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Mama_Cakes's avatar

How did having a child change your life (see more inside)

Asked by Mama_Cakes (9310 points ) November 3rd, 2013

As far as your relationship and daily living, how did having a child affect:

your stress level (was it crazy through the roof stress, or did you have it under control?)?

your sex life with your partner (more or less; better, same or did it take a bit of a dive?)?

your finances?

happiness/mental well being?

your physical health?

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15 Answers

gailcalled's avatar

I was 23, in love, financially comfortable ( we both had full-time jobs), living near supportive in-laws who were prepared to help with everything, and emotionally ready. There were moments, of course, of fatigue, crankiness, and frustration, but on balance I loved it all.

I can’t remember the details of our sex life but would have probably had there been problems.

I chose to nurse and that was also, once we (my son and I) got the hang of it, wonderful. He was born in 1960 when it was not fashionable to nurse; I was bucking the trend and was happy I did.

Coloma's avatar

I feel right into motherhood with ease, you just adapt as you go and I loved being a mom to my daughter. My ex husband however, was mostly absent, working all the time and we eventually divorced, for many reasons. I was a very creative and hands on, active mom, my daughter and I had many fun times, nature hikes, writing stories together, playing together, studying birds and animals and insects, painting, drawing, playing with clay, on & on.

I think being a creative type really enhanced the experience, we had so much fun together during her formative years and she has turned out to be a really bright, curious, artistic woman. :-)

josie's avatar

Having children made it glaringly apparent that my wife was incompetent, and a moron.

It is possible that if there had been no children, I might have stayed married and distracted myself with work, exercise and golf.

But the only way I could give the kids a contrast between myself and her lunacy was by divorcing my wife.

It begs the question, of course, why did I marry that idiot. I have asked it over and over. A serious lapse on my part I guess. Having said it…

Time will tell, but I think I saved my kids, and myself, by getting out of that shit.

tom_g's avatar

@Mama_Cakes: “your stress level (was it crazy through the roof stress, or did you have it under control?)?”

Having my first kid probably lowered my stress level. Things made more sense to me, and I was giddy. Such an amazing time.

My second kid was a challenge from day one, and I knew things were going to be quite different.

The third kid threw everything out of balance. I love them all, but I am quite vocal to potential parents that three kids is one of those really bad ideas.

@Mama_Cakes: “your sex life with your partner (more or less; better, same or did it take a bit of a dive?)?

Didn’t take too much of a dive as a result of any of the kids.

@Mama_Cakes: “your finances?”

We started really feeling things with the 3rd kid. You need a car that will fit 3 car seats in the back, you need a house that will accommodate 3 kids, etc.

Also, since US healthcare doesn’t cover home births and midwives, we ended up shelling out for those births. Then there is the preschool and full-day kindergarten ($5k/yr) costs once they reach school age – or daycare and/or babysitting.

Ok, yes. They’re pretty damn expensive.

@Mama_Cakes: “happiness/mental well being?”

I will tell you that I am more happy and have a greater, deeper sense of well being because I have these kids in my life that I love more than myself. But I wouldn’t take my word. People aren’t generally good at making self-assessments like this. There are some studies out there that compare parents vs. non-parents, and it doesn’t look good for parents (until the kids are grown).

@Mama_Cakes: “your physical health?”

Since having kids, I have been able to keep active. I carry my babies (no stroller nonsense), and they always provided a great workout. Backpack carriers got a ton of use.

That said, suddenly at 40 years old, my body decided it’s had enough of me and is closing shop, systematically. Who knows.

cookieman's avatar

your stress level
Not more stress, just different stress. A few sleepless nights, some mutual crankiness — nothing terrible.

your sex life with your partner
No change at all when she was a baby. When she was a toddler, she went through a phase where she wanted to sleep with us off and on for a few years. That put a damper on things.

your finances?
No change.

happiness/mental well being?
I won’t say she made us happier, because we were always pretty happy, but she did give us a sense of focus. Someone to be the best you can be for.

your physical health?
No change.

Prior to becoming parents a few people basically told us our life would be over. No more fun and nothing but stress they said. Ten years later, I’m happy to report they were completely wrong. Parenting has been one of the most positive influences on my life hands down.

LornaLove's avatar

I found having a child very difficult. I was 19 and then a few months later I was single. I put down the stress to not having much support or help and also being financially strapped. I was also trying to work and bring up my child (which at 19–20 was difficult).

Each person has different circumstances and will experience it differently.

Seek's avatar

Stress Level:

It was a rough pregnancy, a hard delivery, and I had a touch of PPD, which I don’t think ever really went away. I congratulated myself daily for not throwing the baby out the window.

Sex life:

During pregnancy, Hubby had a little bit of a Madonna complex. After delivery, I was traumatized, in pain, and felt incredibly ugly. Stretch marks, mastitis, utterly exhausted from marathon nursing sessions (it is truly amazing the amount of time a 10 pound infant with stomach reflux can spend nursing). It took a couple of years to get back to anything resembling a normal sex life. Not that we had a lot of time to find “normal”. I was a wedding night virgin. We got married in July, I got pregnant in November. The hell did I know? It’s WAY better now.

Finances:

Awful, but unrelated to the baby. It was just bad timing he happened to be born in 2008, at the same time the bottom fell out of the housing market. My husband’s hardwood flooring business collapsed. I am happy to tell anyone and everyone that babies are not particularly expensive, provided you breastfeed and aren’t afraid of poop. It’s when they get older that they need money for shit.

Happiness/mentality

Oh, guess I covered most of that in Stress and Sex Life, but sure. Within that same year, I had a major falling-out with my family, left my church, lost my faith, lost my job, had a baby, and hubby lost his business. We lost our home a year later. So, happiness and mentality weren’t awesome, but having a kid was the least of it. He was pretty much the best thing that happened to me at that time. ^_^

Physical health:

I’ve heard it said that it’s likely the pregnancy triggered the failure of my gallbladder, but it was a ticking time bomb anyway. Though, my sister is so far the only adult female in our family that hasn’t had the issue yet, and she’s the only one without a kid. Who knows?

filmfann's avatar

We had our daughter when we had been married less than a year.
It changed my entire focus.

Smitha's avatar

Regarding stress it is same stress level, just a different source of stress. But it definitely gets easier since she is nine now. She can manage things on her own. Now I just need to worry about her school activities and food habits.

Regarding sex life,when she was a baby,feedings, diaper changes, and consoling seemed to take up endless hours of the day.Still my husband was supportive,and I must admit sex is WAY better post baby.

With regards to Finance, we are financially stable. We had a good income and was not worried about the extra expenses.Our family too were supportive.

I feel more happy now,there is a meaning to life.We both became much more of a team once we had our baby.I was happy and even more happy to be a parent.

I am in much better shape and my self esteem is so much higher than it used to be. I am 34 and look much younger for my age. I was really skinny before and after pregnancy, weight gain was a boon. I also don’t miss my general check up every year. So by grace of God am healthy now.

augustlan's avatar

Stress: It had both good and bad effects. In many ways, I felt very much at peace and gloriously happy. I also turned out to be pretty over-protective, which is stressful. Later on, with three children under the age of four, my chronic anxiety kicked into overtime and daily panic attacks became my norm. That continued for a good long time. I was still really happy, though.

The only time our sex life was impacted was while I was actually pregnant. He was kind of scared he’d hurt me/the baby, and I was sick as hell. Once they were born, we went right back to normal.

Finances: We were doing well, so having kids didn’t have a very negative impact on us in this regard. By the third child, we did need a bigger car and bigger house. The biggest financial impact is probably being felt right now…two are in college at the moment and the third will be there in less than two years!

Mental well-being: Similar to stress, good and bad. Being a mom made me very, very happy…but it also made me insane. ~ Let me just say that having three children in four years and being a stay-at-home mom for 14 years were probably not the brightest decisions I’ve ever made. Chaos makes me crazy, and what could be more chaotic than that?? I wouldn’t trade them for the world, of course, but my mental issues weren’t ideal for the life I chose.

Physical health: Pregnancy negatively affected my health (kidney disease and pregnancy don’t mix well), but I don’t think being a mom has.

cazzie's avatar

As far as your relationship and daily living, how did having a child affect:

your stress level (was it crazy through the roof stress, or did you have it under control?)?
I was alone in a strange country looking after my husband’s autistic 9 year old from a previous relationship when I got pregnant. He told me he would be more supportive. He wasn’t. I was alone in a strange country with an autistic 10 year old and an infant son and no money.

your sex life with your partner (more or less; better, same or did it take a bit of a dive?)?
it became non-existent. I had a horrible epistemology after a very traumatic delivery. He began sleeping on the couch out of choice. We didn’t have a big place, so the baby slept in what became ‘my room’.

your finances? I actually worked almost a year as a cleaning lady, so I qualified for maternity pay, which was very helpful, even though I ended up giving half of it to him for the credit card debt when the bank took his credit card away and the debt more than doubled. I started making and selling soap and working what cleaning jobs I could to feed me and the baby and my step son. I lost even more weight.

happiness/mental well being? I had wanted a child for so long, but I should have run for the hills with baby in belly. Things are much better now. I kicked the sperm donor to the curb, am getting some serious counselling for myself and the boy and found a very worthy boyfriend and am very, very, very happy now. It wasn’t my son, it was the situation under which I was expected to live with his father in the picture, but now he is out and things are much better.

your physical health? After the delivery, I had a spike in my thyroid function, because I have Graves Disease, but it settled down. I am more fit and strong today than I think I have ever been. I also had some gall bladder problems, but not as bad as @Seek_Kolinahr . My stones are small, and I’ve ended up passing them, sometimes at home and sometimes in the ER.

gailcalled's avatar

@cazzie: GA. Episiotomy, unless it was indeed an infusion of knowledge.

Seek's avatar

We could argue for an infusion of knowledge. Knowledge that that stuff HURTS.

cazzie's avatar

Ooops… sorry.. my auto correct slipped.

Juels's avatar

Stress went up and money flew out the window. Sex (strangely) got better. Health stayed the same. Happiness went way up. My daughter is worth all of the stress, money, sleepless nights, and interrupted sex. She is the brightest, shiniest part of my universe.

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