Post # 1
I might sound silly here but…Okay…here goes: I will be turning 31 in May…and like I’ve said on here before, my clock is ticking. I just got married a year ago (DH is 28), and we have been talking about TTC starting August this year. I don’t have any kids yet, and I am 95% sure we want a child…but I am so scared!! I’m waiting for Darling Husband to be the one to say “ok…NOW!” but I think he is waiting on me to be the one to say “YES!!! Let’s go for it!!!” We both DO want to be parents, but that fear of the unknown is brutal! I have a weird feeling that August will roll around, and we’ll both be waiting on the other one to give the first word to “go for it.” Yikes…
But I think the one part about parenthood that really scares me is…how will it change my relationship with DH? We are best friends. Always laughing, playing, doing things “just the two of us”…we are very, very much in love and have what I believe is a very great, supportive, stable, caring relationship. We rarely argue…and when we do, it is productive arguing where we listen to each other, respect each other, and come to a mutual understanding. I feel that we are both mature enough and financially stable enough for parenthood (or…as much as can be hoped for). We have common values and goals. We tell each other multiple times a day that we love each other, and are very affectionate. In short…we are just absolutely in love with being in love and together. I don’t want that to go away!
Does a child add a “third wheel” element to your “couple time” (like, conversations with each other about things other than the kid). Do you feel like that connection you had with your spouse is strained because of a baby being in the middle? Did you grow to feel closer to each other, or has it made it more difficult to connect with each other?
I’m looking for brutally honest answers here…did having a baby cause any harm to your relationship?
Post # 3
I by no means claim to be a perfect partner/parent, etc, but children do take a toll on a relationship. Not to be a downer, but they do. You lose a lot of sleep, and there’s more housework and $$ needed. It can be incredibly stressful and it just takes trust and patience and being able to rely on each other. Fiance and I have 3 children together and you bet your butt there are times when I seriously feel like I could ring his neck, or we’ll have a spat, but I had to put my big girl panties on and he did the same (but the guy version lol) and we know when to give each other some space, or pick up some extra work around the house for the other. And it is a hassle to do things with kiddos in tow. No more spur of the moment trips, or nice restaurant dinners (do they even have high chairs?!) And now it’s MUCH harder to be intimate, because one kiddo or the other decides that they want to wake up right then (lol) but we try to keep a sense of humor and not let things frustrate us more than they need to.
I think it’s a balancing act. You want to be a great parent, but you CAN NOT let your relationship gather dust along the way.
ETA: I didn’t vote because I wouldn’t say they “hurt” our relationship, but they definitely CHANGED it and we worked through it as best we could. There were definitely some rough patches (our first pregnancy was TOTALLY unplanned and a complete surprise.)
Post # 4
I feel exactly the same way – it’s SO hard to not think that I’m “sacrificing” my friendship and love connection to my Fiance when we think about having kids in a few years. I know the intimacy will change – but it could also be for the better. I think it’s a different kind of intimacy. My fear is that it will change us into people who are no longer as compatible – but we’ll be so busy with the children that we won’t have time to repair it.
Post # 5
I don’t have kids yet but I was a nanny and pretty much spent most of my time in the household. I realized this: children will totally alter your world, but ultimately, it is what you make it.
I have friends who literally won’t go out for even one night because they can’t deal with being away from their child. I also have friends who spent a night away from their new baby when he was 7 weeks old to spend a night away for their anniversary…I have friends who never go out, do things, etc. and friends who love their kids but love their own lives as well…and, in my opinion, they are happier for it and their relationships are stronger because of it.
I don’t think kids will ruin it, but I think they will add stress and you’ll both need to put more work into getting out of the house and maintaining your identity as husband/wife as well as mommy/daddy.
Post # 6
I’m so glad you posted this.
Darling Husband and I are in the exact same position. We have the exact same relationship you describe with your Darling Husband and have the same fears about having kids. And the better and better that things get between us, the less I want to take the chance of “ruining” it with a child.
I’m very interested in hearing the responses to this question.
Post # 7
I don’t have kids yet and am not planning on it for a while, but this scares me sometimes too. Not sure if it’ll help, but the wisest thing I’ve ever heard about having kids came from my Dad. In my late teens I was convinced I never wanted to have children, and one day he told me that he hoped I eventually changed my mind, because while there are ups and downs and sacrifices and so on, he’d never felt anything like the love he had for me, and missing out on the possibility of a love like that is no less sad than a life without romantic love. Which is not to say that the single life or the childless life can’t be deeply meaningful or deeply rewarding. But I’d never really thought about it in that light before, and I like to think it’ll stick with me even at the darkest moments.
Post # 8
Thank you all for your responses so far!! I am so curious to see what everyone has to say. I guess I’ve always KNOWN that it will change things one way or another, I’m just so curious how most people have seen this affect their own relationships. I know it isn’t as black and white as “better” or “worse”…but I wasn’t sure how else to put it. I’m really glad that there have been other people out there wondering the same thing, too!!!
Post # 9
In the long run, it brought us closer together. However, a baby puts a strain on a relationship that was otherwise not a factor and, obviously, the couple has to adapt instead of “waiting it out,” which requires more time to work through the problems. Everyone deals with some relationship issue after the birth of a child, but by no means does it destroy a relationship.
The major ways having a child changed our relationship:
A) Communication. we are forced to hash things out without fighting, yelling, or being silent. We have to clearly articulate our feelings and do it quickly, so that our son does not have to live in a toxic enviornment. This required us to “grow up” very quickly.
B) Intimacy. After the baby was born, I had difficulty being intimate. Not only was it painful, but I was stressed about the changes in body and my hormones were all over the place. After the initial shock, we had a child that required us to be a bit more private which isn’t always great for the romance. Also, scheduling time to be together became a bit, well, ugh. Each couple will be different in this area, but it will most certain change.
C) Attention. There is another person in the house to love and our attention gets divided amongst two people and is not totally focused on the partner. Most people fail to acknowledge this or deny that this is a problem, but, for us, it was. While love multiplies, there is only so much time in the day. I am still working on ensuring that I make Fiance feel loved, as well as my son.
Our son is almost 3 and these things changed drasitically at first and more gradually (as in any relationship) over time from there. There are lots of great prep books out there too, so if you have time look one or two up and read it together with Darling Husband.
Post # 10
I think it’s what you make of it. Darling Husband has a son from his first marriage that lives with us and we have one on the way. I love and care for my bonus son as if he was my biological child. Obviously, there was a child in our lives from the start of our relationship, but our lives did change when I moved in with Darling Husband and his son. There’s added stress of caring for a child(he was 1 at the time and 4 now), making sure that attention is spread out, everyone taken care of, and feeling loved. I won’t say it’s easy being a Mom and wife, but Darling Husband and I have an amazing relationship.
We put each other first. We focus on our relationship, because our view is that happy parents = happy family. I think that lots of Mom’s put their children first and get wrapped up in what their children need/want and forget that their partners, as well as themselves, also have needs and wants. I want to show my children what it’s like to have a healthy relationship in hopes that they will take the example into their future.
I never feel guilty about getting a sitter or going on vacation by ourselves. Yes, it’s sad when we leave and he cries, but I know that it’s good for us to get our time, and it’s good for him to interact with others and gain his independance. He always has a blast once we’re gone.
I have friends who put their kids first. Who say they love their children more than their husbands. I’m not saying that their way is wrong, but they always talk about how amazing mine and DH’s relationship is compared to theirs. I think that the way I feel about my husband vs. the kids, is the game changer.
Post # 11
We have a 6 month old and are also newlyweds. I agree having a baby most definately puts a strain on a relationship. Like a PP said, there is the lack of sleep the need for more $$, the constrant struggle of making sure places we go are baby friendly right now.
However, even with the bickering and strain. No matter what I still love my husband as much as I did before our son came into our lives. Yes things are different now days, it is not just him and I. It is the 3 of us. Sure there are things right now with having an infant we can’t do that we did before he was born. But we also know when he gets little bigger we can start doing those things again.
Post # 12
I’ve wondered about this too. Keep the responses coming, please!
Post # 13
Having kids definitelyyyy changes things, but you have to work them out and it may not seem like it at the time, but they can be worked through. I was with my Fiance for 3.5 years before i had my daughter and after a 6 months break up, we decided to give our relationship another try and i got pregnant right away. Well she’s 2.5 now and it has been hard. She is a BIG daddy’s girl and wants him constantly… its kinda hard because I want me and her to be closer and I want him and me to be closer. But these stages don’t last forever!! Everyone thinks the newborn/infant/baby stages are hard- NO it’s having a toddler that’s hard… they don’t sit still, they talk back, they are definitely wild lol!
Things were awesome between Fiance and I until she was about 1.5 then it started getting hard because we had to change the restaraunts we went to and even things like grocery shopping was hard. We definitely felt alot of times like we lost our sense of self and our relationship felt more like roomates than lovers. We have alot of added stress because my Fiance and my daughter and I are on different schedules becuase he works midnights. So I’m alone with her all night from like 11;30 to 7, my daughter and I are up until like 3am (she won’t sleep at night and we have no idea why) so we dont get up until like 10am. And he cleans during this time we’re asleep. So we get to spend from about 10 am-4pm with him until he goes to bed. So i have her by myself for like 15 hours a day and it gets stressful at times not getting any “break”. Not that your supposed to say “break”, but Im not sure what else to call it lol! But you HAVE TO stay deteremined to make it work and you really will. You can still go out to eat and have fun- just have to alter it a little bit. We have been through a lot and are very, very happy so I know it is possible.
Post # 14
I totally think about the same thing even though we don’t have kids yet. And I’m too tired to read everyone’s replies now, so I’m posting to remember to come back tomorrow and read!
Post # 15
I voted “No, we grew closer”, because we did, but when you have a child, your entire life changes. I think that many different factors can influence how your relationship embraces the change. I think that if you can try your best to have conversations ahead of time about what your parenting styles/beliefs are, you’ll be a bit ahead of the game. We did this and it helped. Knowing that we were/are on the same page with things makes it easier.
The toughest thing for us at the moment is not having enough alone time together. It helps to have family/friends nearby to give you both a break together – ours live out of town, so we only get time away when they come to visit.
Also, something we never thought we’d run into: Although most babies are born healthy, some are not. We spent more than 6 months in hospital with our little girl from 7 weeks old to 8 months old. There were times they didn’t know whether she’d make it. This experience strengthed our relationship because we had to lean on eachother – I couldn’t have done it without him. At the same time, living at the hospital, we saw several strained relationships, and witnessed marriages breaking apart because of the stress of the situation. This isn’t to scare you, as things ended up fine in the end with us and our little lady, but I think you really have to know how to support eachother. It sounds like you have a great relationship, so I’m sure you’d do fine. I just feel bad for the people who ended up with a sick kid and a failed relationship.
And, I’m sure you’ve heard it before, you will both be more tired than you ever have been. 🙂
Enjoy your sleep-ins, the luxury of hot showers whenever you want, your FREE TIME, and your quiet, romantic evenings while you can.
Having a kid is HARD WORK. But, no question, she’s worth it! Just remember to take care of yourself, and each other, and you’ll do great! 🙂
Post # 16
Have you been through other very challenging things together/ hard times that you can look back on right now that can help you to see you will get through the challenges of parenthood?
It is a real concern and I know what you mean. Darling Husband and I are so loving, so… “lovey” and I like being n.1 to one another. We just promise we still will be, and I hope so… I know we have been through crazy challenging things and that helps me to feel it will be okay.