Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Eight Ways A Baby Changes Your Marriage.

Before my daughter was born, I swore that her arrival would not change my relationship with my husband. We would be just as romantic. Spend just as much time together.

We'd be the same AmberandBrian we had always been...but better.

Then Tori was born. And it was like a nuclear bomb had gone off in our family room, changing the familiar surroundings into something foreign—and turning our world upside down.

The dust has settled now (mostly). We've figured out how to manage this whole baby thing (mostly). And our relationship? Has leveled out (mostly). But it's not the same. And here, for your reading pleasure, are ten ways it has most definitely changed.

Romantic late night dinners? Sure we have those. Of course, usually these late night noshes are spent silently shoveling food into our mouths as the baby screams (from teething pain, sickness or just plain crabbiness) upstairs. When the screeching gets too loud, Brian puts on some tunes—but it's more likely to be Metallica than Frank Sinatra.

Couple workouts? Sure we do those. However, instead of spending hours working out together at the gym, we take turns sprinting after the baby, and wrestling her into her car seat, and keeping her still while the other person puts a clean diaper on her frantically wriggling bottom.

Long, leisurely walks? Well, not quite. How about short trots around the neighborhood, pushing the stroller as fast as we can pull the dog along, hoping he poops before she starts screaming.

Relaxing Sunday brunches? Only if McDonalds counts. Okay, we haven't actually eaten Sunday brunch at McDonalds. But the two hour meals we used to begin our weekend afternoons with have become hurried affairs at Bob Evans—on the rare occasion we make the effort.

Saturday night movie dates? Absolutely.  Only, except dressing up and heading to the theater, we strip down to our sweats and fire up the latest NetFlix arrival. And the end credits usually find us snoring on each other's shoulders, not making out.

Knock down, drag 'em out screaming matches? Not so much. These days our battles are done in hissing whispers, with red-hot glares used to maximum effect. Because, after all, you can't fight in front of the baby. And if you can't have a good fight? The making up part isn't so great either.

Boot knocking action? Yeah. Sure. It happens. You know, on those oh-so-frequent occasions when we're actually both feeling rested, relaxed and amorous. Yeah. Aaaaaallllll the time (anyone want to buy a bridge from me?).

Still best friends? Definitely. I've got no snark here. Despite it all, I'm still glad to be married to him, and can't think of anyone I'd rather spend time with. And after the year we've had? That's saying something, people.

Now it's your turn. How has a baby changed your relationship?

11 comments:

  1. Oh, I loved this post! I don't have any children yet, and of course worry about how they'd affect a relationship. I LOVED your last point on still being best friends.

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  2. Wow...I'm with you on all of those but I do think there is just so much more love to go around, if that is even possible. I do wish for a little more old school excitement though and as you said, I would love for hubs to actually make it through a couch movie...but he never does.

    It will all come back hon...it just takes about 18 years and they move out right?

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  3. Ahahahahahah, babies won't change a marriage. That was a good laugh. :-)

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  4. Um. Not yet. (no babies.) But I have heard these same feelings expressed by others so I am kind of bracing myself for it.

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  5. It starts to go back to normal a teeny bit when the kiddos get a little older....

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  6. Oh no, babies haven't changed our marriage a bit. See, we were boring Netflix people waaaaay before the babe!

    Can I add another to your list?

    Saturday evenings relaxing at the bar? Sure, we do that. The bar is the case of Miller in my fridge, and I am lounging, relaxed on the couch.

    There is no such thing as dressing up and going out anymore.

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  7. It's so good to see someone tell the truth. I run into a fair bunch of people who say, "they never have a cross word, and babies made their love union better."

    Puke.

    It is hard: and you have to make time to be together. You have to put the kids to bed early, or arrange overnights for all of them.

    You have to: otherwise you just become roommates, and that's not good for anyone. Anyone.

    Excellent post. Thank you.

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  8. This was a great post! My marriage totally changed after having a child. I mean, totally. They say that having a baby either brings you closer together or pulls you apart, and it pulled us apart for sure. I think that you just inevitably become two different people after having kids. And sometimes they still work well together and sometimes they don't. Our son is four now, and we are slowly making our way back towards the people we once were. We are finding ourselves having fun again and enjoying each other and remembering why we got married in the first place. Yeah...I think we'll be just fine! That is, as long as we don't get ballsy and have another kid. Then I'll need a divorce attorney.

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  9. Umm...yes, these things are true. Having a newborn is difficult and stressful and it puts a strain on your relationship.

    HOWEVER, sharing infinite love for a living being that you created together, bonding over the plight to keep said being safe, quietly watching each other develop as parents and reap requited love from that being all form the bond that keep you together through the first year of sleepless nights and projectile vomit.

    When its all done, you're left closer. Really. One of the greater moments I had this year was after my husband got irritated with me for doing something I repeatedly do despite that it pisses him off. He was bitching at me for it, but I realized while he was that it didn't matter. He still loved me and this annoyance didn't affect his love at all. None. Not a single bit and as he bitched, he knew it, too.

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  10. I'm not a mom yet but appreciated reading your post AND all the comments. It's good to be honest with yourself about how things will change once a baby enters the relationship. I think about it a lot and hope that while things will certainly change, we'll figure out how to work through it all while still maintaining our marriage. (Of course, I've got at least a year or so to figure all this out, lol.)

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  11. I found you through Alexandra's blog (your fellow Sunshine awardee :-)). I love this post. Oh, have I been there. It is hard. I remember those days, when you can't even sit and eat together at the same time. My hubby and I started out as twins, synchronized in every way, and then so many things happened that felt like we were splitting apart. But our "baby" is now 6 yrs old and we are still here, new and improved. Today in fact is our anniversary and we will have our first real date since our baby was 2 mos old! But take it from me, don't wait this long. It does get easier as the children get older and you will emerge intact albeit different, but not in a bad way. There are fewer sparks now but more commitment. I had to learn that the fairy tale simply takes a different form and that is okay :-)

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