Wednesday, January 5, 2011

What's more challenging....Marriage or Raising Children?

HMMMM....tough question, right?!  I'm inclined to think it's one in the same (haha) but I seriously wonder sometimes which is more challenging? Perhaps it reflects my intellect that I feel more comfortable communicating with kids than adult men at times, but I sometimes feel like communicating with my hubby can be exhausting (and I'm sure he feels the same!) 
My hubby and I at Christmas
I made sure I read the book What to Expect When your Expecting but never read What to Expect when You're Married with Children...
Making time for us as a couple can be challenging.  I find it pretty easy to organize a trip to the mall for Sienna to see Santa but for some reason I put date night with the hubby on the back burner.  Also, I get down on the floor and play with Sienna in a heartbeat but often forget to show the hubby affection.  Perhaps, it's a maternal instinct that we tend to put the needs of our children ahead of our husband and/or ourselves, but doing this often can be detrimental to the family unit.

The idea of divorce scares me.  Obviously, it's something that I never want to do!  Despite frequent reports of a 50% divorce rate, the real divorce rate in America is reflected in this table (according to 
Age at marriage for those who divorce in America
Under 20 years old27.6%11.7%
20 to 24 years old36.6%38.8%
25 to 29 years old16.4%22.3%
30 to 34 years old8.5%11.6%
35 to 39 years old5.1%6.5%

OK-since I am in my early 30's, I fall into the 8.5% divorce rate.  That's pretty low so I feel a little better! 
I admit it, there's been times when I've thought about divorce and the thought of having evenings to myself and every other weekend COMPLETELY childless seems like it would be heaven (yes...I said it!!!!) but divorce is something I never want to do or even consider!  So, I admit that sharpening my wife skills is something I need to do often, including communicating effectively with my spouse.
Communicating with a 2 year old is pretty simple. Sienna only understands about 50 words, so explaining how I feel, what I need, or what I have planned for the week to a 2 year old does not need to happen, however, explaining these things to my hubby gets pretty complex at times.  First of all, I have to give him his time after he walks in the door to "unwind", then I have to change my communication style to one reflecting a partner instead of a child.  At times, this is easy but other times (such as when I'm hormonal), it's not so easy! 

Finally, there's the division of labor.  Division of labor for kids is pretty much a matter of sitting down, deciding what your child can do, and what they can handle. 
"Sure you might get an argument from your kids about their shores but division of labor with your spouse is much more difficult"
As much as I don't want to admit it, I sometimes keep a tally sheet in my head of what I am doing around the house vs. what he is doing around the house.  I am always trying to do my part but also delegate if I'm feeling overloaded.  In addition, I have to pay attention to my spouse to make sure he's not feeling overwhelmed.  It's times like this when I can appreciate how the 1950's family worked when the woman did all the domestic chores and the man did all the work outside the home!  Although, I wouldn't like a lot of the the family dynamics of that time period, at least the division of labor was very clear and easy to complete!

I remember taking a class called Marriage and Family Dynamics in high school.  I'm not sure why they didn't offer this class in college, but I wish I would have saved the notes now since I still have a lot to learn!!


  1. What a tough question and certainly made me think about it. Both are so hard, well at least for me... But I am going to go with marriage. It last so much longer than raising children and for our case began much earlier as well.

  2. Thanks for sharing Courtney! I agree..and since marriage is the foundation of the family (in my opinion), I guess it makes sense that it would be mre challenging at times. I am sure that my opinion will change once I have teenagers though!!