It’s that time of the week again! Another guest post in the #UsAfterYou series where I ask, “How did your relationship change after children?”
This week we have the lovely Clare from Sons, Sand & Sauvignon. Apart from having a very cool blog name, Clare writes some brilliant lifestyle and parenting posts alongside trusted product reviews and a whole category dedicated to wedding design and inspiration. In fact, she’s just launched her very own Etsy shop, turning her passion for weddings into a business – so go and support her and spread the word!
But first, pop the kettle on, pull up a comfy seat and read on…
I remember the exact moment having children changed the dynamic of James and my relationship. It was long after we started having children and a lot more to do with our personal circumstances.
We found out we were expecting Hayden four months before we were due to be married, and everything just seemed to fit the natural path we had outlined for our future. Once the wedding was over we had the excitement of getting prepared for our gorgeous baby boy. I had decided to take 8 months off work for maternity leave but had every intention of returning to my career as a restaurant manager. As we lived above our workplace, nothing ever really changed, apart from the fact I could take great pleasure watching James go to work on a Sunday whilst I got to enjoy time in front of the tv, or playing with our little bundle of joy. A definite perk when you have worked in a carvery brand for the previous 8 years. James was never really a ‘night out with the boys’ kind of person so our relationship pretty much stayed the same. We would share the household chores equally and James was amazing with taking over night feeds!
Once I returned back to work, I just got stuck right in to the manager life again. James took care of Hayden 90% of the time and when Hayden was at nursery James would work in my restaurant as he always had done. We became good friends with a couple of the staff from Hayden’s nursery so had managed to bag ourselves some responsible childcare for those gig nights in London that we loved so much. General life caused strains here and there on our relationship from time to time, but still we were very much the same couple.
We were soon expecting our second son Ellis, but we continued on as normal. We had plenty of opportunities for ‘date nights’ as well as enjoying time as a family. I still worked hard and James naturally took the stay at home parent role, he was great at it! It just worked for our family set up. I could bring in double the wage he could, and my job gave us a home that cost us very little.
Our relationship changed the most when we were had our third and final little boy, Kinley. We decided to buy our own house. I no longer enjoyed my job, and I had begun to resent James for experiencing all the firsts and getting those all-important early years of our children’s life.
We moved across the country, and James got a good job working for the brand I had previously worked for, whilst I embarked in a stay at home mum lifestyle with my two little monkeys and growing bump.
Things changed pretty quickly. James was no longer only downstairs working, I no longer had adult conversation every time I left my front door and before we knew it our relationship changed drastically. We had forgotten to appreciate each other. I forgot what hard work the restaurant trade was, and James forgot how difficult staying at home can be. We weren’t unhappy, but things were strained. Children, and our life as it was had suddenly changed us as a couple. There was more silence than giggles, more sleeping than talking and a lot less appreciation for how hard each other had it. We would argue about discipline, routine and structure. We couldn’t agree on hardly anything surrounding the children.
Until one day. We had a huge ‘discussion’ and realised we had allowed ourselves to be swallowed up in our new separate lives and in the process had forgotten about each other. It was time to change that before the strains became cracks.
We worked it all out and things are now better than ever. We don’t get many opportunities for time alone away from the children, but that is just the way it is. We make time for each other once the children have gone to bed, and spend as much time talking, laughing and enjoying life as a family of five.
I don’t necessarily think it is children that change you as a person or a couple, it is the circumstances surrounding your life when you bring children into the world. Make time for each other and remember why you fell in love in the first place, and you’re sure to be onto a winner!
How did your relationship change after children? Or has it stayed the same? If you’d like to submit a guest post for #UsAfterYou go ahead and drop me a line – I’d love to have you!