The Toll Raising Young Children Takes on Your Marriage
I wasn't sure if I wanted to even write, nevermind post this. I am not one to publicly discuss something as personal as marriage issues, but I find this particular topic to not necessarily be specific to me.
After talking with other close friends who are raising young kids it appears as if many times we are in the same boat, the same sinking boat if you will. We are drowning in laundry (sh#t tons actually), a dishwasher that needs constant loading and unloading, meal prep, dirty floors, irrational toddlers, broken stuff, practices, appointments, meetings, play dates, constant trips to the grocery store, switching over the clothes for a new season/size (my favorite task, NOT), snack time (which is now apparently an all day event), bathing, haircuts, outings, museums, and list goes on and on, as you know.
Ok, so with all of the above, and then some, comes the ever so challenging tasks in a marriage to a) have time and freedom for yourself and b) have time with each other.
I think when it comes to having time and freedom for yourself this can be a slippery slope. It's almost as if you start to work in shifts. Like okay I have been with them for the past 13 hours, Daddy comes home. I am SOOOOO out of here. So he then will do evening duties alone. Which is fine every now and then, but then the kids don't have both parents at dinner or bedtime. I often feel guilty if I do that so I won't go out until after bed but that leaves me being out after 10 and then I am up at 5 with my wide awake daughter, leaving me very exhausted during the day so thats no good either.
When it comes to the marriage when we feel like we aren't getting enough time to ourselves we tend to get resentful of the other person. There are many times I am jealous that my husband is at work. In the big picture I have made the choice to stay home for the time being and I don't regret nor do I want to change it but having some time away to give your mind a break is important.
Okay, so that sums up marriage issue number one, resenting one another based on who gets more "personal free time".
Issue number two is when you don't get enough time together as a couple. My husband and I are both very social and like having people over and socializing with friends. This is all fine and dandy, but sometimes we use up all of our social time, socializing with others and not spending enough time just the two of us.
So what the heck do we do to fix this?
Well, like any psychologist will tell you "first step is recognizing the problem". Yup, got that one down. So we talked about it and decided we needed to make a schedule and work on better communication. Isn't the damn communication always the answer??!! So we did. We hired a sitter to come at a regular time a few times a month so we could have date nights just the two of us. As far as the personal free time is concerned that is still definitely a work in progress and harder to iron out. We do have a shared calendar on our phones which definitely helps with knowing what is on one another's (and the kids) agenda.
The reality is we're just trying to keep our love boat afloat (so cheesy, I know), and occasionally make it rock because I hear that helps too.
I'm open to suggestions people- if anyone has words of wisdom please share!