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How does parenting affect your marriage?
Being a parent has its ups and downs, which affects any marriage. Look, every time someone would say X would change Y, I ended up being disappointed because their warnings were almost never true. People around me said getting married would change my life by drastic measures, and it didn’t. However, when we had our first child, our marriage was affected and changed forever.
Lack of Sleep
When my wife and I had a child I noticed that in the first month we developed short tempers towards each other. Sure, there were funny moments like waking up in the middle of the night to an alarm clock, for the feeding, and I forgot how to turn off the buzzy noise. However, we started to get hostile. We recognized what was happening: we weren’t getting enough sleep. Every joke turned into an argument. Our brains could not process the difference between a joke and a criticism.
Time And Space Collapse
A 15-minute trip to the supermarket became an hour trip to the supermarket. Gone are the days of bustling out of the door, and throwing on a jacket. We had a youngster, so we added 15-20 minutes getting the kid settled with the right clothes, and buckled safely into the car. Then tack on more time during the “15 minute” trip.
This isn’t just about a trip to the supermarket, but life in general. We needed to learn time all over again, and adjust our personal clocks. Before, when we knew we had to be at our destination in 15 minutes, we would leave in 15 minutes. Now, we had to add another 15 minutes to start preparing to leave.
Look, this will affect some marriages more than others. Someone like me, these new actions affected my being. I already get nervous and uptight if I think I am going to be late.
You and your spouse most likely grew up differently, and those differences affect your parental and life choices.
For example. I have no idea (for the most part, there are extreme cases) what are and what are not decent TV or movie choices for children. I grew up in a family that just didn’t give a damn. I was watching horror films way before the other children, and it was what it was. My wife has a completely different view on this, and I personally think it is kind of ehhh. We can be at odds sometimes, but we talk it over.
So, your methods of parenting have to evolve together, and that changes your relationship.
If this doesn’t affect your marriage then God or the Universe blessed you in some sort of way. Our parents act like spoiled brats when together, whether it’s Christmas or a child’s birthday party. Both sides complain about the other, and act like feral children. (I hope neither side ends up reading this. Whatever…)
Family members think that they can judge your kids, you, and the other side, and I am done with that crap. There are times where I have threatened to take my family, and drive back home. Or, if they are staying at our place, I threaten to kick them out, and send them home on the 4-hour trip.
This will affect your marriage as well. Even though we both agree on a lot, we somehow start defending our parents. We know logically it’s both sides. However, it’s something that we have to try to remember.
Meet The Parents
You find out as a parent that when your child laughs, you laugh. When they are cranky, you are cranky.
The other day my children watched Star Wars all in their different ways. Our oldest is 7, and was the only one to understand in the Empire Strikes Back that bit with “I am your father.” My child’s jaw dropped, and he said, “Wait Anakin is Luke’s father. Darth Vader is Anakin. Oh my gosh.” My wife and I both laughed, smiled, and weirdly felt proud, but those moments of course affect our marriage.
It Is What It Is
None of this is really negative or positive. Maybe some lean one way, but overall it is what it is. I say this because change in your relationship is going to happen. Those incidents could be negative or positive, and can lead to something new that is either negative or positive. Those changes evolve into something that you and your spouse make it.
Anthony Stenta is a father, husband, master of libraries and information, Harry Potter intellect, and amateur Wizard of Oz historian. Read more from Quora below:
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