• http://www.thejoyof.blogspot.com/ thejoyof

    BOTH can be equally hard but motherhood IS harder. With a child you can’t say “I’m pms-ing – leave me the hell alone!” Motherhood is for life and I think if we all knew just how hard it would be we might well think again. My step daughter is pregnant right now and she is blissfully unaware of how her life will change. It is so scary to be responsible for another human being. Totally worth it in the end (wherever the ‘end’ is) but nonetheless, petrifying.

  • http://mommyinreallife.blogspot.com Tiffany

    Well, let’s put it this way. I still have the 5 kids and I’m 0 for 2 in the husband department. So, there ya go.

  • http://pimpajoentje.be Greet

    I think you are one of the luckiest women in the world when it comes to love, because it seems to me that you two are so, so right for each other that no matter what you’ll always get through it, and be stronger as a couple because of it. Not everyone has that, so maybe that’s why the other blogger moms find marriage so difficult. I can only hope I’ll find someone with whom I’ll have that connection that you and Jon have.

    On the other hand you had quite your share of bad luck with not knowing how to be a mom. Some people have it right from the start, some people don’t, there’s no way of knowing which one it’ll be and there’s no way of “training” to be a mom. I think I can imagine how you must have felt and how you sometimes still feel about motherhood. Babies are the most vulnerable loveable creatures in the world and my heart stops when someone makes me hold one, because I’m terrified of dropping it (seriously, I stop breathing just to concentrate), so I don’t want to know what I’ll be like when I’ll be a mom later!

    This kind of thing is different for everyone, it’s personal, and I think it’s a coincidence that you happen to be the only one in this position on the panel.

  • http://www.lifeandtimesofchantel.com Chantel

    I raised two children. They are both 17 & 18. While we’ve had our fair share of troubles as mother and child they did survive. Unfortunately my marriage lasted for less than 1.5 years. I didn’t try to live with or carry on any other type of romantic relationship until my children were much older. I knew that I was the type of person who didn’t have the energy to be married and raise children. But then again I haven’t had the best luck with finding a partner who can BE A PARTNER. This is as much a failure on my part as it is my choice of partners in relationships.

    Marriage is rough because you always have the OUT option. Children will never go away!! Oh how I wish they would every now and then.

  • Anonymous

    I originally found dooce through the NYT article on mommy blogging, which was about moms (like me) looking for fellowship on the web. But after reading through all the comments from people who are NOT parents (or married/committed), it looks like dooce is really for people who want to (a) experience parenthood and/or marriage vicariously, or (b) make themselves feel better because their lives aren’t as stressful as ours.

    Kind of like the feeling I get watching “Clean House:” it makes my house look so much better in comparison.

  • http://www.d3voiceworks.com d3 voiceworks

    I just spent way too much time reading way too many comments, and now I’m frEEkin’!

    My deepest hope and goal is to maintain a healthy adult relationship with my husband, raise a good and decent and independent son, and integrate our daughter (husband’s biological, my almost-adopted) who is nearly 5 into a nice family unit where we spend a lot of quality and adventurous time together but where husband and I have a dose of grown up reality, on a regular basis. That doesn’t mean keeping a big separating screen between us and the kids, but it does mean self-respect for who we are as individuals and a married couple and knowing what we’ve experienced to this point, so that we can enjoy that on occasion and teach by example so that our kids know that, too.

    It really isn’t ALL ABOUT the kids. That’s not balanced. If so, how would you stay sane, and what are you teaching them?

  • http://www.mamaneena.com Neena

    Love the video! I just found your blog and am an instant fan.

    I’d say marriage is harder than motherhood. Sometimes I wish I could take a marriage hiatus, come back next season, and begin anew with a fresh attitude.

  • Keri

    I think the difference (and someone might have already said this) is that you’re ALLOWED to go around and tell everyone that your husband is a complete jerk and how you’d like to shove his head in the oven when he pisses you off. But you can’t really say that about your kids – even when they make you feel that way. We’re supposed to put on this face like “YAY MOTHERHOOD!” like it’s all sunshine and roses. When, in fact, it completely and totally SUCKS ASS 95% of the time. That 5% that it doesn’t? COMPLETELY AND TOTALLY makes up for that other 95%. :)

    So my vote? Motherhood is harder just because we can’t TALK about how hard it is.

  • Lorien

    SO FAR (knock on wood)…parenting has been easier. That being said, I have recently come to the conclusion that I was truly blessed with incredibly easy kids. They were all born perfectly healthy, started sleeping through the night at a ridiculously early age, were never ever colicy and in the 6 years I have been a mother and between the 3 of my kids, we have only needed antibiotics twice. They are eager to please us and are really laid back mellow kids. Ask me in 10 years when I have 16, 15, and 14 year old girls….I bet I’ll have a different answer.

    Marriage has been an ongoing uphill battle. My husband and I married at 20, only 3 months after meeting. We knew very little about each other and were on two completely different and conflicting life paths. I was an independent, party my ass off rebel without a cause. He was a very squared away conservative Marine. We had very little in common (in fact it sometimes seemed all we had in common was our world class stubborness)…whether it’s perspectives on what a marriage should be or how to raise our kids to politics and music. I was raised by the parental equivalent of Jon Stewart while he was raised by the parental equivalent to Bill O’reilly. It makes a difference, believe me! Add the Marine Corps and the stresses of 5 (so far) deployments, the birth of 3 kids, and 3 cross country moves and it gets incredibly hard to not throw your hands up.

    We were married on Jan.20, 2001…GWB’s first Innaguration day. For a long time I thought it was an ironic omen. These days, not so much. I cook homemade southern food (and I was raised Vegetarian!) and he voted for Obama. We finally learned to compromise and listen to each other and I’m so glad because I hated the thought of divorcing my best friend in the whole world.-

  • ange

    Depends on which marriage….my first was a disaster, jerk-faced husband….then parenting was easier.
    Now on second marriage, and parenting is harder.
    Though I will say, generally speaking parenting can be more overwhelming because:
    1- you know you can’t walk away
    2- it really messes with your hormones, and hence your mind
    (not to mention your figure)

  • http://lifeinredshoes.blogspot.com Bridgette Bateman

    Oh my Holy Hell! I also suffered from horrific postpartum depression ( I read about your experience and nodded the whole time!)I have had some real tragedy in my life and nothing, NOTHING can hold a candle to losing your mind. I said absolutly no more babies for me after that 1st one, and then something softened in me after 9 years. Our daughters are 10 years apart, and having #2 was easier, the clouds returned, but only lasted 8 months compared to 8 years. The girls are now 17 and 27, and I still find motherhood harder than marriage. Best of luck with #2, I’m rooten for you!

  • Rhonda

    Hands down, parenthood. My oldest is as stubborn as my husband and I both so it’s a daily power struggle with him. My youngest seems to be heading in the same direction. Two strong-willed boys under the age of 5 and you get days when you wonder…What the hell was I thinking? I wouldn’t change it for anything though. They keep me young. Heather, thank you for making me laugh just about every day. My husband catches me in a fit of histeria every once in a while and thinks I’ve lost my mind (which I did about 8 years ago). I knew I wasn’t the only medicated mother out there, but it helps to read about another mom’s battles.

  • Sue Z

    Parenting is harder for me. I know I’m a great wife, my husband reinforces it all the time. But as far as being a mom, I’m not so sure. I feel like my instincts are not correct in the mothering area, I am making a lot of mistakes. If you asked the teachers and principal at my kids’ school, I think they would all agree.

  • jenny

    it sounds like it all depends on the partner, eh? for me, motherhood is so much more challenging than marriage. i got a great guy. when i was sobbing and screaming and burying my head into a pillow for the first four months of our daughter’s life, he never made me feel crazy. and i was. motherhood is SO rewarding, but HOT DAMN it’s hard. marriage is like a calming relief after a long hard day.

  • http://peace-inthe-storm.blogspot.com Elda

    ROFLMAO @ Hellish, nightmarish prison! I’m not sure what
    I consider to be harder, but I do know that at the end of the day I ask myself how I can be a better MOTHER. I don’t even question how to be a better wife because the answer would inevitable be to PUT OUT more. SEX fixes almost everything when it comes to husbands that feel neglected. Burnt dinner? Have sex! Called him an idiot in front of friends and family! SEX! Overdrafter the account? SEX! See… fixes EVERYTHING. Not as easy when it comes to hurting your child’s feelings or when you totally forgot to bake those cookies that you promised for the bake sale or things like that. BOTH are hard, but motherhood is harder.

    http://peace-inthe-storm.blogspot.com

  • Ninabi

    Parenting is harder.

    Our children are grown and for the first time in 22 years, it’s just me and my husband. Happy together. Our junior high sense of humor keeps us together. Every night is a slumber party with my best friend.

    Parenting took its toll on me. I love both my daughter and my son and what happened to them also impacted me.

    My daughter never gave us a bit of trouble. We never grounded her, her grades were perfect (indeed, I referred her to your website when she shared your views about being valedictorian) but her health is not.

    A call came her freshman year of college. She was sick with an overwhelming infection, in the hospital. Within minutes I drove night and day through three states to care for her, the mantra in my head repeating Don’t die, don’t die, please don’t die.

    She lived. My nerves, barely.

    We could have written parenting books explaining our success with child number one. With child #2, we needed parenting books.

    I got ready for each upcoming school year by unplugging the answering machine. He had so many behavior problems that my life was spent in conferences, doctor’s offices, appointments, the Parent Who Wasn’t Quite Good Enough. Each and every time he did something awful enough for me to get THE CALL I felt as though I had failed parenting. I believe the assumption was that if our child acted up as much as he did, well, we must eat Cheetos for dinner in front of a TV in a living room wallpapered with porn. With guns on our laps.

    It aged me, drained me, forced me, a teacher by degree, to retreat. Nobody could reconcile that the mother of the star of the school also birthed the class clown.

    Who was I as a parent? Was I as good or was I as terrible as the outcome of my two human biology projects?

    The gods smiled. Son grew up in his own time and in his own way and defiantly became the normal human being the school psychologist swore he’d never be.

    Parenting a difficult child shook my soul like a ragdoll in the mouth of a puppy.

  • cat

    What made raising a child way more easier than being married is that I was besotted from the moment he was born. I would give my life if needed. Without thought. My mission was clear.

    Marriage was more nuanced and I always knew I could leave if I wanted to…really badly, though I never did.

    Unconditional love versus conditional.

    My marriage would have been better if it had been unconditional and more accepting.

  • http://www.survivethemayhem.com SAHM: Surviving Assorted Home Mayhem

    Parenthood is more difficult in my opionion and marriage is much easier. However in thinking about that, it took me a couple tries to get the marriage part “right” AND one of my kids is like the Tasmanian Devil on crack….so I would have to say that it depends on the husband and depends on the kid!

  • http://themoxiereport.blogspot.com Tracy of The Moxie Report

    Everyday I am flabbergasted by my two-year-old daughter. She is a manic bundle of energy. At the end of each day I am so exhausted I wish I could pour a bottle of tequila down my throat and pass out. Too bad I don’t drink.

    Being a mom is full of incredible highs but the thing is I am so frickin’s exhausted half the time I don’t remember them! Having a kid is the harded thing I’ve ever done. And I will never ever do it again. One child is plenty for me. I lover her madly and I just don’t have enough love, energy or time for another kid.

    Tracy
    http://themoxiereport.blogspot.com

  • http://thedailylp.blogspot.com Greg

    Well… I obviously won’t be the first person to say “nice post,” but still… nice post.

    My vote is for marriage. That said, I may change my vote when my child gets around tween-to-teenager age.

  • http://pearl-berries.blogspot.com/ Jami Solomon

    I have to say that I agree with you, Heather. My husband and I do have the pleasure of being each other’s best friends. Sure, he can be a total douche bag sometimes but I just one-up but being as bitchy as my body will allow. And then we grow up and talk about what is really going on. I see all that as what happens when you marry a human (as opposed to a pony, which will just kick you in the head).

    Kids, though? In our house we have Team Parent and we mean it! Yes, we are both entirely capable of dealing with the kids, alone, for days on end. But why do that? It is so much harder and way less fun. Plus, I have never felt like such a failure until I had kids. I am significantly more confident now, but the toll it takes on the brain is immense. And terrifying.

  • Lee

    Marriage is LOADS easier…especially if you communicate well. Babies take years to get to know and their personalities are in a constant state of change. I was surprised that one of the other moms said, “I barely knew my husband when we got married and had the baby.” Pretty risky, raising a child with someone you barely know….I am very suspect of women who talk about how easy it is to raise children….Are they actually raising children or are they having children as a fashion statement, as in,”Well, I’m married. I guess I should have a baby next.”? I like to think, in a perfect world, that people actually take the time and think,”I’m married and I have a great partner and I’d like to raise a child with them.” After reading your blog for a while, Heather, you and Jon seem very thoughtful and considerate of how you are raising Leta. You are conscious of the fact that you are growing a person, another individual to add to the mix of society..

  • Anonymous

    Both are tough in different ways. To be perfectly candid, parenting comes more naturally to me, more selflessly, than being married. I think this might be because marriage is more of a construct than having kids.

    I was raised an only child, never had babies in my life until my own was born, but I loved my daughter fiercely from the moment of her first breath; I would absolutely call it instinct — it was simply there, without effort. I knew exactly what to do.

    The marriage-love is more vulnerable, takes effort to sustain, and it can be destroyed. The mother-child love cannot.

    But we are talking about parenting and marriage, not love & instinct — right?

    I’ll keep thinking.

  • http://www.shoesonwrong.com Annie

    Okay, I am not a mom. I don’t know if I ever will be a mom. I adopted a puppy once, and that made me want to throw myself off a tall building because of the sheer, overwhelming neediness of it. That is the closest I have ever been to parenthood.

    I have, however, been married for almost five years. I won’t lie and say that being married is always easy or even pleasant, but there has never been a moment when I am levelheaded and calm that I have ever wanted out of my marriage. I have never wanted to not be here. I’ve occasionally wanted to club my husband to death with a candlestick when I’m angry with him, but then I calm down and am glad that I let him live. There have been bumps in the road and trials, but being married, frankly, hasn’t been that hard. Depression has been hard. Graduating from college was hard. Raising that fucking puppy was hard. All of those things made me question my sanity and want to give up. Marriage hasn’t.

    So, my inkling is that, for me, having a baby will be harder than being married. I love that I can lean on my husband and he can lean on me, but if he were an infant and NEEDED me 24/7, I would probably struggle with some resentment and losing my sanity.

  • http://libelletage.blogspot.com Lisa

    As a parent of a 13 and 10 year old, I ‘d say parenting is way harder. Especially since I had my 13 year old at 17. I pretty much have no clue what I am doing most of the time. And I have to disagree with one of the statements from the momversation. It’s actually easier than you think to neglect your kids. I don’t mean forget the to feed them, dress them, bathe them stuff. I mean that moment when you’re running around doing 5 things at once and they are trying to tell you about your day and you say not now for the third day in a row. Somedays I feel like I am screwing up all the time. Somedays I look at my kids and think, wow, maybe I didn’t do so bad after all.

  • http://www.thingsidothinkwearseelovedream.blogspot.com b.a.

    i love being a mom and i love my daughter.
    but i was a wife first. i loved my husband first.
    when she’s not around anymore, it’ll just be us.
    i try to remember to keep first things first.

  • http://iwriteshedrawsblogspot.com Sar

    i am at the opposite end of things. i am a single momma with my first being a senior in high school, second a junior, and my baby is ten going on twenty nine or something like that because she totally passed me up in maturity about two years ago. either i totally sucked at marriage or married quite possibly the worlds biggest fuckhead whose recent escapade as cop landed all three girls in therapy – motherhood has been the most natural thing on the planet even with crazy postpartum anxiety after the 3rd. maybe because i had an older sister who had her fifth when i had my first and i was able watch and take notes as she raised five little lovelies. just a note: go work on your marriage (just do the guy, ok?) because single parenting requires more alcohol than one should really drink.

  • http://www.gofastmommy.com sheila

    another vote for parenthood…after all, how many blogs are there for parenting vs. marriage?

  • Marianne

    Marriage is far easier than parenting. My husband is my partner and is able to communicate with me and tell me what’s going on and what his needs are, and problem solve with me.

    I love being a mom, and much of it does come easily and naturally, but not all of it and not always from the start. It is also much more fraught with anxiety and mommy guilt –I worry that I will make mistakes and cause my daughter irreparable harm in some way that won’t even be apparent for years.

  • Susan

    OMG, parenthood by far!! Not that marriage is easy by any stretch of the imagination but becoming a mom was so foreign to me in many ways. I was 28 so I felt mature enough but I remember, when the red coat came to my room to wheel me down for leaving the hospital, thinking any minute that someone was going to stop us and inform me that I was in no way ready to care for this child without supervision. I felt so stupid! The instinct did however take over, thank god. By the way, LOVE the Momversations.

  • Katherine

    I’m with you Heather — I’m only 3 months into this motherhood thing, but marriage is MUCH easier. It helps that I picked an amazing man to spend the rest of my life with. Ayelet Waldman, a writer, got a TON of guff for admitting on Oprah a few years back that if she had to choose, she’d pick her husband over her 4 kids. She’s married to Michael Chabon so I get it. I’m not sure I want to weigh in on whether I’d save my baby girl or my man, but I do know that in the beginning when our baby was in the NICU with a life threatening issue, we kept telling each other that we can get through anything as long as we have each other.

    Kind of sappy for comment number 120, but there you have it.

  • krazeladee

    Relationships: you may have to deal with pushing his/her buttons, but they came with them already installed….

    Motherhood: You’re building the whole damn thing from scratch.. of course its harder!!

  • lee

    happy new year.
    Marriage was by far easier but then a child came along (a much planned for and loved child) and the marriage went awry – after 10 years of great.
    Did my husband miss being the only child?

  • Karen

    Hmmmm…. I, like you, had a hell of a ride when my daughter was born 12.5 yrs ago. My husband was in residency and gone ALL the time. I had a baby that literally cried from 3:30pm until 4 AM EVERY DAY- EVERY DAY – yes I typed that twice. I could not understand why people had children because – son of a bitch- this sucked. This went on for 6 months 1 week and 3 days…I have it written in my journal. I woke that morning thinking she had died – seriously

    I had no support, no friends had had kids yet (I was 28 at the time) and my husband just pretended that we did not exist. I should have checked myself into your mental abode for some help. I never wanted to hurt my child but I was distraught and too proud to complain.

    She finally decided that all the crying was getting her nowhere. And she was the perfect sleeper from then on.

    This is the kicker…my marriage went totally downhill due to this. I was really pissed at him for not helping, not caring, not anythinging. So after 10 yrs of marriage and the downward spiral (and one more child that was so quiet after her birth I thought there was something very wrong with her) we entered counseling. It saved our marriage but not that base that it was built on…those months of a crying baby and a desperate wife and mother changed eveything about me.

    Oh to be able to go back and have a do over! Life is good now, my girls are 12.5 and almost 10 and are wonderful kids. I am happier than I’ve ever been and am finally finding out who “I” am…and I like me..

    So the simple answer for me- to a very hard question is marriage at this point …. I’m not who he married and it drives him crazy, which in turn makes me want to scream at times :-)

  • caro

    I’ve been with my husband seventeen years and we have 3 girls aged 15, 13 and 11. For me being a mom felt natural and comfortable from the get go. Making my relationship work has been just that, a lot of work, compromise and therapy. Neither of us came into this union knowing what a good partnership feels or looks like. I suffer from depression and have often felt trapped and desperate because of my marriage, never because of my role as a mother.

  • lee

    happy new year.
    Marriage was by far easier but then a child came along (a much planned for and loved child) and the marriage went awry – after 10 years of great.
    Did my husband miss being the only child?

  • http://www.areyoubreathing.com/ Wendy

    I totally agree with you Heather. Having kids is way harder than marriage. Although, I have to say having kids, especially the second one, has made marriage harder. I feel this way because there is just less time for each other once the second child moves into the house. And it has robbed my husband of much of his sanity. But there is no way I would want to do this without him. And we go on dates at least once a year so we can remember how great our marriage is. BTW you’re my favorite part of momversation. My only favorite part in fact. And mainly because you are different from the others, an in exciting and entertaining. Behold and beware the second coming.

  • http://navahale.blogspot.com Nava

    marriage is SO much easier. Mostly because our marriage just has always been incredibly easy. No, I don’t know why. Now we have a two-foot-tall battering ram who scream incoherently and crawls on our faces instead of sleeping. Not that I would trade it, and not that I have it hard by any means, it’s just that parenthood is a lot harder than sharing space with someone you can actually reason with.

  • I cannot marry the one I love

    Thanks for including those who cannot marry the one they love! Marriage is easier than parenthood because you can walk away from your spouse but you cannot walk away from your child. With a child there is never a “Come back at a better time.”

    Happy new year to all. This is my first comment though I am a huge fan.

  • Anonymous

    I enjoy your blog enormously, and have for a while. I sympathized with you when you miscarried. I’ve been through MANY.

    I’ve almost completely stopped reading you.

    Why?

    I’m tired of hearing for almost all bloggers how difficult it is to be a parent. How much harder it is to be a parent then married.

    I understand where you’ve been, my best friend suffered from post-partum after her first child. I spent days at her house cooking, cleaning and taking care of her child while she slept and coped.

    When I’ve miscarried, she’s glossed over the conversation and turned it back to her children. I have a hard time speaking to her.

    Enough is enough. I can get pregnant…and have been several times. I cannot stay pregnant. My marriage has suffered, we almost split up. Western medicine has offered me nothing but a hysterecotomy. AND, that comes from a fertility clinic…really…there is nothing they can do.

    I am so happy you’re pregnant again, but where the hell are the blogs for women like me…I don’t dwell in self pity (okay…sometimes), but I’m damn tired of all of the moms bitching about their lives. I’d give my right arm, ass cheek, severe disfiguring to be able to experience this.

    Which is hardest marraige v. motherhood?

    Try infertility…spending Christmas Eve in church (I’m not religious…went for the husband’s fam) where they spoke on the importance of creating family and children as they lead in the live nativity scene…complete w/ crying baby Jesus. Trying making it through events (famly and friends) where they look at you with PITY b/c you can’t carry. Try having hope, over and over, only to have that stripped away, leaving you a bleeding, sobbing mess.

    We’ve started the adoption process.

    All in all…this has to be way more difficult then either…and is far more difficult on the marriage the parenting.

  • Amy

    Motherhood is DEFINITELY harder. Not that marriage has been a piece of cake, but in all honesty I think it would be much easier without parenthood thrown in, at least for us. (If you watch the Tudors… picture Anne Boleyn saying “There cahn’t be three people in a mahriage!” That’s about how it is.) However at the same time I would say that I loving my son is easier, more intense, and completely inviolable. If I had to choose one or the other I would have to choose him, and therein lies the root of the dramatic tension.

  • http://www.youbettermakeitadouble.blogspot.com/ anna

    i wish i had commented earlier because i doubt you will have time or energy to read 700 comments down.
    in early 2008 my husband i adopted two infants and in the summer we gave birth to a baby as well. we went from no babies to 3 in just 8 months. talk about getting thrown into the deep end. to make things more complicated our oldest was diagnosed with cerebral palsy and epilepsy. did i mention we live on a 3rd floor walk up and don’t have a car? anywho, in spite of all that has happened in the last year with children i still think marriage is harder. i’m home with the kids 10+ hours a day with no help and you just do it. not always gracefully for sure. i’ll admit i’ve scooted a baby with my foot in order to shut the freaking door. but you do it because they need you and so you don’t have a choice. with marriage (and i have a fantastic husband no doubt) you have to wake up every morning and choose to love them more than you love yourself. to put a spouse first when you feel like you never even have five minutes to yourself where someone doesn’t need you, for me, is infinitely harder than teaching my daughters to share.
    thanks for making me think about this.

  • http://bluestalking.typepad.com Lisa Guidarini

    My husband and I have been married for 19 years now, only a very few of them happily. We stuck it out when so many couples would have thrown in the towel. It was only after my complete nervous breakdown at almost exactly this day last year that we started marital therapy. Now, finally, we’re becoming what a happily married couple should be. We know each other inside and out. Disgustingly, we complete each other’s sentences, thinking the exact same thing at the same time. This drives me nuts because it has that cutesy ring to it. And I am anything BUT cutesy.

    Parenting? I had post-partum depression after the birth of my first child. I should have had help then, but my husband turned cold on me and blamed it all on my lack of mothering skills. We managed to have two more children, one every two years (pretty much the only times we had sex!), but the misery went on.

    Now I’m in therapy and seeing a psychiatrist to finallly treat my bipolar, my husband’s in therapy, and we’re in joing marital therapy. Honestly? When we started going to therapy I just knew it wouldn’t work. I thought we were done. Then something happened. Things started turning around. Our kids were 10, 12 and 14, and finally we were like a real family. My bipolar was under control, we’re continuing to see all the therapists, and things are better than they’ve ever been.

    So, which is harder? It’s hard to say. All of my life was difficult before I admitted I needed help. That’s a damn long time to scratch and claw my way through life with no intervention. I can’t separate the marriage from the children. They’re intertwined. Both are sometimes fantastic, and sometimes make me climb the walls. But everything in general is better now. Finally, for the first time in my life.

  • Anonymous

    I want to know what research you were reading — I love that stuff. In my opinion, parenthood is so, so much harder. Children are needy and irrational, no matter how much you adore them.

  • http://kitkat4real.blogspot.com Katherine S.

    I don’t know if this is a fair question. It generalizes two huge institutions: Marriage and Motherhood. In some marriages it is like one spouse is raising a child by having a spouse be immature and overly co-dependent, which I have witnessed to be a frequent situation for sometimes the husband and other times the wives. So I’m not suggesting this is only in one gender role. But every situation, every household is different.

    Personally my marriage didn’t work out because he was abusive but I would like to think I could make one work again someday and handle both being a mom and being a wife… all in one lifetime. But right now I run out of energy at the end of the day trying to do it all as a single mom, so the very thought of ending up with “raising a codependent husband” is not at the top of my list.. On the other hand though, to have a “partner” someday, someone who is a friend and wants to walk beside me and make this journey with me and is willing to work at it… yes – I do want that, very much!

    And the idea of therapy, yes, is a must for a healthy relationship: for both spouses as individuals and as a couple. We are one great big dysfunctional American home trying to make it all work here.

  • rachelle

    I find that marriage is harder BECAUSE I am a mother. My relationship with my husband is not the same since the birth of my daughter and not because of him but because of me. My daughter is 6 months old and before her birth my husband and I had a wonderful physical relationship. Now I have no desire for him to even give me a hug!! I’m hoping my hormones are still out of whack and I will get back to feeling like myself again but in the mean time I am struggling to fulfill his needs :(

  • http://thecreepycupboard.blogspot.com Caustic Cupcake

    I apologize for going off topic, but that picture of Leta with pigtails was just TOO ADORABLE to go unmentioned.

  • Sunny

    hhhmm. i read the entry yesterday and have been thinking about what my answer might be ever since. i kept flip-flopping for awhile because it’s a pretty close race here…then I locked in on an answer and here it is: as a mother of a 6, 4 and 5 month old I must go with Motherhood being the most difficult for the following reasons…

    1) i’m completely outnumbered!
    2) husbands are capable of rational thought (at least mine is), toddlers and teenagers – not so rational
    3) i know what to expect from my husband, we chose each other. he is the best possible match for me. kids are a virtual grab bag of temperment. you just never know. that’s what makes being a mom so hard for me-being completely blindsided by ridiculous behavior. one day jeans are great. the next day they make my daughter launch into hysterics and scream and throw herself on the floor.

    essentially, they’re both work. but they are the best work i’ve ever done.

  • http://heyyourememberme.blogspot.com that girl

    See, I’m in the opposite camp.

    Motherhood came naturally for me – I don’t mean that in a high and mighty way..I just mean the instincts kicked in, I was never really scared of it. But, I’d had lots of experience w/ babies all through my teens.

    Marriage has been difficult to say the least.

    Although the pull to get married was very strong, I really had no idea what to expect. Most of what I did expect wasn’t realistic. My parents have each been married and divorced numberous times. I had a clear picture of all the marriage scenarios that I wanted to avoid – but no real life knowledge whatsoever when it came to the day-to-day makings of a good marriage.

    I love my husband and we’re still together. But I would definately say I was much more emotionally prepared to have children than I was to be married. Is that odd?

  • http://bcuzimpretty.livejournal.com/ Bcuzimpretty

    I don’t think anyone can say (at least not with 100% certainty) that one is harder than the other. Marriage and motherhood are both, in turns, easy and difficult.

    I am neither married nor a mother but I have many married friends (most of whom also have children). I have heard their complaints and their praises, sympathized with their struggles and basked in their joys, and I have come to the conclusion that marriage and motherhood are both strenuous and uplifting at the same time.

    [The ease or difficulty of either of these is also contingent on a person's ability to handle stress and pressure.]