Marriage & Motherhood

“Lord, may my children see a marriage worth imitating when they look at our marriage” – Ephesians 5 v 1-2

Going from marriage to motherhood can be quite an adjustment for most. New parents are often worried about obstacles such as whether finances will be manageable, the lack of sleep they will be getting, how their social lives may be affected, but they often don’t think about the impact a new baby may have on their marriage or relationship. Is one more important than the other? I believe they both share equal importance for the various roles they play in your life. Is there a change in a marriage or relationship after a child is born? Most definitely! Becoming a parent for the first time is overwhelming to begin with. Many see it as a happy couple now becoming a family, which it is, but it is so much more than that. We are all humans with our own feelings, emotions, wants and needs. Trying to deal with everything at once can get overwhelming.

Often a marriage can take a backseat when a baby arrives, especially right at the beginning. You’re a new mom, so busy trying to get to know your baby, figuring out what she wants or needs that you often forget you are a wife too. You are both tired from minimal sleep, you snap at each other, you start thinking the other one isn’t pulling their weight because they aren’t doing what you want them to, but they ask how they can just guess what you want them to do. We tend to take our stress out on those closest to us. You have to figure out how finances will work now that you have a little person to uphold as well. It’s draining, it’s tiring, and it’s the part that no one warns you about. But we must never forget why we married this person, why we chose to have a child with this person, and why we truly love them.

Couple time is now family time

When you become a parent, you are always together but never alone. You are raising a child together, you are partners in parenthood, but there is minimal time for each other alone. When your child does sleep, you are so tired you also want to sleep. You have put your baby in bed and think your job is done for the day, but what have you done today with relation to being a wife? It is something we don’t even think about in that moment, but that is how marriages shrivel apart. We go into survival mode, trying to make it through each day. Not making time for each other. Something as simple as watching a series together after baby has gone to bed. Drinking a glass of wine together outside after a long day. No one said have a candlelit dinner every night, gosh we are too tired for that! But a little bit of effort goes a looooong way. It gets noticed and it keeps a marriage alive. After all, you two have a precious little human that you created and you wouldn’t have been able to do it without each other.

Parenting roles differ and often the role is heavier on the mother, specially during the first few months. Mothers are the feeders, mothers are the parent the baby wants when crying and sick. So, as much as you may have a father who goes out of his way to help, a baby & mom have a different bond and this can get overwhelming at times. This can also lead to the father feeling as if he comes second because the baby’s needs are always being met first, which is correct, but you know how men can be a bit sensitive too, haha! Everyone is filled with these overwhelming new emotions and no idea really how to deal with it.

This is another big reason why I choose to only have one child. . It’s just a personal preference. I like that we can spend time together as a family of 3. Now that little M is older and more independent, it is definitely a lot better. So there is hope for all moms – it gets less hectic. She is able to keep herself busy with puzzles or dolls or her favourite toy now – dinosaur’s – and we are able to watch a movie on the odd occasion. I love how hubby can be off playing with her, or I can, or we can all play together. But that is entirely up to you as an individual. I see some mom’s who have 3 or 4 kids who have got it all together and hats off to you. That takes some doing and some people are inclined to function well like that. We are all individuals and know our limits and expectations. The importance is finding that balance.

Spending time with your significant other is important. Your life has changed, your roles have increased, but you are a wife and a mother. We need to balance both. We need to remember that at some stage, the kids will leave the house and then it’s just you and your partner. You don’t want to wake up one day and realise the person next to you is a stranger that you have been living with for 20 years, that you don’t know what their likes and interests are. It is important to work together throughout your relationship, to take time to do things together. To separate being a wife and mom at times, but still keep them linked. This is easier said than done, but parenting is team work and so is a marriage. Remember children pick up on disturbances and tension. They see these things from when they are little even though we don’t always realise it. We don’t have to neglect one to take care of the other. They can co-exist really well together. Just remember why you fell in love with him in the first place. Be an example of love for your little kiddies.

“Lord, may my children see a marriage worth imitating when they look at our marriage” – Ephesians 5 v 1-2

Never forget why you fell in love

13 Comments

  • Maggie Goldsmith

    Such good advice. The older people like our parents use to say “Do as I say and not what I do!”
    How wrong they were. Children see and duplicate our behavior much more than we think.
    One of the rarest and most beautiful things is a child looking back at your marriage… Deur dik en dun….and wanting to have that one day.

    May God always bless Marius and Ross to be the best example possible for this beautiful girl God borrowed to you.

    Love
    Ouma

  • Amy Most

    It is definitely a challenging time – I can see how a lot of marriages suffer, especially if you have children with high or special needs. I agree that the load falls heavier on the mother – but the flip side is that many fathers then feel helpless as they want to help but just don’t know how!

  • Niki

    This was really nice to read, I feel like I can relate perfectly. It’s so damn easy to just want to go to bed after you put the little one down, but when we put that little bit of effort into each other it makes a world of difference!
    Thanks for sharing!

  • virtualmomma20

    What excellent advice! I agree that a load of responsibilities falls heavier on the mother but communication is key. I have been learning that and it has helped our relationship because my spouse is not a mind reader.

  • Dana

    It definitely does take an effort to keep a strong foundation. Being married for getting close to two decades I can agree that communication and effort are essential in keeping a relationship strong.

  • Amy Most

    This is so true – one piece of advice I was given early on was doing things we used to do just with our kids. I had initially thought we couldn’t do those things anymore i.e. lazy mornings strolling the markets.

  • Cherese

    “Couple times is family time” I appreciate this! I’m going to be a soon to be mom of two and i know our one-on-one time will be limited but time with our kids is just as valuable!

  • Rachel

    Love this! It’s definitely so easy to put the priority of your kids ahead of the priority of your marriage! It’s always worth it to put the effort and time into continuing to date your spouse after kids!!

  • Amanda

    I love the hope you have that being mom gets easier , the fact that they become more independent! Right now I’m struggling with my little one , she’s 3! So thank you for the hope!

  • Amber

    I always remember the advice my Nana gave “make your marriage a priority, once your kids are grown it’s just the two of you”. This post reminds me of the importance of a wife’s vows as well as being a loving mother. Perfect evening read! I appreciate the truth and hope.

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