Top 11 reasons why having a kid won't save your marriage

1. You can't take a walk or go meet friends on impulse, to blow off steam.
2. You can't say, "I'm just irritable because I'm overtired. Once I get a good night's sleep I'll be okay." I mean you can say that, but you can't reasonably expect it to happen.
3. Before, most time outside work was fun and then every now and then there was an errand to run, a dish to clean or something to worry about. Reverse that ratio.
4. Co-sleeping (a.k.a. The Family Bed)
5. Downtime
6. Privacy
7. Vacations used to be: sitting on the beach for hours, taking a dip every now and then, gazing out at the water, then casually discussing a vague plan for dinner, or drinks first, or maybe a nap. Vacations now: How do we fit this all in the trunk? I can't believe you forgot the sleep machine. Is there a place that sells Children's Tylenol anywhere in this damn state? I really don't want to be "that family" on the train again. Can we have the check please? As soon as humanly possible? Are we having fun yet? Stewardesses handing you whiskey. Realizing you should have put more sunscreen on. Telling strangers, "That will come right out in the wash" or "That didn't look like it would break." You only brought four diapers? For the whole day? How do we get the stroller up there? Should we just go back to the hotel? Sorry, he's not usually this cranky. Oh well, we tried.
8. What a 10-year-old said to me at a bbq a few weeks ago when he saw Alex and I cracking open a few Sam Adams: "If you own a kid, you shouldn't drink wine or beer." Very funny, charming little guy. I don't agree, but you certainly can't drink as much and there's always the issue of getting home and lifting heavy objects and no such thing as "crashing".
9. Candlelight penne a la vodka  ---> Mac & cheese + Sponge Bob
10. If you thought it was hard to agree on where to put your couch and whether to eat whole wheat pasta or plain, well, I can't even get started on this, because suddenly it seems like every waking second you have to agree on how you're going to proceed in life. You cannot do a single thing, even meet a friend for a half pint, without it being discussed and agreed upon. You can, at least, autonomously decide on the kind of beer that goes into that half-pint glass.
11. Overheard:  "They used to be so much fun."

But, all this is not to say that having a kid isn't the absolute greatest thing in the universe. It is. I mean that way of describing it sounds hyperbolically annoying but it really is, I just can't think of anything more incredible to experience. Sometimes I worry my blog makes it sound like I don't feel that way. But my sense is that to let myself feel that wonder and happiness of it I have to be honest about the whole range of experience. And that includes frustration with not knowing what it's like to wake up on my own anymore, because I was done sleeping. Can you imagine what that would be like? To wake up and look around to see what time it is, then pull the blankets up and close your eyes for a little while longer and try to remember your dreams? And I just have one kid. ONE KID. You people with multiple...I don't know how you do it. ("It gets easier." "They keep each other occupied." "I sleep through it.")


  1. I love you , baby!! You are an amazing mother and a fantastic writer!!!

  2. That's how you save a marriage. ;)

  3. I'm getting this weird throw-back to Girl Drinks review years ago.

  4. complete with commas dangling out by themselves. even tho you ARE so much better at copyediting than me (Alex, dear readers, catches such impossible to notice misspelled words as principal and principle that one would never expect a foreign-born to distinguish.)

  5. How about spontaneity? Kinda goes out the window too.

  6. Financial strain


  7. You've changed (oh, really? I wonder why).

  8. I love this. But what about the post "11 reasons why having a kid won't cause you to get married"? :)

  9. Done breastfeeding 3 babies. So not cool when people touch my nipples now.

  10. And people wonder why we haven't decided if we want a kid yet...

  11. Rachie, I really loved this.....made me laugh out loud.
    I swear Ruchir and I have said every single one of the things you listed in #7!! Neeta

  12. Love it! You just pushed by baby-making years back a few! At least SOMEONE is honest about this investment in a down-to-earth, comical, and half-kidding sort of way.

  13. This reminds me of my favorite email forward EVER:

    It does both get easier and more challenging. For example, I sleep until 9 on the weekends, and my oldest is getting bullied at school.

    But next I'd like to see your top 11 reasons you're glad you are a mom :)

  14. So much to deal with on the levels of sleeping, thinking, drinking and playing....I would have thought drinking won out on this list, but I just counted and it seems like Thinking and Playing are the winners. That is, as Things We Once Did, and no longer have access to. It's so brilliantly true, the idea that we could wake up and roll over and try to remember our dreams. Yes, what must that be like? So strange that so many nights I fantasize that that will actually happen the next morning. So many mornings I take it personally that it doesn't. As if it all just started today, not 20 months ago.....Before we rolled our eyes at the strollers, but now we're the ones making sidelong glances around the room while our little ones roll and writhe on the floor at the opening or the concert. Ah yes, these are the days. Still so hard to fathom, that this is actually us.

  15. What makes people decide to have kids when they know all of this is coming? I can very easily imagine all the inconveniences and gross things (diapers, puke), but have a very hard time with a concrete visualization of what would be really great about it. And don't get me wrong, I know there are great things about it.

  16. 11 reasons why having a kid won't cause you to get married

    1. would have to hire babysitter
    2. danger of babies choking on uncooked rice
    3. could not handle any more advice from anyone about anything let alone seating arrangements
    4. no room to put anything new
    5. have imposed on people enough already
    6. wouldn't fit into wedding dress
    7. honeymoon: see #7 above
    8. would literally never shower if had to start planning a major event on top of other new responsibilities
    9. at least for the first year -- couldn't drink
    10. wouldn't want to appear intent on staying center of attention
    11. have enough cakes smooshed into faces already to last a lifetime

    Nee - I'm glad you could relate to the vacation one! I'll never forget you saying taking care of Wally for that hour or so at Dartmouth reunion was the single hardest hour of your adult life. That meant a lot. I'm sure it changed the second R was born.

    Jackie - I'm glad you appreciate the honesty. Some people prefer the rosier outlook of giant teddy bears and cute lullabies. That whole peaceful scene of rocking the baby while nursing, the madonna and son deal -- did ANYONE reading this experience that?

    Rhonda - love that list you sent, and it's all true & should be required reading. In fact Trojan should adopt it.

    Kristin - we are those obnoxious people now and I totally understand others getting annoyed at us, if they do.

    Elinor -- great question and I think we should do a post like Rhonda said with top 11 reasons I'm happy to be a mom -- all of us with kids should do that. But the thing is too, that when you consider all the pain in the ass aspects to it, you realize that it must be over the top unbelievably heartbreaking mind-blowingly amazing to make up for that stuff. And it is. That's how unfathomably great it is. You can miss parts of your old life, but you'd never trade this one in.

    Feel like I'm signing a yearbook.

  17. Elinor -- One great, concrete thing that comes to mind: when she's tired but can't sleep, and you hold her and she does. To make someone feel that safe is pretty fantastic.

    Later, the muscles in your arms cramping and your neck getting tight but afraid to move for fear of waking her, you might wish you had taken a different approach!


Post a Comment

Popular Posts