Marriage is a beautiful thing. Children are a beautiful thing. It’s not till you’re actively participating in both parenthood and marriage at the same time that you realize the two don’t always beautifully mix. In fact it can get messy, hard, and feel like you’re in the middle of a damn tornado sometimes. I should say that there is nobody else in the world that I rather be stuck in a tornado with than my husband. It’s been our joint effort at this thing we call life and love, that allows us to keep thriving, succeeding, and rebuilding from the tornado's that occur!
I need to tell you that the tornado scene isn’t instant, it comes on slowly. It isn’t till your buried deep in laundry, bills, dishes, and s#!++y diapers that you realize you’re in a tornado at all. Slowly but surely changes take place in your relationship, little, nothing, unnoticed things gradually build like the wall of China.
No one warns you about what’s going to happen either, their all too swept up in their own tornado's. Looking back I can now see what occurred and warn you. Let’s be honest marriage is hard, parenting is hard. Both take work, daily work and dedication. Your marriage will/can survive it, you just need to pay attention. Now I won’t claim that my marriage is perfect, because it’s not, but really whose is? I can tell you what’s normal, the storm that builds up to the tornado. They say lightning doesn’t strike in any one place, twice… I disagree because I have seen it happen, in my home. Just know this, every storm runs out of rain, and when the rain stops that’s when you see the rainbow.
So without further ado here’s the normalcy of a tornado you will see in your marriage while simultaneously parenting...
Date Nights look different, sometimes you’ll have to really think to remember the last time you had one. Here’s the deal it takes some work to make date night happens with kids. There’s like 20 extra steps now, I’ll just name a few. You have to find a baby sitter that is not a serial killer (aka someone you trust). You now have to budget for said babysitter (you’re looking a minimum 75% increase in the cost of date night) this increase will vary depending on hours needed, number of kids, and who knows what other factors. You also need to factor in 3 additional hours of getting ready for date night, without a doubt these will be dedicated to kid preparations. Here’s the other thing, you may be so tired by Saturday comes around that you cancel date night and opt for take-out and Netflix. No matter what you end up doing, your date night conversation will now surround children, school functions, schedules, who needs new shoes, and if you’re lucky 3 minutes of neighborhood gossip. Gone are the days of showering, getting dolled up, an walking out the door with your “bae”, there is nothing easy about being a parent and doing date night! For the sake of your marriage, take on the babysitter, screw the additional 3 hour prep., and get out of the house with each other and go on dates with your SO.. Even if you’ve spent all your date night budget on the babysitter, go walk around Target together and soak up the alone time, YOU DESERVE IT!
Speaking of conversation…. You always hear the quote “communication is key in a relationship” and while this is true, you can forget about any conversations full of substance. Honestly your topics of discussion will almost always be one of the following subjects:
- What’s for dinner
- Kids extracurricular schedules
- What do we need from the grocery store
- Taking out the trash
- Someone is sick
- Bill due dates
- Bank accounts
- Loading the dishwasher
- The “It’s your turn to cook, clean the toilet, put the kids to bed, help with homework” fights
- When will you be home
- Can we order pizza
- Can you help me out around the house
- Threatening to run away
I’m just being honest! But try for the sake of your marriage to spice it up! I.E. talk about recent events, dreams, goals, old times, and the future! I don’t care what you talk about, as long as you break the monotony of your typical child themed conversations.
You will fight about parenting. So I knew my husband and I had our parenting styles in alignment. He is a wonderful father, I attempt to be a wonderful mother. There is times that we challenge each other though, there are times he does not agree with my style and me not of his. That’s just life. As your children grow, you parenting style grows too, things change. I’m not talking about being on opposite ends of the spectrum but differences inevitably occur. We can typically talk it out and come to a common ground. So for the sake of your marriage, talk it out, meet in the middle! Try his ideas and get him to try yours! You are in this thing together, after all! Oh and when a kid tries to turn you against each other (it’ll happen) like “dad said I could” when maybe dad didn’t really say that, all a huddle with your SO, band together, and kick some disciplining ass!!! Y’all got this!
Let get down to the nitty-gritty, your sex life or the lack there of, as it may seem. You will with a doubt at some point (or maybe multiple points) be standing in the kitchen and think “when did we have sex last”? It just happens, without warning. Let’s break it down… You can’t have sex with a toddler waging war on your bed, for the sake of your marriage sneak to the couch. Maybe your exhaustion level is at max capacity and you physically just can’t, for the sake of your marriage sleep good tonight and pencil it in tomorrow! I’ve heard “we just don’t have time”, for the sake of your marriage put it on your calendar and make it happen. I’ve also used the excuse (my GF’s have told me they’ve used this too) “babe I haven’t even showered”. For the sake of your marriage (see above reference to putting it on the calendar) BAM, if you know its D-DAY for sure, you’ll be sure to squeeze in a shower (two birds, one stone).
I could go on and on about the curve balls parenthood throws in your marriage, again for the sake of your marriage just keep swinging at them! You bound to nail a few. So if your marriage is currently swept up in a tornado, spinning out of control, just hold on tight (TO EACH OTHER)! That’s why you’re married, because you wanted to do this life with one another. Every storm runs out of rain and you’ll be amazed by the sure to come rainbow. For the sake of your marriage, go on Target date nights, once a day talk about something out of your child filled norm, find common ground in your differences, and have sex damn it!! If nothing else, the sex will make you forget about the s#!t show of a life you share together!!
A mom figuring out how to also be a wife!