How Our Marriage Changed Again After Two Kids
One of the biggest shocks after having Bodie was how long it took to recalibrate as a couple to our new normal as co parents. I’ve shared tips on connecting, acceptance and communication in that first year. I’ve written before about re-meeting each other in this chapter. It wasn’t a breeze but in a matter of six months into life with our first, after we both went through the work of recognizing how we were evolving or not in this time, we found parenting brought us closer with a deep commitment to be the best version of ourselves and a desire to protect our family boundaries.
A friend who had her second child exactly a year before I did, told me she had observed that while our first kids ultimately bring us together more, our second can, in a way, separate us. I didn’t know what that meant until these recent weeks when on Saturday mornings, Dan bundles Bodie up to take him to any activity that will get his ya yas out - skiing, soccer, running in circles - and I stay home to get some quiet and quality time with Lyla.
When we had Bodie only, I loved doing everything as the three of us even if it felt inefficient. I enjoyed the feeling of parenting alongside one another and taking in the magic together. Now, it’s man on man action. Now our partnership means gauging which of us needs quiet baby energy or which of us wants to be out and about or doing hands on play with Bodie.
Adjusting to this dynamic means that there are no more breaks on flights or at meals out. It means that there are fewer weekend hours together and quite a few in next door rooms, putting one down for a nap and playing with the other. It means that our breaks for ourselves on the weekends are more carefully planned and often missed.
And even though the separateness feels noticeable and new and can sound a teensy bit sad, in a way there’s a romance in it - a sweetness of feeling like we’re taking on a new adventure, we’re learning all over again.
And maybe like a lot of things in parenting the second time around, even when it feels new or exhausting, we know it all passes.
Where are you in your marriage alongside parenting? What observations have you made on how your relationship is evolving?