Being a SAHM, I don't know how i will be able to juggle my life if I was working as well. I hope you and your husband will find "alone" time soon.

  4. Great post! The big thing I think is finding time for just the two of you and also finding alone time. Now, my husband and I would love to go out on a date once a month but sadly that doesn't always seem to happen (especially with an infant and 2 year old). So we try to cherish the time after the kids are in bed and just have a bowl of ice cream together or buy a movie on pay per view - we create mini-dates at home!

  5. Maintaining a marriage while raising two small children takes effort and commitment from you both. As long as you find ways to carve out time with each other and find ways to connect, even if it's just during the drive to work, your marriage weather just about anything.

    Unfortunately, my marriage came to an end eight years ago but we are both still committed to being partners in raising our kids and have even found a way to be friends. It's not ideal (I'd rather the divorce had never been necessary) but our kids have thrived and that's what counts the most.

  6. Balancing married life with kids can be challenging. I'm so tired when I come home from work at time all I want to do is really just relax or go to bed. We try and make "us" time but its tough. I know exactly where you're coming from having been married almost 10 years myself. Sometimes I do wish I could go back in time. Where is that do-over button?