Motherhood

# Together We Mother: How My Marriage Has Changed Since Having Kids

03.23.17

together we mother

I’m not even sure how I can tackle this without writing an short novel, but I’m going to give it a go. First, you should know that we had a bit of a whirlwind start. We met, fell in love, got engaged, and got pregnant with Edith, and then married within the first two years of knowing each other. I wouldn’t have it any other way but I’m not sure it’s something I would recommend… 

You see, we both led fast and crazy lives before meeting each other so when I found Aaron and after he convinced me he was perfect for me, I felt ready to settle down. The idea of spending my life with this one person was a breath of fresh air. We were young and crazy and so in love. He wrote and bound me books, took me on adventures all over the Bay Area, left love notes on my pillow every morning. He had me completely swept off of my feet but I don’t think we were ready for what parenthood was going to mean for the two of us.

We’ve had to learn the long and hard way that our relationship thrives when our relationship to ourselves is thriving. In the mess and haze of life with two kids in two years and moving across the country, we had found ourselves more similar to roommates that tolerated each other. We both felt suffocated, depleted, and disillusioned. We were on at the tipping point and there were more than enough times that I’m proud to admit that we threw around the word “divorce” and actually meant it.

There were days, weeks, even months of tears and fighting. I felt like I didn’t know the person next to me anymore but the real truth was I didn’t know who I was anymore. I had found myself in the place of putting all my self-worth and reliance into him and the family that I became a completely different person than the girl who he met. I wasn’t the partner to him I wanted to be and he wasn’t the partner to me he wanted to be.

It’s been a lot of work. Sometimes we have to be so honest it literally hurts, but we are finally in this place where we we can love each other because we love ourselves. We can be honest with each other because we’re on honest with ourselves. And we can show up for the other person because we are showing up for ourselves.

Here are a few of my tips for a happy partnership that have been working for us:

+ Never go bed angry. We’ve gone to bed sad or broken hearted, but I’ve never gone to bed mad at him. Even if we just touch feet before falling asleep, its our way of saying, we’re going to fix this.
+ Have a weekly meeting. We started having a weekly meeting where we talk about what is and what isn’t working. I make a point to tell him what he did that made me feel really happy and loved and he does the same.
+ Be honest. Don’t be afraid of what the other person is going to think. Sometimes just saying what you’re feeling fixes the problem even if nothing changes.
+ I’ve said it a million times but I’ll say it again. Go on a date night frequently. We go once a week. We make had to take from other areas of our weekly budget but it was worth it for us. Its also fun to double date. I don’t often get to see him interact in a group setting and its really great to see him as this guy out in the world. And its good for the kids to see us spending time alone together, knowing that we are people aside from their parents with needs of our own.
+ Try learning your partners love language. Aaron’s is definitely “Acts of Service” and mine is “Physical Touch”. A hug will solve almost any problem for me but Aaron needs me to do things. Like help him with a house project without him asking or participate in our budget meetings. It’s not my first nature to do these things but I make the effort so he can feel loved.

What are your tips for having a good partnership? How has your relationship changed?

Be sure to check out the creative women in the #TogetherWeMother Series by visiting their blogs below:

7 comments on “# Together We Mother: How My Marriage Has Changed Since Having Kids”

  1. Love how honest you got here. Some folks really don’t understand how much work a marriage (and one with kids especially) can be. So proud of you guys for working so hard and loving each other the way you do! xox

  2. These are awesome tips, Ana. Loved reading this whole post and. I admire your honesty so much! I especially love: “And we can show up for the other person because we are showing up for ourselves.”

    Amazing. Love you friend.
    xoxo

  3. Ana since I have known you from a very young little girl – I stand amazed and in awe of how much you have grown and matured. I well remember that little girl that would want center stage – demanded it. You would get your microphone (hairbrush) and start singing – with no interruptions as you had to tell me a few times. Now I see this beautiful woman, wife and mother – I think it is great how you and Aaron have worked through difficult situations – communication is key – I realize after two marriages behind me – that is one thing that I failed to do. Held it all in and that teeny tiny little irritation became like an elephant in the room – and basically got so big we couldnt overcome it or didnt- not sure which. I love reading your blog and watching you continue to grow into a more beautiful woman daily. Love you! Helen McCloud

  4. Oh Ana, I teared up reading this because our stories are so similar. Sam used to paint me pictures and love notes and man was our courtship a wonderful whirlwind. I loved your tips! Such good advice my friend.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *