Dear Couple with Young Kids,
You are in one of the most difficult times of marriage. Sure, you have those moments when your kids are so adorable that you could both burst with joy, but typically, those are moments amidst the daily grind of life. You might notice that you parent very differently from each other. Often one parent believes that the other is too lenient and should just lay down the law! Or, you may see your partner as too strict and insensitive. There will be times when you may even wonder if you like each other; this is normal. Feelings can change moment by moment but the need for love is shared by both of you all the time.
When you don’t have time to be creative, rest or be alone, it is natural to feel resentful. You might look at your partner and think they have it easier than you as they walk out the door to work with adults in an organized environment. Or maybe you wish you could have time at home to hang out with the kids all day. The truth is, you are both working hard, it just looks different. Try to avoid feeling competitive about time, soon enough you will have time, this is just a phase. How many people tell you to enjoy it while you can because kids grow up so fast! Doesn’t your sleep-deprived body just want to kick them? But…it’s true. Acceptance of where you are at with the wisdom to know it will change soon enough can bring about a sense of peace.
You might find that you don’t talk to each other much anymore. When this happens the glue of the relationship can dry up. You need that glue to stick! Your children will benefit if you take some of the focus off of them and direct it back to each other. How do you stay connected? If it’s too complicated, it won’t happen. Keep it simple, but do it! If you feel so resentful that you aren’t sure that you want to connect, remember that distancing never helps, it just creates more misunderstandings. If there are important issues to deal with, deal with them! Get help if you need to.
There are three legs to the milking stool: Self Care, Couple Care and Child Care. How are you finding balance?