Monday, January 26, 2009

Marriage or Motherhood?

I saw this a while ago on dooce.com, and I am curious about what other mamas think.




What is harder, marriage or motherhood?

For me, motherhood has been MUCH harder.

Unlike when I first became a mother, there was no depression that followed marriage. Also, Dave and I are really introspective, and when issues and feelings come up, we are always able to figure out WHY there's a problem, and talk it out without hurting each other. We just talk a lot in general. He is definitely my best friend and I trust him way way more than anyone else in the world. Everything is just kind of laid out on the table. When there is a problem we can reason together and fix it.

However, there is no reasoning with babies! I think that is why I like the toddler & preschooler phases better than the baby phase. I can talk to them and they understand. Babies are just HARD on me. Being prone to depression doesn't help. And also having fussy, discontent babies (Judith was worse, of course, but the first 3 months of Gideon's life were awful too).

Marriage has only built me up, but motherhood really broke me down. I don't regret either, but the motherhood experience has been much harder for me than the marriage experience.

What about you?

I am really interested in hearing your responses. I wonder if it has anything to do with whether as a couple you are predominantly friends or lovers? I've heard that even though all married couples are both friends and lovers, that one or the other is the dominant part of the relationship. It never occurred to me that some couples could be better lovers than friends. Friendship has always been the foundation of my marriage, and I couldn't imagine it any other way. But at the same time I can't imagine how marriage can be harder than motherhood, but obviously that is true of a lot of mamas.

Or I wonder if postpartum depression plays a big role? Or is it simply personality differences? Or some of us just aren't baby-people, and motherhood just isn't natural for us? Or does it have to do with how we were raised and what our own families were like? Or being introverted vs. extroverted? Or the circumstances around why you got married, and if the pregnancy was planned or not? Or what life was like before kids? Or are there just multiple different factors for everyone that determines which is harder?

So, is marriage or motherhood harder for you, and why?

2 comments:

VanessaKim said...

Definitely motherhood. But then again, we're so much alike, so I'd expect that our experiences were similar.
Cory & I are also best friends..friends before husband and wife.
I'm also prone to depression and found the first months of motherhood really really difficult.
I do have to say that the 2's with Elliott have been just as challenging though. There's no reasoning with this 2 year old boy.
But yes, the baby phase is so difficult. The constant nursing, diapers, and sleepless nights have really been breaking me down lately.
I'm always turning to Cory for strength. I think that's part of what makes our marriage so wonderful..when one's weak the other's strong.
Like you & Dave we rarely fight. We've had a few knock down drag outs but the majority of the time if a disagreement comes up we always work through it.
But yea..motherhood has definitely been way more difficult than being a wife.

Victoria T. said...

Motherhood is much harder. I have a very good marriage and we communicate and love each other very well and easily. It probably helps that we were together for 6 years before having kids. motherhood though is new for me still at this point since I have two kids under the age of 2. I am adjusting to having an infant and toddler at once and I know it will be frustrating throughout the years. I'm just glad I have someone by my side to help me.