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Marriage on a Treadmill – Part 1

Marriage on a Treadmill – Part 1

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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?

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Comments (11)

  1. Erin Monday - 20 / 08 / 2012 Reply
    Nina, this is such a fantastic post and definitely something that couples struggle with after a baby enters the picture (and sometimes before). I'd comment on my own experiences but I think a blog post is the best outlet for me so I can ramble ;) Love you!
  2. Crystal M Monday - 20 / 08 / 2012 Reply
    I totally agree Nina! things definitely change once kids enter the picture, cause it goes from two of you (us) to three, then four etc. Makes it even more important to put you, your huby & little family the biggest priority, even if that means saying no to things you might not have before etc. xo
  3. Nina Monday - 20 / 08 / 2012 Reply
    Thank you Ladies! I know I am definitely not the only one, and I know hearing others stories always helps, so hopefully others realize too before its too late.
  4. Kimberly OBrien Monday - 20 / 08 / 2012 Reply
    I love that you are so real and open with such an important issue. We often discuss these very things at our MomME Time group in Arnprior. It's great to have a support network of honest women sharing things that work and things that need work. I will share this site with the ladies and maybe some day you can join us for some discussions. It's open to all moms. Thanks again for sharing!!!
  5. Nina Monday - 20 / 08 / 2012 Reply
    You're so Right @Kimberly!! It is very important to have a support network, and to be open and honest about reality (something I had a very hard time doing before). I would love to find out more about your MomMe Time group if you have any extra info pass it onto or
  6. Angie Monday - 20 / 08 / 2012 Reply
    I am going through this right now. I feel like we will never be back to the way we were....Kimberly, where and when is the MomMe Time group?
  7. Kimberly O'Brien Monday - 20 / 08 / 2012 Reply
    I've attached the link. We break for the summer but we meet bi-weekly from October through June on Wednesday mornings. We sometimes have subject matter experts come in or have discussion groups about various subjects such as finances, marriage building, child rearing, nutrition, and we've recently been asked to look at mental health as a topic as well. Whatever the moms want to explore we try to find a way of meeting that need. We also host a Tot Time Cafe that meets the opposite weeks on Friday afternoons. That one is an unstructured program where moms just drop in and enjoy coffee/tea and snacks while their children play nearby and moms can enjoy some adult conversation. If you would like more information please feel free to contact me at
  8. Nina Monday - 20 / 08 / 2012 Reply
    @Angie, it is really tough, I feel your pain. It is really hard to maintain a good marriage and definitely needs continuous work from both parties. It may never go back to the way you were but hopefully you can bring some of what you were as a couple before kids into your new relationship.
  9. Kimberly O'Brien Tuesday - 21 / 08 / 2012 Reply
    Another thing that might be helpful is to make sure we have regular date nights. We hear about that all the time, but it just isn't feasible for many. I'm trying to find some people interested in a babysitting co-op where moms can take turns caring for each others children so that we can get out or even just make it to appointments without having to bring all of your children with you. There are some excellent articles available online to find out how to start one up. You can start it with just a couple of moms or with several. I'll attach some articles and if you are interested, there are many more available online.
  10. Kristine Tuesday - 21 / 08 / 2012 Reply
    Oh Nina! This is like reading my own words...only I am stuck in it right now...right down to the home daycare! I have had a headache for over two weeks and am feeling tension in my neck and back and can only attribute it to the stress of trying to be super Mom and failing miserably! Look forward to reading your next posts and hope I can find the insperation I need to get back to were I want to be!
  11. Nina Tuesday - 21 / 08 / 2012 Reply
    Thank you for the information @kimberly, this is a good resource or moms in arnprior area. @kristine, you are supermom because you are doing this all for your family, you just need a little balance of you time before its too late. I do really hope this helps you and your husband return to a good place, part two is coming soon! Hang in there

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