And then 5 months later, SURPRISE!! We're pregnant again!! What the heck? Cue hysterical and panicked sobs from me. (Don't worry, I know I'm blessed...I got over it quickly.) Then we really got the doom and gloom. "You guys think it's easy being happily married with one kid? Well. Wait until the second one comes along." Thank you very much. I'm already freaked out about having two kids 14 months apart and now I am freaked out that my marriage is going to take a nosedive? Guess what? Noah was born and...we were fine. We were happy. This time, we may possibly have spent a few weeks wandering around in delirium (I remember next to nothing from his newborn months), but we survived - thrived, actually - yet again.
I was convinced that Baby #3 would do us in. This was going to be it. The time when we start to hate each other because the kids are in the way. Isaac was born and...hmm, well, it was a little hard. We did struggle in some areas in the beginning, but here we are, 9 1/2 months later and we've been on more dates and spent more time talking than we ever did. (And a BIG shout-out to our fabulous and amazing babysitter for making that possible!)
Yes, there really is a point to all this personal information. I know that some of you are expecting your first baby. Or your second...or third...or seventh. I realize that many people will tell you that having kids is hard. And it is. No getting around that. But all I want to say to you is this: Your marriage is not destined to suffer after the baby is born. It might suffer, but contrary to the doom and gloom that people may pass on to you with the purpose of removing the rose-colored glasses with which we all tend to enter new situations, it does not have to end up terrible.
Here's the thing though...a happy and healthy marriage after kids is not a free gift that will magically land in your lap. It requires effort. It requires sacrifice. It requires understanding and unselfishness. It requires patience and creativity. If your marriage is a strong priority before the baby is born, it has the potential to stay strong after the baby is born. It even has the potential to be better than ever as you work together to raise and care for this new person who the two of you created together. Don't get me wrong, it will be different because you're entering a whole new realm together, but different doesn't necessarily equate to "bad".
Obviously, all this is not everything you need to know for how to stay strong after kids. I just wanted to offer you hope. Be excited about the baby, be excited about the growth your marriage can experience and get ready to daily put on your Warrior Wife costume and prepare to battle for your marriage.
Other veteran moms/wives: How did you keep your marriage strong after kids? Pass on your wisdom in the comments!
Sharing with: The Better Mom, The Alabaster Jar, NOBH, Graceful, Time Warp Wife, Far Above Rubies, Growing Home
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