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Why Having Children Isn’t a Death Sentence for Your Marriage + Life

I have recently come across a lot of anxiety on social media and blogs about parenthood and “settling down.” On the one hand, I totally get it. Having kids is scary and life changing and yatta yatta. It’s a decision that shouldn’t be taken lightly, because being a parent is a super serious job. But if we’re being completely honest here… a great deal of parents embark on this great expedition without ever really deciding on it at all. Many of us stumble upon this journey blind and afraid. But I wholeheartedly disagree with the perception that motherhood offers nothing but a life of limits and bounds. I don’t even think that doing the job well requires the dreaded “settling down” if you don’t want it to.

Why Children Aren't a Death Sentence for Your Marriage and Life

First of all, the idea that having a baby somehow dismantles your sense of self, derails your ambitions, and sets fire to your dreams is a high school scare tactic. I am in no way advocating for teenage pregnancies, but rather challenging a perception formed in childhood, that many carry over into adulthood. You do not have to sell your soul to nurture a baby, you don’t have to stop living life to be a good mother.

You Might Also Like: “At Least You’re Married and You Have Kids”

Parenthood can definitely challenge a marriage. But so can life. Like all things, parenthood is both an adventure and a battlefield. It can grow your love for your spouse in ways you’ve never imagined. Besides, overcoming challenges together is what marriage is supposed to be about.

I fell pregnant to my son at 19, young and irresponsible by most standards…even my own. But in all honestly, he hasn’t cost me a single life experience. I still travel – domestically and abroad. Jace had his first plane ride at four months old. Zoey had hers at five.I still completed my bachelors degree (and honestly, my kiddos were probably the only reason I finished.) Sure, I bought a house at 20 years old. But as luck would have it…houses were a crazy good investment in 2010 and I am now sitting on quite a bit of equity. Due to wanting a flexible work schedule so that I could spend most of my time with my kids, I have dodged shackling myself to a full time job (also, HUGE shout out to my hubby on this one 😉 ) I would have to argue that my career oriented friends have “settled down” wayyyy harder than I have because of my children.

Having children can be a reason to settle down if that’s what you want for your family. It is in no way a requirement in the mystical Book for Perfect Parenting. Oftentimes, the children who have moved around the most end up being the most cultured and appreciative. No one faults the military family for moving every other year. It does not in some way damage their children. No one faults the missionary family, for moving their small children abroad to experience life in what many Americans would consider third world conditions. I went to school with a guy who grew up with a missionary family in Belarus, some might argue this was a downright dangerous place to raise American children 20 years ago, but GOSH did he have amazing stories and he said he was so proud of his parents for it.

The point is, you set the limits for your life. Children have this amazing quality of being 100% portable. You can bring them with you wherever you chose. Heck, their tiny clothes take up WAY less space in a suitcase. When I travel with my kids, I probably spend less time in bars and more time in parks and zoos than my kidless counterparts. But honestly, we went to Germany and Austria sans kiddos and went to one bar. I guess it’s just not my thing anyway.

Don’t be afraid to “settle down.” I don’t find it to be a real phase of life anyway. Your vision for motherhood doesn’t have to align with anyone else’s. Children aren’t a death sentence for your marriage, nor the life of adventure that you desire. They are pathways. They are not roots, they are wings.

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  • Taylor Smith

    I’ve been married for 1 year and am still no way ready to have kids. Thanks for sharing 🙂

  • Taylor Smith

    I’ve been married for 1 year and am still no way ready to have kids. Thanks for sharing 🙂

  • Emilee W.

    Love this piece! With two of my own, things have definitely changed but that’s not a bad thing. We still do so much, now with two little adventurers by our side. Live boldly in each season you’re in and enjoy the ride! Great post.

  • Emilee W.

    Love this piece! With two of my own, things have definitely changed but that’s not a bad thing. We still do so much, now with two little adventurers by our side. Live boldly in each season you’re in and enjoy the ride! Great post.

  • We were married for a year before deciding to have kids. Can’t wait for December! 🙂

  • We were married for a year before deciding to have kids. Can’t wait for December! 🙂

  • I always say that the only way to truly have a fullness of joy, children are in that picture–not just getting married. I NEVER regret having my children. 🙂

  • I always say that the only way to truly have a fullness of joy, children are in that picture–not just getting married. I NEVER regret having my children. 🙂

  • Chanel van Reenen

    My children are the best things that happened to me! And we adapted them early to being on the move with us and they love it!

    • Right?! I feel like I go to a lot of places I never would have if I didn’t have children. I drag those cuties all over the place. 😉

  • Chanel van Reenen

    My children are the best things that happened to me! And we adapted them early to being on the move with us and they love it!

    • Right?! I feel like I go to a lot of places I never would have if I didn’t have children. I drag those cuties all over the place. 😉

  • Elizabeth Johnson

    Love this! My husband and I are expecting baby number 2 and we love our life! Children are amazing and such a blessing!

  • Elizabeth Johnson

    Love this! My husband and I are expecting baby number 2 and we love our life! Children are amazing and such a blessing!

  • Love everything about this. Before I had my kid I was working in a job that I didn’t really like and I was miserable a lot of the time. Now I get to stay home, write a blog, and run my own business. I have more freedom than most (also thanks to my awesome husband) and I certainly don’t feel tethered down at all!

    • Right?! Thanks for getting me. I feel so misunderstood in regards to this sometimes!

  • Love everything about this. Before I had my kid I was working in a job that I didn’t really like and I was miserable a lot of the time. Now I get to stay home, write a blog, and run my own business. I have more freedom than most (also thanks to my awesome husband) and I certainly don’t feel tethered down at all!

    • Right?! Thanks for getting me. I feel so misunderstood in regards to this sometimes!

  • Love this! I don’t have kids, but I definitely think they are a blessing.

  • Love this! I don’t have kids, but I definitely think they are a blessing.

  • YES! I love this post, you are so right

  • YES! I love this post, you are so right

  • Such a beautiful post. I can’t imagine my life without my kids. There is nothing that they’ve stopped me from doing, and have pushed me way out of my comfort zone.

  • Such a beautiful post. I can’t imagine my life without my kids. There is nothing that they’ve stopped me from doing, and have pushed me way out of my comfort zone.

  • Samantha Laycock

    This is so true!! I just had baby #3 and our children has be brought my husband and myself closer. We now make amazing memories as a family! I wouldn’t trade it for anything!!!

  • Samantha Laycock

    This is so true!! I just had baby #3 and our children has be brought my husband and myself closer. We now make amazing memories as a family! I wouldn’t trade it for anything!!!

  • Stef@CraftyChristian

    Love this! I think that having kids taught us a LOT about communication. And it changes everything, but I think everything is better now because we get to see things from their perspective.

  • Stef@CraftyChristian

    Love this! I think that having kids taught us a LOT about communication. And it changes everything, but I think everything is better now because we get to see things from their perspective.

  • LOL, they really ARE portable! Having kids really bonded hubby and I together, and having a family really is the best. That said, we don’t travel anywhere more than a few hours away together. The big trips are just the 2 of us. A big family trip…definitely something to think about.

  • LOL, they really ARE portable! Having kids really bonded hubby and I together, and having a family really is the best. That said, we don’t travel anywhere more than a few hours away together. The big trips are just the 2 of us. A big family trip…definitely something to think about.

  • Beautifully written! I am in my late twenties, happily married and childless for the moment. We want kids but we aren’t quite ready for them yet. My biggest fear is that my marriage will be second priority. But as I get older I find myself wanting kids more and knowing that my marriage will indeed change but in good ways.

  • Beautifully written! I am in my late twenties, happily married and childless for the moment. We want kids but we aren’t quite ready for them yet. My biggest fear is that my marriage will be second priority. But as I get older I find myself wanting kids more and knowing that my marriage will indeed change but in good ways.

  • Beautiful post! I can’t imagine life without kids…

  • Beautiful post! I can’t imagine life without kids…

  • Fullest Mom

    I enjoy this post so much. It is important to celebrate all seasons of life. There is still fun to be had, even with kids. We take our kids with us everywhere. On occasion, we have date night with just us two. It’s all the ups and downs, and in-between that makes parenting so special. You are absolutely right, marriage is not dead after kids.

  • Fullest Mom

    I enjoy this post so much. It is important to celebrate all seasons of life. There is still fun to be had, even with kids. We take our kids with us everywhere. On occasion, we have date night with just us two. It’s all the ups and downs, and in-between that makes parenting so special. You are absolutely right, marriage is not dead after kids.

  • Kelsie Kleinmeyer

    Yes, yes, yes!! Thank you SO much. I am a first time mom-to-be, and I needed to read this today. I’m so excited about kiddos and this next change in life. I know it will be a big change, but we don’t have to give up our love for other things!

  • Kelsie Kleinmeyer

    Yes, yes, yes!! Thank you SO much. I am a first time mom-to-be, and I needed to read this today. I’m so excited about kiddos and this next change in life. I know it will be a big change, but we don’t have to give up our love for other things!

  • Christine Cox

    Well written post! Children bring a whole new level to your marriage and it is something nice that both of you can experience together for the first time.

  • Christine Cox

    Well written post! Children bring a whole new level to your marriage and it is something nice that both of you can experience together for the first time.

  • Small Town So(Lace)

    I love this! A lot of my friends say oh I want kids but we’re not ready; financially, mentally, etc. But, I don’t think a person is ever really READY for kids, situations could always be better. Anyways, having kids is life changing but people have been doing it for decades! We survive! 🙂

  • Small Town So(Lace)

    I love this! A lot of my friends say oh I want kids but we’re not ready; financially, mentally, etc. But, I don’t think a person is ever really READY for kids, situations could always be better. Anyways, having kids is life changing but people have been doing it for decades! We survive! 🙂

  • This is so good! It is true that many people think their life is ending after having kids. But it is really just the beginning!

  • This is so good! It is true that many people think their life is ending after having kids. But it is really just the beginning!

  • Danielle Corzetto

    This was such a beautiful piece to stumble upon! Admittedly, i am afraid to have kids because i’ve been conditioned to believe it is a bit of a death sentence. Cant tell you how much it comforts me to know that that doesnt have to be the case. You are a wonderful example of balance! Get it girl! Xoxoxo

  • Danielle Corzetto

    This was such a beautiful piece to stumble upon! Admittedly, i am afraid to have kids because i’ve been conditioned to believe it is a bit of a death sentence. Cant tell you how much it comforts me to know that that doesnt have to be the case. You are a wonderful example of balance! Get it girl! Xoxoxo

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