Marriage vs. Kids: The Baby Days

In my younger days, the early days of my relationship with Hubby, the time came where marriage and kids were clearly on the cards. At the time both seemed like an inevitability. It is only now I am a little older and a little wiser I can see how naive that was. Not only should kids not be an inevitability. But the effect kids had on our marriage was one I did not expect.

As a couple we have now been together for nine years, married for six and we have made two beautiful children. Yet I would say we are closer now than we have ever been. This closeness has not come without hard work and many many trials. Some weeks I am not sure how we survived the baby stages. All those people that think a child will complete their family and help seal their relationship… WRONG! Those little bundles of joy will get in the middle and tear you apart. It will take all your effort not to loose each other along the way.

I have compiled my list of parenting expectations vs. reality when it comes to marriage.

Marriage vs Kids the baby years

Conception

Expectation

A candle lit, romantic encounter of two lovers coming together and making a life.

Reality

A slightly tipsy (ok drunken) fumble in the dark. The less said about it the better. Probably best to make up a romantic story to tell the friends who ask.

Pregnancy

Expectation

A beautiful time of glowing skin and gentle cuddles with each other whilst you happily discuss possible names and wait for the baby to kick. You play ‘The Bump’ music and Daddy lays on your belly and reads it stories.

Reality

Glowing skin is caused by constant vomiting and sweating. You can’t remember the last time you had a cuddle but that is fine because the idea of human contact is repulsive. Why is everyone so warm? And if your husband pokes you in the back with his ‘thing’ in the middle of the night one more time, you will cut it off and have one child only. In fact that may be a good idea because no way in hell are you going through this again! How do woman have more than one kid?

Marriage vs Kids. The baby years

Labour

Expectation

One of the most beautiful experiences of your lives. A water birth with calming hypno-birthing music. Hubby gently massaging your back whilst the miracle that is life is gently and calmly pushed into the world. The mum cradles her new baby and the father looks on lovingly, with a tear in his eye.

Reality

An unceremonious rush to the hospital followed by all the birthing pools being occupied by other women (lucky bitches got there first). Lots of grunting, screaming and strange noises that have no verbal description. Daddy tried to take a look ‘at the business end’ but goes a strange shade of puce and decides for the sake of all of his future boners it may be best to look into the eyes of the mother of his child. BIG MISTAKE. That is like a red rag to a bull. You have captured the attention of the tiger. Nothing Daddy now does will be right. He exists! Why does he even exist? If he doesn’t at least redeem himself and get you the strong drugs from the midwife in the next two minutes you may have to break his arm.

Going Home

Expectation

After the beautiful, magical water birth and short stay in hospital you are home. A wonderful home cooked meal is prepared for you by your mother in law and life goes back to normal with the wonderful addition of your perfect baby. Life is amazing.

Reality

After an extended stay in hospital due to antibiotics and an episiotomy you are home. Thank goodness. Nope! Dinner needs making, or ordering in. The baby is screaming and no one is there to help. The house seems strangely empty even though you are now entering it as a three. What next? Seriously, now what?

Marriage vs Kids. The baby years

Breast Feeding

Expectation

The baby will latch on perfectly, it is natural after all. Your milk will come in on day 3 and in abundance. The baby will feed every 2 hours for the first two weeks and then will start to go longer between feeds. The lanolin cream will keep your nipples moist and supple. It is pain free.

Reality

Holy Crap on Cracker! Was this baby born with teeth? How is it so painful? You thought it was natural? The lanolin cream does jack s**t; the baby has tongue tie which no one at the hospital noticed. You are pretty sure your nipple just popped off your boob but you are too scared to look at the massacre down there. Plus your stitches in your lady bits hurt. You can’t sit properly and you can’t feed properly. And you can’t formula feed. Oh hell no! That would be awful. Everyone says so.

The Night Feeds

Expectation

The baby will still be going every two hours for feeds. During the night Mummy will do the midnight and 4am feeds. She will express (effortlessly) enough for Daddy to do the 2am feed so she can get a little uninterrupted sleep.

Reality

Breast or bottle makes no difference here. Daddy will not wake up when the baby does. A nuclear bomb couldn’t wake him up at 2am. Mum will have to get the baby and the bottle and then either drop kick Daddy awake or resign herself to doing another feed. Of course baby hasn’t gone every 2 hours. More like 10 minutes! Even if Daddy does wake up to do the feed you will still wake up also. Both Daddy and the baby breathe as loudly as a jumbo jet flying by. Your mother instincts can’t ignore it.

Marriage vs Kids. The baby years

Paternity Leave

Expectation

It will be so lovely to have Hubby around for the first 2 weeks. He will be able to help with the baby, the cleaning and the cooking.

Reality

He can’t help with the baby because that thing is a limpet on you, it’s mother. Every time he picks it up it screams and besides which how can you blame it: He picks it up wrong anyway! No cleaning has been done. Apparently you are living in a pig sty these days. Plus his work keeps calling and won’t actually leave him alone to enjoy his paternity leave. 2 weeks seems wonderful, but it is both a lifetime and not long enough!

Daddy is Back at Work

Expectation

He works so hard and deserves a home cooked meal when he gets home. He gets up early at the weekends to give you a lay in because you deserve it.

Reality

He will be walking into a house that looks like a hurricane disaster zone. No food will be in the oven and if he asks about it he may loose a limb. How dare he sleep in at the weekends. Doesn’t he know you are more tired than him. You work harder than he does and at least he gets to leave the house to go to work and have some adult company.

The Wonderful Reality

The wonderful reality is that we all imagine the best but often get the worse. When you add in extreme exhaustion to this is makes for a very turbulent time in any marriage. Babies are hard. Exhaustion is hard. Even the strongest marriages will start to show cracks. No one in the family has it worse or better than the other. It is a matter of seeing past how you are feeling and appreciating the other perspective. This counts for both men and women. Balance is key and taking time out occasionally to speak to each other like human beings and remembering why you wanted to cement your relationship with a baby in the first place.

Cuddle Fairy
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20 Comments

  1. November 2, 2017 / 9:37 am

    Completely agree with everything in this post. There have been some points in my marriage since having our two where I honestly don’t know how we got through it. As tough as it is sometimes the children made our marriage mean even more than it did when we first got married if that makes sense x #thursdayteam

    • Winnettes
      November 3, 2017 / 9:25 am

      Yes they have given it some form of validation almost. It is hard to forget each other but without each other there wouldn’t be any kids x

  2. November 2, 2017 / 4:58 pm

    Fab post Kirsty. You’ve nailed every point… the reality is SO DIFFERENT from the rose-tinted expectations we get from magazines and films. Shared x
    #ThursdayTeam

    • Winnettes
      November 3, 2017 / 9:25 am

      It really is x

  3. November 2, 2017 / 8:35 pm

    Yep yep yep! Kirsty, it’s like you’re in my head haha!! #ThursdayTeam

    • Winnettes
      November 3, 2017 / 9:25 am

      Hehehehe! Maybe I am 😉

  4. November 6, 2017 / 1:27 pm

    Wow! That was amazing and very well said! I couldn’t agree more with everything you wrote. The baby days aren’t all rainbows and kittens but I love how you ended the post. With communication between the couple the baby days can be survived:)

    • Winnettes
      November 15, 2017 / 10:29 am

      Absolutely. I think simply sitting and talking is hugely underestimated x

  5. November 8, 2017 / 10:30 am

    Loved this Kirsty I was giggling reading this as it’s all so true! Especially the conception part 😂😂

    • Winnettes
      November 15, 2017 / 10:30 am

      Haha! Do I want to know? 😉

  6. November 8, 2017 / 11:59 am

    lovely blog. made me both laugh and reminise , my son is turning 20 TOMORROW!!! #fortheloveofBLOG

    • Winnettes
      November 15, 2017 / 10:30 am

      Oh my! 20! I’m sure that will come around all too fast for me too x

  7. November 8, 2017 / 1:59 pm

    Haha, there’s truth in all of this! We both had children of our own when we met, so we should have known what having a baby together would do to us…but I think the same thing that makes you forget all the bad stuff about pregnancy and newborns also makes you forget the strain on the relationship!
    #bloggerclubuk

    • Winnettes
      November 15, 2017 / 10:32 am

      You really do forget! I guess all you can hope is that experience at least removes the shock factor x

  8. November 8, 2017 / 2:47 pm

    We absolutely loved this post, Kirsty. Toooo funny (and way too true). Thanks for your wonderful writing. Shared. #fortheloveofBLOG

    • Winnettes
      November 15, 2017 / 10:33 am

      Hehe! Thank you x

  9. November 8, 2017 / 6:43 pm

    Oh yes it can be hard work but making alone time is important I feel even if it is a coffee on a wet Monday morning X #Thursdayteam

    • Winnettes
      November 15, 2017 / 10:33 am

      Absolutely! Just like this morning for me x

  10. November 14, 2017 / 7:18 pm

    AMEN! It’s hard isn’t it. I remember me and my mum friends joking in the first few weeks after giving birth that we were never going to have sex ever again. Thanks for linking up lovely x #fortheloveofBLOG

    • Winnettes
      November 15, 2017 / 10:38 am

      HAHA! It is so hard!

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