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Kids are exhausting. Having kids is like inviting a stranger into your relationship and hoping that
Here’s the thing, though. Kids are not responsible for adult feelings or actions or how adults treat each other after the kids are born. Kids have zero responsibility for the actual breakup. But something that parents need to understand is that having kids changes everything.
Let me say that again: having kids changes EVERYTHING.
We all know that in our heads when we step into marriage and decide to start a family, but until you’ve been there, it’s really difficult to understand just how deeply that goes.
Still, just because the marriage changed, that doesn’t mean that a separation and eventual divorce is inevitable. There are just a few things that have to be addressed in order to continue to make it work.
1. Having kids changes everything. Yes, we already said that, but honestly, you should get this tattooed on your thigh so that you can reread it every single time you’re hiding in the bathroom, trying to escape those kids.
2. Every kid changes the entire family dynamic. So when you have your first kid, that kid is born into a single child household. Duh. But because they’re a single child household, things are done differently than when the second, third, etc children come along. So, unless you look at how each child changes the entire family dynamic, you’ll struggle to keep up.
3. Struggling is normal. Forget what you see on Facebook, none of us know what we’re doing. Truly, for every mom who posts a picture of her perfect baby with the fur blanket and the monthly blocks and seasonal flowers, you’re also looking at a mom whose baby has blown out the back of their diaper and ruined a flipping expensive car seat (because there’s only so much you can do when the blowout happens on the road). That mom cries herself to sleep sometimes, too. Bet.
4. Nothing will get better unless you talk to each other. Yeah, yeah, the whole of the internet will tell you how important communication is, but communication isn’t always, “When you say this, I feel (insert feeling here).” It’s not all therapy
5. You’re going to change. And so will your significant other. Over and over again. As you change, and as they change, take time to get to know this new person. Yes sometimes people grow apart, but most of the time when it feels like you’re growing apart, all you’re doing is changing. Go on a few dates, make out in the backseat of the car, find something you like about this new person and don’t worry about how they aren’t the same as when you met them, because neither are you.
Look, I know it seems easier to go to your Facebook Mom Groups and tell them all the bad stuff to build up the nerve to leave a relationship, but what you feel in the heat of the moment might not be what you feel a week from now, or month, or however long it takes to work through it. Kids change things, and yes, sometimes relationships end because of kids, but mostly it’s because we don’t work hard enough to stick together in spite of the kids. Kids are hard. So hard. And life with kids is nearly impossible. But kids are also so perfect, at least 20 times a day. And years from now, when you finally have a chance to look back at what you’ve made it through together, and the life that you build together, you’re going to be glad you stuck it out.