Before me and Dave got married, we were warned by strongly opinionated people that it changes when you get married and really changes your relationship as a couple when you have kids. I remember thinking I really hope not because we were so happy! Although I remember those words, I really tried not to dwell on them. We were married for just over a year when we decided to try for babies. We were still very much in love and romantic and if anything our love had grown after we tied the knot. We conceived and again through my pregnancy, the bond grew stronger between us. We were still like 2 teenagers in love, despite my morning sickness! Yes we had our odd arguments or disagreements, but even those seemed to draw us together. I was beginning to believe all the “beware of change” advice was crap and that those people married the wrong person.
Our time as new parents was amazing and actually fun! It actually didn’t start to change until after Owen was a year and we had found out I was pregnant again. Coincidentally, this is also when I started back into work as a home daycare provider and had less free time.
I am the type of person who likes to do everything myself, or at least choose what chores/tasks I give Dave! I began to notice that I had less and less free time or even a spare minute to myself. I became so overwhelmed with the pregnancy, my super busy boy, the kids in the daycare, the maintenance of the house, making meals, as well as trying to take care of our two dogs. Guess who finally hit the bottom of the totem pole…my poor husband who would work 10 hour days only to come home to an exhausted basketcase and a little boy running around naked screaming or drawing on the walls! It’s no wonder why our relationship started to change, we had no energy left to be a couple, a couple madly in love with each other. I have never loved Dave any less, no matter how hard it got because I remembered why we fell in love and I knew it was still there. We talked about our lack of time a few times after Anna was born, but there wasn’t much more we could do. We needed the extra income so I went back to the daycare when Anna was a month old and the pull intensified tenfold. I felt like I was being stretched in so many directions that I was losing who I was. In turn I was losing my bond with Dave that was so pure and natural for over 7 years. We weren’t very intimate anymore and sex had lost it’s appeal! And yes some may question it, but there was appeal before!!!
I knew I needed to confront the issue and I needed to get me back, in order to get my bond with Dave back to full strength! So after 6 months of daycare (with 16 month old twins, a 3 year old boy, and Anna who was 7 months old and Owen not yet 2 all day, plus the kids I had periodically to help other parents out plus before and after care of two kindergarten boys), I was burnt out Completely! I got strepp throat and that knocked me down hard, I took my first sick day in April and the next week I finally talked to the parents and explained my dire need of a break from the daycare. It was very hard to do, as I love all the kids and the parents are amazing, but both physically and mentally my body was shutting down. So Dave and I decided I needed to take the summer off to reclaim myself. And so I did!
A couple obvious lessons from last year are, learning to say no especially when it starts to jeopardize the quality of life of myself and each of my family members, don’t stretch myself thin, and act when there are warning signs, not when it is too late. So if you take anything away from this series, don’t do what I did!!!! The next chapter will explore the summer and what helped us get back on track and back under the sheets!
Please share if you have felt this way in a relationship and were you able to manage the change and stay together? What did you do that worked?