Kids are Hard on a Marriage — So We Get Away from Them

As man and wife, we have a lot on our plates.

Our [2]-year-old is having nightmares. Either that or she’s feigning fear in an effort to completely manipulate us into 87 hugs, four more stories and what’s becoming the longest bedtime routine in the history of mankind.

Our [8]-month-old still doesn’t sleep through the night. We’ve tried it all, but for whatever reason, we were blessed with not one but two children who can’t seem how to figure out how to sleep all night before their first birthdays.

And yes, you read that right. We have a [2]-year-old and an [8]-month-old. Life around these parts is best summed up as a whole lot of love and a generous dash of insanity. Or as the farmhouse chic sign on our bathroom shelf reads, “Some people call it chaos, but we call it family.”

And as much as my husband makes fun of my Hobby Lobby find, it’s the God’s honest truth.

Chaos. Sometimes organized. Most of the time not.

Between two full-time jobs, our two bundles of joy and almost no sleep, chaos is about the only word that adequately describes this season.

And we love it. Truly. Even when little, sticky hands are literally pulling our hair out. Even then.

But chaos eats up time. It takes over hours and chews up and spits out days.

It leaves you chasing your tail — or in this case, other, much smaller, much faster tails.

Chaos doesn’t care that you’re tired, or that you haven’t had a full night’s sleep in 97 years. It doesn’t mind that you’re running on fumes, or that the kids are sick and you have a deadline at work.

Chaos is just…. chaotic.

And if you let it, chaos can start to divide. It can turn romantic partners into tag team firefighters. It can take you from man and wife to man-to-man defense like that.

One of the most honest admissions I’ve ever heard since becoming a parent was this: the years spent raising young kids were the hardest in our marriage.

And can I tell you how freeing it was to hear another person say those words out loud?

Holy cow you guys, I thought it was just me. Just us.

But that honest friend wasn’t lying. This season, at least for our marriage, has been tough.

We’ve either been pregnant, postpartum, or caring for an infant for the past three and a half years. It’s been over three years since we had normal sleep patterns.

And I know they say your partner should come before your kids, and I believe that and agree wholeheartedly. But my partner can feed himself. He can go to sleep by himself. He can bathe, and change himself, and he knows not to eat a wicker basket or crawl straight into the fireplace.

So, while I would love to put him first in everything, put our marriage first always, sometimes I just can’t. Sometimes every single ounce of my attention is on two toddlers intent on climbing furniture and eating dead bugs. It’s just a fact of our chaotic life right now.

Kendra Barnes
Kendra Barnes
Kendra is the co-founder of Daylight to Dark, a lifestyle blog. She is a fun-loving wife and momma to a spirited blue-eyed girl and a particularly jolly baby boy. She's an expert at holding down the fort, abandoning her coffee, and making circles wider, not smaller, so more women feel included and encouraged. You can follow Daylight to Dark on Facebook and Instagram.

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