Lots of my friends are having baby #1 or baby #2 right now and I hear some of the conflicts of interest that they are having about raising their kids! Even if you have been on the same page for baby #1, dynamics start to change with the next and just when you think you have figured things out, boom things change!!
Have you ever been around a couple and just thought to yourself, even with kids, maybe a dog, in-laws, work, other responsibilities, “they look like they have it all together?”! That’s what I like to call #pictureperfect! Looks can be deceiving and many times are. Nobody ever really knows what goes on behind closed doors. Relationships ALWAYS take a lot of work and communication! I can’t stress the word COMMUNICATION enough!
Looking back, when you are dating, you are pretty much in la-la land! Then you get engaged and the stress factor goes up a little, it's time to adult, but mainly you’re on cloud 9 because it’s wedding planning time! Then you get married and some time into the marriage, you decide to have kids! Now, "grown-up" conversations have been happening and decisions have been made on topics such as how to raise a family! And that day finally comes, and you find out your preggo with maybe 1 or 2 and in my case 3.. LOL!! And reality hits quickly! Wait, we are going to be parents and of 3?!! All of a sudden, things might seem to become a little different with your spouse and things that you might have agreed upon are starting to change and you might not be on the same page anymore.
I can’t stress how important it is to just talk!!! Don’t keep things in, don’t sit on them trying to find the right time to talk about it! Just carve out time on the regular and just talk, argue, discuss, vent.. whatever you want to call it, but don't let it sit until the point of eruption! My husband and I had no clue what we were in store for and had no idea how we were going to raise 3 kids at once. All the things we thought we were going to do or agreed upon, slowly started to change as we were faced with the current situation. Truthfully speaking - you can say how you are going to do and be and react to a million situations, but only once you are in it, will the reality of your decisions take place!
The one thing we agreed and have held strong until this day is to be on the same parenting page! You gotta stick together, no matter what! At least don't let the kiddos know you're not on the same page :)!!
Kiddos nowadays are smart and will try to outsmart you! We are already out numbered and kids are getting smarter and smarter by the day! Damn technology at their fingertips.. LOL!! They are picking up on things that I didn’t know until I was a teenager (okay maybe not that late in the game), but you get the idea!
The most important piece of advice that I can give is to always make time for yourselves and each other! Yes, the kids are your #1, but unless you make each other just as important, the days will pass by and you’ll start to drift from each other! My husband and I went through a phase where I more then him started to feel like roommates rather then spouses! We were always super exhausted, stressed and the last thing we wanted to do was “talk” or plan “date night”! There are feelings, hormones, mood swings, etc.. it’s like the pregnancy never ended.. LOL! We would be driving somewhere and those comfortable silences started to feel like uncomfortable silences… Well that was a wake-up call! We started doing date nights on the regular and just making time for ourselves which was so important as we were constantly living in survival mode!
We have an amazing support system which without them we wouldn’t be nearly as connected! Recently we were able to sneak away for a 2 week vacation sans kids to Bali, Indonesia!!! OMG - we didn’t realize just how much we needed that vacation. Not only for a small parenting break, but more importantly to connect again and remember why we agreed to say “I DO” in the first place! :)! I think we’ll make it for another 10 years.. LOL and our uncomfortable silences have gone back to comfortable silences!!
Communicate… communicate… communicate!! The kids are here now, but will be out of the house in 18 years and then it’s just the 2 of you again!! Keep the love alive!!