Thursday, January 08, 2009
Marriage or Motherhood?
While looking through the other blogs on my list I came across a topic that caught my attention, made me think and then to write.
Over at Dooce the topic of marriage and motherhood was the debate. Which do/did we find easier. Wow! What a topic. At first I laughed and thought,"Are either of them easy?" Then as I decided to make them part of my dialog today I looked more deeply in to both of them.
While I am currently directly involved with both of them, Max is 18 and has not left for the Navy yet and still married, I have pause to reflect upon each of them.
I was once under the assumption that as your children got older that it would become easier and far less expensive. How little I knew!! I think other parents keep this information to themselves so that others will have to go through the same experiences as they did. It must be part of the rites of parental passage. I thought that once they were through the diapers and inoculations it could only get easier. I must have been crazed as part of the sleep deprivation!
Now their "toys" are far more costly, they eat tons more food and leave bigger messes and it is FAR harder to control them and tell them what to do or what to wear. You have to repeat yourself countless times and they are far too big to put in a "time out" chair.
But...if I have to decide if it is easier than marriage......I think that I might say NO.
Trying to navigate life in a marriage can be difficult for sure, but hopefully it is with a person that you also consider a friend. Something that doesn't come with children until they are older. During those diaper years you have to be a parent and not a friend. Your marriage can be a partnership, if you are lucky enough to get to that point before you kill each other, it can be an anchor in your life.
Not always, in the early years it can be quite difficult to navigate the waters of a new marriage. I remember times when I felt like a maid until we worked our way into the niches that we have today. I think the first 10 years were the "negotiating" years. The time of feeling our way through the highs and lows of setting up a home and then you add the kids and you have a brewing cauldron of emotions!!
I don't think it was easy to negotiate with children, but far easier to do so with John. He actually worked around me and let me find myself, but there is not really any time to do that with your kids. Many of the decisions that must be made, when they are small, have to be made off the cuff and instantaneously.
When I reflect on both I know that there are things that I wish I would have done differently as a mom, but as a wife/person in a relationship I think it has been something with far fewer regrets. I have mellowed into the relationship that we have and look forward to what the future will bring. I think that motherhood was harder and has given me FAR more gray hair than anything that has come from my relationship.
How about you guys?