10 Ways Relationships Change When You Become Parents
Relationships tend to suffer once children come along and my husband and I are not immune from that statement. Our relationship changed drastically after we became parents and I was nowhere near prepared for it. Why did the man I was so deeply in love with turn into someone I was always angry at? My entire pregnancy I was preparing for the arrival of our daughter that I neglected to prepare for the changes my husband and I would go through. I was naive to think things would be exactly the same. There were times where I was wondering if we were even going to make it. But in the end we did and we came out stronger than ever. It just took some work and a mutual desire to grow together during this new chapter of our lives.
So onto the meat and potatoes, here are some ways relationships change after you become parents. Hopefully it can somewhat prepare you for what is to come.
- 10 Ways Your Life Changes When You Have Kids
- 11 Questions to Ask Yourself Before Deciding to Have Another Child
- 10 Ways Your Body Changes After Pregnancy
Say goodbye to spontaneous sex. If you don’t schedule it (at least for me) then it will never happen. We love each other very much, but sleep is more of a priority at this point. After working our day jobs and then coming home to the kids, by the time they go to bed we are ready for bed ourselves. It’s not exactly as exciting as it used to be, but for now this is what we have to do. To put some light on it, scheduled sex is way better than no sex!
Luckily for me and my husband, we are on the same page with parenting styles. But for many couples parenting styles clash. Maybe dad says no to something but mom says yes, or vice versa. This could not only confuse your child but cause pretty large arguments between you and your spouse. Get on the same page and parent together. Having this talk and setting rules before the baby comes would be the most beneficial.
Date nights have now become far and few in between. If we neglect to schedule a date night then we could go months without going out or doing anything together. One thing that has helped us is we started to schedule a couple date nights a month and we stick to it. It’s so easy to forget about something like that but it is so important to stay connected and be reminded that you are more than just Mommy and Daddy.
Lack Of Sleep
I will be the first to admit that only sleeping for 4-5 hours a night made me a super grumpy person and my husband was always the one to feel the wrath from that. Lack of sleep makes even the most patient person edgy. People tend to be less grateful when they aren’t getting enough sleep. The best advice I can give here is try to prioritize sleep as much as you can. Give yourself a bedtime and make sure to share the nightly baby duty with your spouse so you both can get as much rest as you can. Everything is better when you are rested.
I think one of the key things in having a successful relationship is communication. But once you have kids it can be very difficult to have meaningful conversations. Typically a conversation will start and stop a million times because one of the kids needs us. This leads back to the importance of having date nights. Funny part is that when we actually are able to communicate uninterrupted it’s usually about our kids. I guess we’re just a little obsessed with them.
There have always been chores, but now it seems like chores take 10 times longer to complete than before. Dishes, laundry, trash. I used to have no problem keeping up with it all. Now that I have little humans who take up 99% of my time, it can be easy to fall behind on that stuff. Best advice? Set some ground rules on who takes care of what. You do the laundry and your spouse does the dishes. You vacuum and they take out the trash. If you split the chores it won’t feel so overwhelming. Remember, you guys are a team.
Money matters more than you thought. Money is a huge relationship stressor and is often overwhelming. Bottom line? KIDS COST A LOT OF MONEY. The cost of raising a child from birth to age 17 is $233,610 according to 2015 statistics. My poor wallet. Worst part about money stresses? I take my anxiety and frustration out on my husband. Thankfully we are now in a spot where we are more financially stable, but we still have to be careful. We don’t buy the name brand clothing or all organic baby food. We had to cut back on things in order to accommodate our larger family. Everyone’s financial situation is different, so do what is best for your family and cut back where you need to. Trust me, you can live without a Loui Vuitton purse.
Lovers or Co-Workers?
At times, parenting feels a lot like co-workers. Your job is taking care of kids and maintaining a household. You both tag team the chores and the baby
duties and at the end of the day you give each other a high five and fall asleep, just to do it all over again. Between all the appointments and planning and cleaning and parenting, you may forget to stop for a moment and give your spouse a loving hug or kiss. It is so easy to get caught up in the routine that you forget to love your spouse in the process. You guys need each now more than ever. Don’t forget why you guys decided to do this journey together in the first place.
You Might Hate Each Other
Sometimes, you might hate each other. Sometimes you will feel like your way is the best way and that everything your spouse is doing is wrong. You will bicker at each other and occasionally criticize their actions. If you find yourself “hating” your spouse, try to remember why you chose to start a family with them to begin with. Remember the love you shared and realize that you both are trying as hard as you can. Give each other the benefit of the doubt and don’t sweat the small stuff.
You Will Grow Stronger
During all the chaos and messes and sleep deprivation, you will grow from this together. You will see your spouse morph into a parent and it will be so beautiful and heartwarming. You will see a side of them you never known existed and you couldn’t imagine doing this journey with anyone else. Though it is beautiful, it will be hard. Some days you will get on each other’s last nerves and some days you will wish you had more time together. But just remember that these days are numbered and sooner than you think you will have all the time in the world again. If you are both willing to put in the work towards your relationship, you will grow stronger than you could have ever imagined.
Having children really is the ultimate test on relationships. You have to work together in ways you never had to before. It can be quite the adjustment and unfortunately many couples can’t withstand this hard phase and ultimately end up in divorce. But if you both are in it for the long haul you should have nothing to worry about. Just make sure to sneak kisses and hugs when you can, be kind to each other and grow with each other during this parenting journey. Remember that you are both in this together. You are a team. Someday your child(ren) will be grown and you will have each other all to yourselves again and ready to take on the next chapter of life hand in hand.