I've heard before that having children can either make or break your relationship... And, well, recently- as some of you know - we've added a second child to our family. Our little family of three became a larger family of four this past month and, so far, it's been wonderful. But it's been a whole new ball game for our marriage.
With two children in our lives now, there just isn't time for any marital discord. Between nursing, changing, burping, bathing, rocking, and holding our newborn to playing with, feeding, changing, bathing, reading to, and teaching our toddler - we have to be a well-oiled machine. I've mentioned previously that my husband and I recognized in advance the second time around that we would be a little more forgiving of cross words or middle of the night frustrations - but it's been more than that this time around.
We just don't have time to communicate ineffectively. After my husband gets home from work, we immediately have dinner, have a very short window of play, and then it's bath and bedtime. With two children either playing happily or melting down at this point in the night, there isn't much time or quiet for us to talk about anything. (Unless you consider yelling for a new sleeper over two crying babes who both need changed and don't want to cooperate as talking!) As a result, I've noticed that we've both been making much more of an effort to be respectful of each other and to show a positive example for our children by communicating well.
To be fair, we do have a strong foundation in our marriage to build off of. While we have our differences and our moments of disagreement, we do have the basic underlying goal of functioning as a team. But, even after having our first child, some of our ineffective or bad habits or interactions with each other lingered. Mainly because we still had time for arguments at that point.
Did the birth of your children make your marriage better or worse?