More Kids? No Way.
My husband wants more kids, and I’m totally done. Two is enough for me. I know there are some large families out there, and they love it. I am not one of them. My husband comes from a big family, and he has been begging me for more. I just can’t even think about it. I’m already stressed out enough. What am I supposed to do? It’s affecting our marriage. -Frustrated Wife
Dear Frustrated Wife,
This can be so difficult because your husband deserves to have influence over how many people are in his family, but it’s your body. Pregnancy and child rearing are not casual, and compromise works differently when it comes to birthing kids. You can’t exactly have half a kid or switch off breast feeding. You will most likely be the primary caregiver in the beginning and possibly after, depending on how you divide parental responsibility. I would encourage you to explore a few questions with your husband. Why does he want more children? What is he missing, and can it be filled with something else (like an animal or activity)? If bringing another child into the house would overload your stress levels, would it really be in the best interest of the child to do so? You can say something like, “I respect and honor your desire to have more children, but I’m concerned for my mental health and the stability of our family. If that changes, at any time, then we can resume the conversation of more children, but it’s possible I may never be ready.” Try something like that, and see how it goes. Feel free to check back in for more input.
Since becoming a mom, I feel like I’m starting to lose my friends who aren’t moms. They don’t understand feeding schedules or bedtime routines, but most importantly, they don’t understand that my priorities have changed. I’m not interested in bottomless mimosas at a swanky restaurant that will be overpriced and just make me more tired. I don’t have the disposable income I used to have to go out wining and dining. I have to buy formula and diapers and baby wipes. It’s not their fault. I used to be that way too, but now we have a hard time spending time together because our interests have changed. I don’t want to lose my friendships, but we’re so different now. What do I do? -Worried Friend
Dear Worried Friend,
The transition from no kids to kids can be rough if your friend group isn’t in the same place. Have you addressed your concerns with them? When I had the twins, none of my friends had kids, but they graciously made event times earlier in the day, as opposed to 10pm at night to accomodate us. We would promise to stay until the girls got fussy, and then leave. Another option is to have your husband watch your child, while you go out with the girls, or you can hire a babysitter and both go out. Hopefully your friends can accomodate your lifestyle change, just as you honor theirs. There may be some events that simply don’t work for you to attend, but that doesn’t mean you can’t create ones that do. Consider reaching out to your friends and see what they say. They might be missing you too but weren’t sure what to do.
Messy House, Messy Brain?
I have young children, and my house is always destroyed. Trashed, even. I can’t keep up with the cleaning because I’m so tired, but looking at a messy house stresses me out more. I just feel stuck. And don’t even get me started on sex. My husband says we don’t have enough sex. I’m just too tired to take care of anyone else. How do you balance it all? -Messy Mommy
Dear Messy Mommy,
The simple answer to this is that I don’t. I do not take on the responsibility of having it all together or figured out. I simply strive to do the best I can and move on. My house might just have to be messy for a few years while I have little ones. My husband and I might just have to work on making sex a priority, while we have little ones. I will have to relinquish responsibilities that don’t serve me in this moment and consider picking them up later on, if they’re important to me. This being said, here are a couple of tips that work for me. 1) Choosing sex over sleep works in my marriage. Find out what works for you. Yev also helps around the house more when I’m feeling overwhelmed, so I am able to retain some emotional space for our relationship. 2) Find times that work for you to clean. I try to clean while the kids are sleeping, but sometimes I’m just too tired. Then I’ll leave everything and take a break. I’ll also ask for or hire help, so I can get caught up. I can’t handle being perpetually behind all of the time. 3) I also try to make sure I spend at least 15-20 minutes by myself during nap and after their bedtime just to sit and do nothing before tackling any mom responsibilities. I can’t be on my feet all day, or the joys of motherhood can quickly turn into distress.