Monday, October 22, 2012

A post about infertility, parenting twins and marriage after kids

A Connor conversation this evening:

Mummy, please protect me from the crocodiles :)

Yesterday... Mummy, there's a crab in your study that wants to bite your toes :)

(we're knee-deep in pretend play)

This morning on the way to work I was thinking about a few things.

D and I had SUCH fun at the parenting course last week and then in church yesterday, we had a ball. Yes, we have fun in church. Anyway, we laughed a lot and exchanged a whispered sentence here and there. Like old times.

I think I even said, "why can't we have fun like this all the time?" and we both said something about the kids.

The thing is there was a four-year period of infertility which I do believe brought us even closer but then once these babies were born, gosh, the work, the sleepless deprivation, the fatigue, the jobs, everything twin.

It's just so much.

I'm not blaming any of this on anyone but we literally have not had a lot of time to ourselves ... to remember us. The pre-baby D & M.

And we all know when you're tired, you get grumpy and snappy (maybe that's just us?) which does not make for a happy and relaxed couple.

When I was at She Speaks, Lysa Terkeurst spoke a bit about her new book, Unglued. So there are 4 types (of course :)) and most of us go through all 4 types depending on the situation. We can process our feelings internally or externally (I'm mostly external) and we express our feelings externally or internally (again, I'm mostly external).

So, I'm mainly an exploder who shames herself or blames others.

Here's why I like Lysa - she shared a story of how her daughter wanted her to wait with an umbrella. She goes outside, no daughter. Goes back inside and starts phoning her pastor about something and the daughter arrives and hoots (honks) for her to come outside. She says she saw red. Apparently in North Carolina, you do NOT honk/ hoot at your mama :) Well, in South Africa, you do also not hoot at your mother. So she went outside and let rip. All the while the pastor's on the phone. He'd picked up and she forgot about the phone call.

When she realised, she ended the call and hoped he put down before he heard her tirade but then a text came through.

Pastor: wow. at least there wasn't any cuss words.

Lysa: just keeping it real... :)

(Clearly I need to read the book!)

So even though no-one talks about how it takes REAL work to keep a marriage alive post-kids, I was thinking about how statistically we can NOT be the only parents, or parents of twins, to feel like this.

But maybe in the sharing with one another in a safe environment (here), we can all catch some tips.

What do you do to work on your marriage post-kids?
PS Last week was the first time we asked Nanny S to babysit in the evening. D took her home afterwards. I'm looking forward to more of these "dates". I found when the babies are awake I feel guilty because I want to spend their waking hours with them... anyone feel the same?

gift from Kendra

gift from Connor

and adding more flowers to the bunch :) don't you love the little fingers?!
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  1. We have now made a small amount of time each night to talk with each other over tea - no tv, social media or work. And date nights - most important

  2. We do stuff that we loved doing pre-kids (concerts, shows, movies, beach etc), we send them off to MIL for the occasional weekend and also during the holidays, we insist that they go to bed early - (that's not negotiable) so we can have quiet time to connect a bit. I notice that when we don't have enough time alone in which to connect then we become snappy with one another. When we go out we don't talk about them. Because it's really easy to have them take over the conversation, even if they are not present. I honestly don't feel bad about not spending all their waking hours with them on the weekends. I figure that there are two days to a weekend and they can have one of the days. Also, they need to spend time with their Granny. Great post. That book sounds interesting. Btw...Lance and I had one of those fun evenings tonight. My husband is a SCREAM and I have not been able to stop laughing at him since I got home.

  3. Oh and of course it helps to actively work on your s*x life which is NOT the same after kids. I allowed to say that here?

  4. We do weekly date nights at home. We feed the kids something for dinner and then when they are in bed we make a more adult meal and eat that together and talk or watch a movie :)

  5. I love this post of yours. I love how you honestly say that it's hard work to be a parent but also to work on your marriage, because IT IS.
    What me and hubby do to keep our marriage working, is that we believe in dropping the kids off once a month at least, at an Aunt or their grandparents. I thought about this and what if one day we don't have this anymore. What else will we be doing to keep it working?
    We do it now. I would take the kids out for an hour to give hubby a breather and sometimes he will do the same. Other things we do is to listen to each other. To support each other. Make sure we have time for each other. Like this past Sunday, we have put on a movie for the kids in the television room while me and hubby enjoyed a movie together in our room. We love this because we discuss the movie, we laugh together, relax together and just be in each other's arms for the duration of the movie. Couple time while the kids are there. I can really go on and on because me and hubby DO take care to work on our marriage. It's important to US. To our kids.

  6. I need to read that book as well. What a hilarious story. :)

  7. It is definitely different post-children. J and I probably don't do enough to actively work on our relationship--though it's not bad by any means, we could improve in some areas. We do get out without the girls fairly often, but a couple of weeks ago, we stayed home and watched a movie while the girls were gone with family. It was nice to just sit and be together rather than trying to rush around and get things done without them in tow. So I'm saying we need to do more of the relaxing and enjoying each other when we have the chance!

  8. We see a shrink once a week!!! Having been divorced I am very aware of trying to fix things before they become big things.

    We do date nights fairly regularly and cherish that time together!!!

    Children really do add a totally different dimension to a relationship because they are so physically and emotionally draining and even easy kids demand so much time!

  9. Date nights are important. Remember, kids will eventually leave the house, so you want to build the marriage too. Got to fill his tank as well. I think date nights on a Saturday night are great - then you have kids all day. :)

    We do family dates too - out to a cheap restaurant on Fridays. That's been really good. Part of the important family time is putting down both our smartphones/blackberry/computer and spending time with each other. That's key.

  10. We haven't been working on our marriage since we had kids, bad I know! And I totally agree, marriage does suffer after having kids (especially twins). Not that our marriage is in a bad place, but it certainly nees some work. And all relationships take hard work, so I need to get my a... into gear and make some plans!


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