Kids take a toll on a marriage. They do. No denying this fact. We all have friends that talk about how wonderful their marriage is and how the kids made them stronger and more happy and I say quietly in my head “Yeah right.” Not they didn’t. Sure, your children may have strengthened a bond between you, of course. But then when it’s 2am and a child is scream crying because they have a cold and your husband didn’t put the medicine back in the medicine cabinet and you are forced to search the house because it is missing, don’t try and tell me your tone of voice you use with him is the same one you used before kids arrived. This new tone of voice coming from your body is hard core, demeaning, annoyed, cutting at times depending on the situation, and very ugly. Personally, you hate that your voice sounds like this and the words coming out are what they are, but hey, you are flippin’ tired as hell and your husband doesn’t do what in your mind are the easiest tasks to keep things in life straight forward and simple. I’m projecting. This is our situation and I’m sure some women have husbands who do the voice, but from what I hear it comes mostly from the mommy’s mouth because we are, after all, always right.
And this is the beginning. Then you take into account that you both have 500 more chores now with a baby around, less energy, less sleep, and of course way less sex. If you don’t have less sex, let’s face it. The sex you are having is more on a “let’s have sex” quickie style and then move on. The days seem to be over where your sex drive is thriving and it all seemed so much easier and more natural. It becomes the dreaded……..clockwork.
What inevitably happens now, without this connection, without the sex, without the loving words, is resentment. Anger. Frustration. Disconnect. And then that awful tone in your voice starts happening all the time.
So yes, this can be sad. This can take over. This can ruin or even end a marriage. But instead of sitting around thinking about how unhappy you are, maybe try a few positive things to help restore your love and connection. We all, myself included, find it easier to truck along and let the negative sides creep in without facing them straight on right away. The longer we wait and settle in, the harder it will be to dig out. This hole of resentment can get pretty deep if we let it. So let’s dig people.
Are you ready for this? Or maybe you have already had kids and have gone through this. Either way, not one mommy would disagree with these cold hard facts about during and after labor. Here is what you are in store for.
1. No matter how much you prepare and how many cute colored bold fonted words you express onto paper in your perfect birth plan, labor is a war zone. You will never be able to predict exactly what kind of labor you will have, and almost always you will be sent back to medieval times when we were at our most primal forms of mankind. One minute you are finishing off your In-N-Out burger and basking in the sun as a respectable member of society, the next you are making low grunting tones and stomping around looking for a way to get to the damn hospital.
I, like most everyone who has 2 kids under the age of 2, am in some form of living hell. Maybe what I would even consider to be hell on earth. Some of you may be through the woods and have hit that one year mark with your newborn where things start to get a tiny bit easier. I, sadly, am not. I am in the throws of dealing with a 2 1/2 year old and a 5 month old. And let me just tell you, there should be a drug for people like us just to get us through the day to day without fist sized holes in every room of our house. Fist sized holes. It happens.
So, I sit here after one of the many “worst days of my life” thinking I can use this opportunity to pour my tears into a blog post and share it with anyone willing to listen. I’m dying a slow death over here, are you? Facts about raising 2 kids, the first year:
1. You thought you had no time with one, you had all the time in the world.
Sorry, it’s true. I was blown away by how difficult one child was, until I had my second child. Suddenly my well kept house is looking like we just suffered from a 6.0 earthquake, and I literally just cleaned it up 5 minutes ago. My bi-weekly blog posts that I would conveniently write whilst drinking a cup of tea during my toddlers nap time, gone. My 5 minutes for a body shower and makeup, gone. My ability to make and eat a sandwich for lunch, gone. I have never been so hairy. Or greasy. Or all around gross.
Of course you get stressed, you are trying to make dinner with a child having a nervous breakdown on the kitchen floor and throwing the peas that you just cooked all over the place causing you to start all over. One of the main reasons I even have this blog is because of my need to vent about all the nervous breakdowns I had NO IDEA I would be having once Jack popped out of my body. Right? We all thought we would just set them in the car and run errands and life was all smooth sailing, not set them in the car and have them immediately start scream crying and dump their snack upside down all over themselves and the seat and fight the car seat buckle like it was their last act on this earth. Deep breath in, deep breath out. I haven’t vented in a while because I think I became used to these problems occurring in my life, unlike the beginning when its like a car crash in your face. Now I know that when I use the bathroom, I will never again be alone. I know that when I stay out late with friends, that’s the morning Jack will wake up insanely early. I don’t have any false hopes anymore. The hopes are gone.
This is not a rant, or a vent. This is a mom who is confronted with other moms trying to say they have it all together and life is so easy. No it isn’t. Don’t lie. And today I stumbled across another mom who felt the same as I do and she created a website for other mothers who also have hard days (aka all of them). So of course I had to share! Her website has a lot to it including recipes and craft ideas, sex advice (and complaints) and venting on the side. It’s exactly what we need in life right? I believe there is even a section you can share some personal vents for other mom’s to see, something I can really get on board with. It’s all about bonding together and the therapy that comes out of that right?? So let’s all thank Felicity Huffman and fall in love with her website together. Enjoy!
Keeping up with my theme of having a hard time this week, I was thinking about all the things you read and watch to prepare for the transition into motherhood and all that it entails. P.S. you can burn every book you ever bought, because none of them tell you the cold hard reality of what you are signing up for, hence the tougher transition for people like I. It sounds awful I am sure, and I have to send out a disclaimer that it is still the best thing that has ever happened to me in my entire life. But I freely admit that on some days, it’s the worst. So keeping it real, here is the real “What to expect” Regan style.
Ladies, (and gentlemen) we all know that babies are a lot of work. That they take over and turn your life upside down. It’s commonsense. But there are blinders over our eyes about one HUGE subject. The marriage (i.e. what happens to your marriage) when the baby comes. Chris and I took parenting classes and labor classes before Jack was born, but we didn’t realize that we would possibly need marriage classes as well. Probably more than the other classes put together. And staying true with the whole “brutal honesty” I have going on in this blog, I obviously have to address the issue and maybe help a future mother along her path.
No, I’m not. But sometimes it definitely feels that way. The amount of mistakes I make on a daily basis is astounding, so of course from time to time I have to look in the mirror and say, “Damn I am the worst mother of all time.” This blog is all about calling myself out, and I sure as hell am nowhere near being perfect and won’t pretend to be so. The instance that brought on my particular feeling of doom and gloom today? Jack fell off the changing table. No, not only fell off. Luckily, there was a metal space heater right below him to soften the blow to his head with. And I was right there, I saw it happen right before my eyes. My baby, flying through the air, and I wasn’t fast enough to stop it.
Now, he got over it pretty quickly and was within minutes already pulling the last of the remaining hair from the cat’s back and laughing hysterically. But I was haunted and remain haunted still. The image keeps playing over and over in my head, terrible mother. Funnily enough when a fellow mom came by for a visit (thank god for fellow moms) and I told her what had happened she laughed and said, “Sweetie, these things happen all the time. Ask me how many times my boys have hurt themselves. I wouldn’t be able to tell you.” No judgement. Just a smile. So I feel better. But now I am back to being the overprotective mother that I was when he was born, he is back under lock and key.
“Did Jack learn from this experience?” you might wonder to yourself. No. He did not. My little genius tried rolling off the changing table again at the next diaper swap.
So the whole point of this blog isn’t to just pontificate about all the things I now know and spew them back out as if I hold the answers to the meaning of life, although sometimes it may seem that way when I learn something new and excitedly rant about how fabulous it is even though plenty of mothers have known these secrets for thousands of years. Every now and again, mainly now at the moment, you have a hard day. And funnily enough, the hard days always seem to have the most calamity of all time, just to dig the knife a little deeper. Today, it was one of those days. I just have to state that I once upon a time I was a Makeup Artist, and the days at work used to be somewhere between 12 (if you are really really lucky) and 22 hours long. Then home for a bit of sleep and back at it again the next day. I am no newbie when it comes to hard work, actually I am a bit of a workaholic. So having this baby I thought that nothing could be harder work than what I am already used to, no problem.
Then days happen where you are sitting there thinking “Oh, my god. I am just so damn tired.” And unlike being on a regular job, you can’t take a 5 minute break and sit down and relax. So you try to dig deep for more energy in the hopes you can rest when the baby naps. And today, of course, no naps. So there you find me, depleted of any and all energy or will to live. And a cranky baby. So I let him do his favorite thing, run around the house naked. And suddenly I find him playing quietly in the closet by himself, happily. SCORE! I lay down on the ground behind him and relax. Then, what do you know, I find that he is now playing with his poo, which is all over the carpet and his legs and one of his hands. And as soon as I pick him up, it gets all over me. POO. ON. ME. That is the perfect end to a day like today. It happens. I’m sure I am not alone in this when I wonder to myself. “How the hell am I going to have ANOTHER baby!!!!” Seriously, I love it more than anything but whew!