Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Managing a Marriage with Multiples

When you're married with three children under the age of three, life can be....stressful. And that high degree of stress can often test a marriage. In fact, studies have shown that parents of twins or higher multiples have a high divorce rate. Add an extra toddler to the mix like we have, and your marriage could definitely be in trouble.

But luckily, Scott and I have a good marriage. A great marriage. No, an awesome marriage.

Now, don't get me wrong. We've been together a loooong time, and we've had our fair share of disagreements. But we very rarely fight anymore. Instead of tearing us apart, our large brood of kiddo's has brought us closer together. What's our secret, you ask?

It's so simple. It's just pure and utter exhaustion. We don't have the energy to fight....we are so exhausted that if a problem presents itself, our first instinct is to get into the fetal position and mutter "hold me."

For example, take a look at the following scenarios we encountered this weekend and how we chose to resolve them:

Problem #1: Scott is upstairs studying, while I walk around the main floor picking up trash and throwing it away. Breakfast bar wrapper here, post-it notes there, diet coke cans everywhere... just crap, crap, crap, everywhere I look. Eventually I am so p.o.'d that I make my way upstairs and tell Scott that I'm tired of throwing his trash away every night and he needs to start cleaning up after himself. Scott looks at me clearly offended and says "MY trash??? I spend every morning picking up all of YOUR trash!"

Resolution: Now, see this is where couples who have time and energy might get into a long-drawn out fight about equal household responsibilities, consideration for your partner, etc. etc. Me and Scott on the other hand?? We immediately decide that I must be picking up his crap at night, he must be picking up my crap in the morning, and therefore we don't realize how much crap we are independently producing and our judgment is skewed. Off to sleep.

See how simple that was? Why spend time working out an issue when you can justify it in your mind and get a little extra sleep at night?? It works for us!

Problem #2: We're outside in the backyard hanging with the kids when Scott says, "I'll be right back" and walks around to the front of the house to get something or other. Thirty minutes and multiple child melt-downs and sand eating incidents later, he returns. He informs me that he's been chatting up the neighbors in the front yard while I ran around the backyard like a crazy woman supervising the kids for the past 1/2 hour.

Resolution: Instead of reaming him out for abandoning me, I say "I won't get mad at you if you let me go take a nap." Perfect solution, no? No anger, plus a nap. It's pure genius, I tell you.

Maybe we should start a marriage seminar and write a book for parents of multiples. We could call it "How to Avoid Issues and Get More Sleep in the Process." It would be a best seller, I'm sure of it. ;-)

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