‘Motherhood is far from perfect. If we can celebrate that, we should also celebrate the imperfect chaos of parenting together.’: Wife candidly shares the effect parenting has on marriage

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“Having kids is hard on a marriage.

It’s hard on even the best marriage.

It’s hard because in between watching him become a father moments and newborn sleeping on your chest photos, there’s the passing each other on the staircase in the dark moments and the sleeping in different rooms because one of us should sleep moments.

There are the nights that end in tears moments, the baby’s crying at 3 a.m. resentment moments, and the washing machine just broke moments.

It’s hard because it’s new and it’s so incredibly different from what was. (What was that like? What did we do? Who were we then?)

It’s hard because they need so much, the babies.

But if you let it, that hardness can build, becoming a Tetris-style competition of who did what and who’s more tired and who didn’t do what and why.

But oh, don’t let it.

Because beneath all of that there are the parts that started this family, the parts you miss: just the two of you.

There’s the hand that held yours right before you met this baby and the tears he catches at 9 p.m.

There’s the in-it-together tiredness you somehow find a way to laugh about and the supermarket flowers on a Tuesday.

There are the cars he packs and the bags he carries, the stories you sometimes overhear that he tells about all of you, his greatest loves.

There are eggs and coffee by the door, red sunsets above clean-it-up-tomorrow toys in a yard, and everyone in the crib mornings.

Motherhood is far from perfect, and if we can celebrate that then we should also celebrate the imperfect chaos that is parenting together.

It doesn’t need to be poetic.

Usually, it’s not.

And celebrating the good doesn’t necessarily make the hard parts easier.

But what you choose to see matters.

In my wedding vows, I said part of the reason I love my husband is because he chooses to see the good.


I don’t think that’s ever been more important than in parenthood and partnership.

Because if you let it, that can build too.”

dad in the crib with his two kids
Courtesy of Cassie Shortsleeve

This story was submitted to Love What Matters by Cassie Shortsleeve of Dear Sunday. You can follow her journey on Instagram and join her mom groups on her website. Submit your own story here, and be sure to subscribe to our free email newsletter for our best stories, and YouTube for our best videos.

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