We have now been married 7 years now & we have 6 children. Sometimes I just want to turn to my husband, pat him on the back, & say "God bless you". I know it takes 2 to tango & yes on a level I did most of the "really hard work", but I acknowledge that hanging out with a pregnant lady for basically your entire marriage could not have been the easiest thing to do either, lol.
But that being said, I never want to lose the spice & love that we had in the beginning. I don't want to let the fact that we have 6 kids suck the romance from our marriage or cause us to get so caught up in the busyness of life that we look at each other one day & say "who is this person I married?". I want to be happy in not only motherhood, but in my marriage as well. I know it won't always be the easiest thing, but that's the work I am willing to put in & the choice I am going to make.
Just being married in general takes a lot of work & maintenance to keep the relationship strong & the flame of passion alive, but as you add kids to the mix that "fight" becomes even harder but even more necessary. Sometimes as women we think "romance" & "love" is just like in the movies. I'm not saying we need to lower our expectations by any means, but maybe we do need to alter them slightly to real life. I've said this before & I will say it again, I have never been as in love with my husband as when he took care of me after our first child was just born. I mean, I tore & I was in such pain at first. No matter which way you try & twist it there is just nothing cute about bloody pads, needing help as you waddle to & from the bathroom, & that post baby belly. But in those hours of him & I being together in those moments at the hospital, I thought "how lucky am I to have this guy right here by my side taking care of me in this way?". See to some that may not be seen quite as "romance", but to me it really was. A different kind of romance, but romance nonetheless. Again, I am not saying once you have had kids that expectations should be lowered, but you just have to see the beauty in the little things as well as the grand gestures.
Just recently, our house got its routine bug spraying done outside & as the guy came in so I could pay him we got into a conversation about marriage, kids & so forth (He is a fellow firefighter for the city my husband works for). His last child had just recently left the nest & he said in addition to wishing he would have had a few more kids, he also wishes that he would have invested more time & effort into his marriage while the kiddos were still living at home. He was talking about how different things are now that it is just the two of them. He thought they knew each other & thought that had made enough time for each other back then, but now he is realizing they have a lot more adjusting & rediscovering to do than he ever imagined. If there is any advice he would give a young couple like my husband & I, it would be to make sure you put just as much effort into being great parents to your children as being a tight knit husband & wife.
So, six kids in & I will continue to fight just as hard to keep our marriage strong. One of the things that has helped me & our relationship is getting back into shape. Yeah, I want him to have something nice to look at, but I want to feel sexy for myself too & be healthy. Its amazing what kind of confidence can radiate out of someone when they are feeling good about themselves & it could just be me but I think confidence is pretty sexy. So as I continue down the path of getting to where I want to be with my body, buying myself new clothes, under garments, getting my hair & nails done every now & then are all things that help me feel more attractive for myself & towards my husband.
A side note, constantly communicating negative things you feel about your outward appearance to your husband is not always the best avenue. I remember after having Aidy I had new clue how much I was negatively talking about my body until one day my husband stopped me mid-sentence & said, "Right now, I see you as beautiful & I don't even notice all these flaws you continuously point out. But if you keep doing it, soon I am going to start seeing them & paying more attention to them too". Well, that was an eye opener for me & I quickly realized that I am my worst critic & why was I trying to get my husband to become 1 with me?
Another thing I have noticed that can help aid keeping your relationship strong & alive is not letting yourselves get into a slump as far as "the bedroom". Yes, I said it. Predictability is so easy to slip into-especially with kids. Man, sometimes you can be so worn out by the end of some days that "just getting it over with" (if at all) is the only thing you want to do. But I feel like we are doing ourselves a great disservice if we let that happen. That part of a relationship, that connection, is so important & needed. It should be more special than that. I will tell you right now, there is nothing like surprising the heck out of your husband & catching him off guard-not always the same time or place. I swear the funniest scene in a movie referencing this is in that movie "Extract" with Mila Kunis & Jason Bateman. Jason (the husband) finds himself constantly rushing home from work for some....you know....from his wife, because he knows that as soon as she gets home from work, slips into some sweats, & knots them up that all hope is lost. So funny, but on a level so true. So yeah, without going into great detail on this topic, I think an effort from both husband & wife to keep it spicy is so important.
In discovering this new kind of romance, I would also say communication is a big deal. For me this is huge, my husband & I have always been pretty good at communication, but now I just have to be conscious that once the kiddos are in bed & we actually have time to talk that its not always just conversation about the kids or parenting stuff. Yes, that stuff is important & it does need to be talked about from time to time, but it doesn't have to be the only thing you ever talk about. Oh my goodness, it is just the most intriguing thing for me to listen to my husband open up & start really talking about something he is extremely passionate about. I swear in those moments, I wish our conversation would just last forever. Its just so nice to communicate about different things we are passionate about together. I learn new things about my husband all the time & it is just amazing to me. I also think it is important to communicate & open up about different things we may be struggling with in our relationship & as an individual. We can't read each others minds & so instead of playing the guessing game every time we can tell something is wrong with our partner, creating a place where they can feel safe & open up without judgement is so important. Sometimes I may be struggling with feeling overwhelmed or I may feel the need for more attention than my husband is currently giving me, communicating these struggles with each other is so important because marriage is not suppose to be a one-sided thing. We are together in this & all things life.
I also think that relationship maintenance is a necessary. In marriage, we have never "arrived" there are always different things we can work on & improve in. Lately, I have been reading "For Women Only" & wow! I knew men where a lot different than women, but let me tell you THEY ARE A LOT DIFFERENT THAN WOMEN. It is amazing how differently they see the world & interpret things than we do & as a woman understanding this can do nothing but help our relationship grow even stronger together. My husband & I are also currently watching a relationship dvd series together & every time we turn it on to watch, a new revelation for us both is always being discovered. I don't think anyone should every be ashamed to admit their marriage is not perfect. I actually think it makes a relationship even more beautiful because it shows that you value it enough to change & improve where ever is seen fit.
Lastly, just prioritizing & making that extra effort is a way I try to keep our relationship strong. Having so many kids I try to daily make a conscious effort to help my husband feel like he doesn't always play second fiddle to the kids constantly. Am I perfect at it? No. And yes, at this time in our lives are children do need a lot more hands on help with even the most minimal tasks like brushing their teeth, getting dressed, & so forth but there are also lil' things I try to do for my husband to let him know he is just as important. Sometimes I try slipping a note into his work bag or while out at the store picking him up an extra item that says "I thought about you". After a long day I try to give him a back massage or have a cup of fresh coffee waiting for him. These aren't the big loud gestures of romance like in the movies, but these are still efforts to let him know I do care & I do love him. When we can grab a sitter & slip in a date here or there I believe that is also very important for a marriage (since baby 6 this is not as easy as it use to be, but I am trying). Not only is it good for the husband & wife, but it also good for the children to see that you value each other & your marriage. Its not always going to be an extravagant date filled with hours of new adventures & discoveries, but sometimes even just getting away to share a quick cup of coffee can even be nice & refreshing for the relationship.
So, does life change after having a kid? Yes. After having multiple kids? Heck yes, but it doesn't have to be a bad thing. The love & romance in a relationship doesn't have to have to fade, things don't have to become boring & predictable. We just need to make sure we prioritize our marriage/relationship with our spouse & put in the extra effort to make it work! Its well worth it I promise you. Not only will you as husband & wife be happier, but you will notice that the whole family will be happier as a whole as well.
|Diaper "jam sesh" with Daddy|
|Kiddos enjoying some magic|
under the big top
|Waiting for face painting|
|Well who is this stud?|
|About to show me some gymnastics skills|
|Hanging with his buddy|
|He can even kick off shoes|
in his sleep.
|Exhausting day I guess, crashed on sissy's bed|
|Watching sissy swim|
|Some goofy action before bed|
|Time with my Ashy|
|What ever shall we do? BUILD!|
|Entertaining brother before his bath,|
so helpful always