Marriage after Kids is...not Great

Yesterday, the instant Chuck got back from visiting with his parents for Fathers' Day, I bolted out the front door. I had the intention of walking the three blocks down to CVS to get Charlie some children's Tylenol for a really bad gash in his mouth after he fell off a chair. When I finished at CVS, however, I still had so much anger, rage, and heartbreak to work through. I proceeded to walk for about 4 miles and cried every step of the way.

There wasn't one huge life-altering event that prompted my breakdown. It was just the straw that broke the camel's back. I have been running on fumes for so long. I hardly remember what it feels like to not be scatterbrained 99% of the time. I hardly remember a time when Chuck and I weren't working our butts off and struggling to pay our bills. I hardly a remember a time when he and I had quality time together that wasn't spent zoned out and talking about how doggone tired we both are.

After four miles of tears, I was honestly okay. Not great, but I had hit my breaking point and apparently walking around town with tears streaming down my face was what I needed. Someone told me when I was pregnant with Charlie that right around 6 months is when you'll start considering divorce, and they nailed it. When Charlie was six months old, Chuck and I were not in a good place. But then day by day, Charlie grew more capable, slept better, and parenthood finally became our new normal. We survived that six-month slump and were stronger for it.

After we had Crosby, I knew to expect that slump and every time we've hit a rough patch, I've reminded myself that this is a season. That in just a few months, Crosby will be a whole year old, and life will find a new and consistent rhythm. I remind myself of that nearly every day because Chuck and I are, once again, not in a great place. Not in a considering divorce, can't stand the sight of each other, place. We're in an exhausted, giving each other all that we have to give, and it's not enough kind of place. We're both tired, overworked, and putting everything we have into keeping our family on stable ground. That leaves little to no time for each other and it's tough.

A couple weekends ago, my Mom took the babies overnight so that Chuck and I could have a night to ourselves. We had a date, we took a walk, and we fell asleep by 10pm in our squishy, king-sized hotel bed. But it wasn't what we needed. We were both exhausted. We could barely carry on a conversation and I passed out on him while watching the cooking channel later that night. At this point, we need a WEEK of baby-free time, just to remember how to be together, just the two of us.

I miss my husband. I miss my best friend. I miss having my confidante to talk about our dreams for the future, and not just what bill we need to pay next or whose turn it is to tackle the dishes.

I know this is just a season, a passing phase and I find a lot of hope in that. But I think so few parents feel able to share about this universally tough phase without feeling like they're betraying their spouse, or inviting judgment from others about the state of their marriage. I love my husband dearly, and I don't feel like our marriage is in trouble. I just feel...tired. 


  1. I can completely understand! I love how you're sharing honestly. We going through lows in our relationship too... I'm actually not looking forward to the very likely low that's coming when baby #4 arrives soon! But it is encouraging to know that the kids really do get more independent and we start finding more time together and being less exhausted (only to start again 😂). But I so appreciate your honesty.

  2. Perfectly said. I just happened to read this on a night when my husband and I have had an argument. Marriage is tough but I had no idea about the true tests until post kiddo. We're partners but it feels like we're running a business sometimes rather than a family. Sending
    You positive vibes because I know it can get frustrating! Or is that just me? ;)

  3. Our bundle of joy is 5 months old... I spend the evenings putting him to bed while my husband sulks in the livingroom that I don't have time for him. Baby believes he needs to sleep in our bed so the husband sleeps on the sofa. He works all day, I'm home all day. Our marriage is very enjoyable right now... not. Hubby says we aren't having any more kids. Before he wanted 4.