A baby made my marriage better
This might be an unpopular opinion, but I’m going to go ahead and say it.
Adding a baby to our lives actually strengthened our marriage.
Before you get all crazy on me, let me first say that the reason we chose to have a baby was NOT because we wanted to improve our marriage, and I think that is never a good reason to spawn.
But a wonderful byproduct of Baby G’s presence in our lives is Joe and I feel closer and more solid as a couple than we ever have before. And I even think life is more fun. This is contrary to much of what we heard going into pregnancy.
“Enjoy each other now, because you’ll never have this again.”
“Get all your fun out of your system, because once that baby comes…”
“After the baby comes, you need to really make sure your marriage doesn’t take a back-burner, otherwise you’ll be divorced and living in the gutter in approximately 6.5 months.”
There is a bit of truth in all of these statements, which is why people say them. But the overall message we got before Baby G entered our lives was BABY=MAJOR MARRIAGE STRESSOR. And it freaked us out. I think it’s time I refute that assumption, or at least tell my own story.
Yes, the first few months were trying. I can recount more than one argument over who would wake up with the baby throughout the night, most of these fights arising out of pure exhaustion. Once we found our groove, however, adding a little person to our family turned out much easier than I ever expected. No, we don’t get to go on spontaneous vacations or romantically dine out whenever we want. Nobody is trying to say a baby doesn’t change anything. But I actually feel more connected with Joe, and in many ways, feel more like we have a real partnership than I did before Baby G.
I love to see my husband as a father. I watch him sacrifice for his daughter, work hard, put our needs before his own, and it makes me love him more deeply than I ever could have imagined. On the rare occasions we are without her, on a date night or after we put her to bed, we talk about our naughty little offspring, and his eyes light up in ways I’ve never seen before. We also have plenty of other things to discuss when we’re alone – not every conversation is diaper related, promise – and I have a newfound sense that we are more connected on a spiritual, emotional level than in the past.
This is absolutely not to say that childfree couples can’t enjoy a deep relationship. All I’m saying is in our experience, this whole “baby as an intruder to the marriage” didn’t ring true.
I’m fully aware that as our little girl approaches 14 months – and I’m clearly in the place to brag about how smooth and wonderful my marriage is and how easily Baby G fits into our lives – something must be wrong. I figured it out yesterday: This is the time that many couples decide to have another baby. “I’ve got this one handled, time for more!”
But we’re just not there yet. So parents with more than one child, I know I’m clueless and you might say I have no place to talk about how easy marriage is with just one easy baby. That’s probably true. I hope you don’t mind though, that instead of feeling guilty about just having one kid for now, I’m going to enjoy it.
With Valentine’s Day approaching, I thought I’d post tips on how to keep romance alive after a baby. But I couldn’t come up with any handy tips for you. So instead of posting some marginally useful list, I wanted to share my heart. My only advice on this is to love and be loved. It’s the same before and after a baby. A baby just adds another dimension to love and be loved.
What impact did children have on your marriage, positive or negative? Would having another baby make me want to rescind this blog post? Be honest. I’m not scared of being wrong, at least most of the time.