Childbearing takes a toll on marriage. The funniest thing about this toll is that most people enter marriage clearly unprepared for it. Like our parents may prepare us for marriage itself, offering advice as to how a woman should take care of her husband and how the man should care for his wife. But they seem to forget to mention what might happen when the children arrive.
I had my children in quick succession. First son was born March 6th 2002 and the last was born July 15th 2004. If my math serves me well that’s 2 years and 4 months (Okay, don’t laugh). You must know already that none of this was planned. (Story for another day). So you can imagine how it was for me, working, taking care of the kids and not having a maid mostly.
Okay, so how did childbearng affect our marriage? I will talk about three ways: financially, physically and emotionally.
I think most people just take it for granted that they will marry, the chldren will come and God who gave the child will also provide for them. Children often bring a change in financial circumstance. There is an extra mouth to feed and clothe. And you better start planning for school fees too. LOL. There are also vacations to be paid for and a whole lot of other financial obligations. This often means that both parents have to work harder. For me this meant I couldn’t just wake up and decide to buy anything. It meant I always had to ask myself: is this really important? Can I afford this? And no, this is not poverty in action. LOL
Physically, I was always tired at the end of the day. Some days I wake up tired. LOL. But there’s so much to do. You have a family to take care of. I mean, this is what you signed up for anyway and you can’t even think of walking away. I could hardly find me time and sometimes I wished the day had 48hours.
Emotionally, being tired meant that sometimes I wasn’t always available to fulfill certan other responsibilites. LOL. I should speak freely. *sigh. Okay sometimes I was too tired to have sex. (I have had a number of male friends confide in me that after having a baby their wives lacked sexual drive, so I don’t think its a me thing) The interesting thing is that some women get more sexually stimulated when they are pregnant. I can’t remember if this was the case with me. Maybe I should phone a friend 😉
Alright, so at this time I was introduced to the art of juggling and multitasking. I think being a mother is a fulltime job. So, I was running two jobs that often led to 20 hour shifts. It was great having help from my husband from time to time. (His job took him out a lot) I basically learnt how to do tons of stuff myself. I learnt how to fix things around the house: plumbing and electricals inclusive. LOL
Raising children does not come with an instruction manual. Each child is completely different from the other. David is shy and has a soft heart. Jahmira is adventurous and doesn’t understand the word “don’t”. Ezugo is wiser than his years and is often up to mischief. They are boys and are constantly at loggerheads. The closeness in their ages does not help matters.
Have I said childbearing changed me? I guess I have but I need to say it again for good measure. In retrospect, I think having children has been the most bitter-sweet experience I have ever had. (Wait, who came up with putting bitter before sweet in that phrase?)
Look! Sons are an inheritance from Jehovah. The fruitage of the belly is a reward – Psalms 127: 3, NWT