NWI Parent

Married with Children

April 12th, 2011 - By Julia Huisman

Justin and I are in an unusual situation. We’re newlyweds, but we have an 8-year-old daughter. When we hang out with other newlywed couples, our stories are a little different from theirs because we have a kid. And when we hang out with couples that have been married for a while and have kids, our stories are different from theirs because we’re newlyweds. We fit into both groups, but not completely.

It’s always awkward when our newlywed friends want to hang out and we have to say, “Can we bring Isabella?” They’re very gracious about it but we know it’s not ideal to have a kid hanging around all the time. And when I’m with other moms and they talk about their husbands—good or bad—I feel I don’t have a right to pitch in about mine, because we’ve only been married for a few months. It’s not uncommon for me to hear the phrase, “Just wait.”

Although this dichotomy is somewhat challenging, I truly feel that Justin and I have the best of both worlds—a child AND a flourishing marriage. It makes me sad that so many people think you can’t have both.

I know a handful of couples that have never had kids, and I will say they all appear to have an amazing marriage. And it makes sense. When you don’t have children nipping at your knees all the time, you can devote all of your attention onto your spouse. Giving your spouse undivided time and attention is certainly a recipe for a good marriage.

But I also know couples (not a lot, but some) that have kids and are just as happily married as the ones who are childless. The reason is that these couples deliberately make time for each other first, THEN they tend to the children. (Unless one of the children is bleeding out of the eyes or something. That child gets first priority!) A friend once pointed out that non-working women used to be called “housewives.” Now they’re called “stay-at-home moms.” The emphasis has switched from wife to mom, and many marriages are failing because of it.

I know that I’m just an amateur when it comes to the whole marriage thing, and I only have one kid as opposed to three or four. But I also know what it’s like to have a child without a husband, and that’s no walk in the park either. That Justin has even agreed to be a father to Isabella in and of itself makes me swoon, let alone the fact that he’s a good one. I fall more and more in love with him every time he pours her a glass of juice, or helps her with her homework. I hope I never take that for granted. And I hope the same for other married couples . . . with or without children.

Filed under: parent.

Leave a Reply

Newsletter

Coming to your email inbox every Wednesday morning, "New Arrivals"  is your connection to the very latest parenting news and blogs, plus local events, destinations and resources.

Meet our Bloggers

Close To Home

Close To Home

Stephanie is a stay-at-home mom to three boys and a baby girl, but don't let that fool you. She'll keep you in style and in-the-know with this thing called parenthood. Even though none of us know what we're doing.

Food with a Dash of Fun

We've all gotta eat-might as well have some fun in the kitchen! Check here for recipes, cooking with kids, food finds, and more.

Father Knows Nothing

Rick Kaempfer's business card says author/writer/blogger, but his real job is "stay-at-home-dad."

Laptops to Countertops

Photographer and writer mom of two, Beth always brings a new twist to the suburban mundane.

Party of Two

Join newly married Julia, former single mom, as she and her daughter transition into the nuclear-family life.

Oh, the Places We Will Go

Experiencing the South Shore one little moment at a time