What to Expect when you’re Expecting- Marriage Edition
August 8, 2022
Say goodbye to date nights and showers- you’re having a baby!
Everyone likes to joke about the destruction children unleash on romance and intimacy. But what is marriage really like after children? Here’s a quick overview on what to expect when you’re expecting- marriage edition.
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It doesn’t exist. Making spur in the moment romantic decisions is a privilege you lose the second you have kids. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing. But it does means you have to plan around your kids if you ever want to spend time alone. This brings me to:
2- Time and juggling
Before babies, you have all the time in the world to spend on yourself and your
relationship. But raising children is a time-sucking black hole. Even basic things like
getting everyone strapped in a car take forever. Planning and multitasking will be
your best-friends when it comes to carving out time for you and your spouse.
3- Couple time vs family time
Family time with your kids and spouse is one of the most rewarding parts of life after kids. Enjoy it. Engaging with your spouse in their new parenting role also adds a fresh dimension to your marriage. It’s a different dynamic that has its negatives and positives. Let’s examine the first:
4- Deeper connection
The moment your spouse becomes the mother/father of your child, a new level of
intimacy is added to your marriage. This can definitely increase the love and affection you already feel for one another. That being said, these new parenting roles can also lead to a lot of:
5- Conflict and conflict
You think you know your spouse before you have kids. But the truth is, no one knows what kind of mother/father they’ll be. Children test you in many ways, and it’s so easy to become resentful and frustrated when you feel that your spouse isn’t fulfilling their parenting role as you would like. Having kids exposes you to a lot of new situations that need to be navigated with patience and wisdom.
6- You change…he doesn’t
Although having children changes both the father and mother on certain levels,
physically, women take the worst hit. Childbirth can impact a woman’s self-image;
leaving her insecure and out of touch with her identity outside motherhood. This can lead to a gap in understanding and empathy when it becomes difficult for the husband to connect with his wife’s experiences.
7- So unglamorous
Try to be romantic when your house smells of dirty diapers, you’re covered in baby
vomit and haven’t found the time to brush your hair. Marriage after kids is so
unglamorous. But the good thing about this is you’re forced to look past the
superficial aspects to your relationship and learn to love each other at your worst.
8- You can still do way more than you imagined
There’s this misconception that having kids puts an uncomfortable number of
limitations on a couple’s lifestyle. Speaking for myself, I’ve never felt restricted by
my kids. I’ve lived in three locations, vacationed in exotic places, snorkelled, hiked
and swam with my baby daughter strapped to me. Now, not all parents can or will do this, but you can definitely do way more things than you initially thought would be possible.
Each phase of your marriage has its own distinct flavour, its joys, and problems. Having kids isn’t a prison sentence and like any new experience in life, it comes with its highs and lows. So enjoy each moment, and arm yourself with flexibility and an attitude that embraces change. Theses will help you meet the challenges of marriage and building a family.
Author: Alwia Al-Hassan
Unlike many authors, my writing journey didn't begin with a fiery love for books at six. I couldn’t read English at six…or seven or eight. When I moved back to the UK after 3 years in Saudi Arabia, I was in year 4 and at the very bottom of the academic food chain.
Back then it would've been impossible for me to imagine that I would ever be fluent in English enough to get my BA in English Literature with Philosophy and MA in Arabic Literature.
I currently live in the Gulf with my husband and two kids where I spend most of my time blogging, writing fiction and working on breaking into the traditional publishing and self-publishing industries.
Be sure to read more of my work here: https://www.alwiaalhassan.com/