As a hardcore advocate for date night as a tool to make my marriage a top priority, the thought of having multiple babies is a little bit terrifying -- marriage-wise. (Cuteness-wise is another story.) I mean, how do you find a sitter for six infants? How do you afford childcare for six? How do you not feel beaten down, put upon, and completely sapped of energy when caring for multiples?
Watching marriages dissolve before our eyes, as parents to large broods cannot overcome the strain, seemingly boosts the argument that too many babies are bad for your marriage. Heck, even though I believe my marriage is as solid as a rock, I wouldn't have six babies at a time to test my own institution.
With these thoughts and fears, it seems logical to argue that multiples and marriage don't mix. Except I don't really believe that's true.
It's very easy to identify the hardships and stressors on a marriage when you have even two under two -- much less three or six. The exhaustion on a new parent's face, the frustration and sleep-deprivation, the bleeding of money in taking care of multiple new little mouths. Outside looking in, all you'll see is stress, financial worries, and exhaustion.
What people without children don't get is the pure joy that a smile on your baby's face can bring. The re-energizing effect of a first word or step. The heart-bursting that takes place whenever you feel little arms wrap around your neck.
These joyful feelings are shared with your co-parent in the form of the daily high-five as you look over the kiddos sleeping in the nursery. How many times have my husband and I looked at each other and said, "We are so lucky"? It's an unbreakable bond. Multiply that times six, and how much love must be in the houses of many babies?
Say what you will about the Duggars (and I've probably said it too) -- Michelle and Jim Bob are a team with a capital "T." Even without IVF they have multiple babies running around at all times -- and it's been non-stop for over 20 years. I don't think that couple is splitting up anytime soon. Working together with similar goals is crucial to a happy marriage. Whether you have a one and only, or a lucky 13.
Do you think IVF babies ruin a marriage?
Image via newlivinghouston/Flickr