YourTango has a guest essay today making an interesting case for children as an asset in marriage. About time.
Diana Landen points out that most of the research showing that children detract from marital happiness is done on couples with young kids. Couples who are going through the biggest transition of their lives, and doing it with less sleep, sex, money and time than they’ve had before. Of course they’re stressed out.
If you hang in there, though, she says, there are huge rewards.
This is exactly the essay I’ve been dying to read.
My husband and I are just barely stepping into the brave new world of school age kids. Our youngest started sleeping through the night in July. At least most nights. That means that for the first time in seven years, we’re both getting enough sleep.
The kids are both in school or preschool now. For the first time ever, I have a few hours a day without kids. We’re both working, we’re both sleeping, we’re both doing some childcare and some chores. Suddenly the equity we had in our early days is returning. It feels less like we’re trying to put out a fire and more like we’re just living our lives again.
For years, we’ve had a joke between us that no one should be allowed to divorce when they have a kid under three years old. Those baby years are so stressful, there’s simply no way to tell if your marriage is shipwrecked or simply weathering a bad storm.
Coming out the other side of the baby years, I’m collecting stories from happy couples whose marriages got stronger through parenting together. It’s great to read about how Landen and her husband grew closer as they learned to appreciate each other’s strengths and differences as parents.
I’d love to hear your stories: how have kids made your marriage better?
Photo: Gregory Moine