• Kim

    I probably should have gone the mental hospital route after my first baby. I was a wreck and completely not prepared for motherhood. I feel the problems in my marriage stemmed from my post partum depression and not the relationship between my husband and I. I can tell you I did my best to drive him away those first two to three years of motherhood. It was easier to blame him and hate him then to admit I was doing so good at the motherhood thing. That would be too much guilt not to like being a mom. I think there is such a stigma that most women are afraid to admit that being a mom is not what they expected or that they are having a hard time or god forbid they don’t like it at all. My boys are 4.5 and 6.5 now and life is so much better. I enjoy being a mom and I love my husband again!

  • Anonymous

    Parenthood is definitely harder. No question. The toddler years are especially difficult. When my daughter was little, but growing so rapidly — think about it, they go from not being able focus their eyes on day one to walking upright and talking by year two — I had to figure out every day who she was. And I probably got it right more than 50% of the time, which still left a lot of room for not understanding why she’s throwing herself on the floor all of sudden because I put the straw in the juice box but she wanted to do it herself today, for the first time ever. Or why she will only accept the fruit snacks package with Scooby on it, when yesterday she only would accept the Princess package. Or why pink is out of favor suddenly and brown is best.

    So, even though I don’t have the best marriage, at least he’s pretty consistent. Children change all the time.

  • Karen

    Easy. Parenting is harder. This is not to say that marriage is not hard, because it is. But you can storm out on your husband and leave him alone in the house/car/handcuffs for a couple of hours while you go calm down (in a bar, over a cocktail or two, or nine), whereas leaving a baby/toddler/small child in this manner is generally frowned upon and/or illegal.

    Also, toddlers are not real people. They are insane aliens in cute clothes. Babies, ditto, but to a lesser extent. Men, on the other hand are mostly human most of the time, or at least speak the same language as you do (if not always the same dialect).

    In addition, most men do not learn how to simultaneously push every single one of your buttons whilst screaming in an ear-bleeding register and swinging the cat violently around by the tail. This last one is the deal-breaker for me.

    And I only have one child.

  • Anonymous

    I definitely find marriage to be waaaaay more difficult than parenting. i have one child (age 5) and she is what i would describe as high-energy, high-maintenance, carefree, unpredictable, and spirited….which makes for some really interesting days. some days it’s absolutely exhausting and i feel like i really have no idea what i am doing. yet, the truth is i would do it again and would really like to have another child. but i am pretty sure i never will because i don’t think my marriage can handle it…i’d probably end up divorced. my marriage of 10 years is challenging, frustrating, and for the most part lacking. and the sad irony is that he is so ridiculous most days that is it actually like having another child. some days i feel like a single parent of 2 moreso than a married mom of one.
    some days i wish i had gone the Murphy Brown route!

  • Suze

    46 years of marriage, and we’re still great friends.
    3 grown kids in their 40′s, two grandkids.
    Overall, I have to say that having three children going through their teenage years at the same period of time was the most difficult part of my life thus far.
    Those same three hellions, I mean kids, are now our friends and we can’t imagine life without them, but still….
    Marriage has been easy compared to that experience!

  • http://have-the-t-shirt.blogspot.com/ Have the T-shirt

    I felt immediately comfortable as a Mommy, well, once I got over the shock that they were really gonna let me take my baby home from the hospital. They seemed to think I knew what I was doing at least.

    I feel like I was just made for parenthood, it comes pretty natural to me. My sons are now 24 and 18 and I can honestly say that there hasn’t been an age or stage that flummoxed me.

    I can’t say that for about marriage or relationships though. I was married 13 years and have been divorced 14 years. I’ve not been successful in that arena. I’ve chosen badly and have gradually learned to make wiser choices, and yet, that one special person still eludes me.

    At least I have my dog :P

  • http://cowjumpmoon.blogspot.com Shalini

    Parenthood has been tougher than marriage.

    We’ve been married 7 years this year, and have a 3.5 year old, and baby #2 coming in July. I have a feeling that parenthood is about to get a nice kick in the butt.

    Marriage was easier pre-kid, but I think that marriage and parenthood are mixed up together after a bit, and that sometimes pressure from one exerts pressure on the other, and sometimes one or both suffer explosions… (metaphorically speaking).

    Thanks for starting this conversation (it got me thinking again, pregnancy MUSH brain over here)

  • http://own_two_hands.livejournal.com/ owntwohands

    I have been married for a year and a half, and I am the mother of a bubbly 5-month-old little girl. So far I have to say that parenting has been more difficult for me than marriage. A child is both a person that you love and that you are responsible for. A marriage is (or should be, to me) a relationship of equals, with each person playing to their strengths; there is responsibility there to try to make things work as smoothly as possible, but in the end your partner is still another adult. Your child is, well, a child, and they count on you to take care of them; they literally cannot do it themselves. I believe in “for better or for worse”, but if I were to get divorced or die (heaven forbid), my husband could remarry eventually. My daughter, on the other hand, will always be my daughter.

  • http://www.bessieviola.wordpress.com bessie.viola

    Parenting, by FAR. When we got married we got to sleep in, have sex, go out to dinner, and talk to each other.

    Now… well, we can still do those things, but they’re much fewer and farther between.

    It’s been a rough road, and I am grateful for your accounts of your experiences – they’ve helped me through some tough times.

  • Psychologist Mom

    This is my first ever comment on your site, but be it known, Heather, that I check in on your site regularly and I am often blown away by your candidness, and resonate COMPLETELY with your experience of pregnancy. We, your viewing audience, are soaking it all up– your willingness to let us into your life.

    Your question is an absurd one for me, as I don’t find marriage hard at all. We’ve been married 18 years, and I hope I don’t gag anyone with sickly sweetness here, but he’s still my best friend, my soul mate, and there is nothing hard about it. It’s effortless, comforting, and when I am with him alone, I feel completely at ease and blessed. Before I met him, I recall thinking death sounded like a relief from the pain of life; since I’ve met him, I love life, soak it up and feel so grateful to be here, a part of it all.

    Parenting on the other hand (be it known that we have 3 kids – ages 10, 12, and 15 – and he has two kids from a previous marriage – ages 30 and 28) is aggravating but mostly because of all the damn dishes, the messes strewn about the house, the laundry, the crumbs, and the bitch I become getting them to clean up after themselves. I can’t stand the mess, and more than that, can’t stand the feeling that they are blowing me off by making a mess for me to clean up, but more than that, can’t stand the angry woman I become as I ask, “How many times do I need to tell you “no towels on the floor” or “please please please put your dirty dishes in the dishwasher!” Before becoming a parent, I had no idea so much of my time would be taken up being a maid or demanding that they clean up after themselves. It’s the primary issue that makes parenting difficult.

    One other tidbit – I was married once before and it was HELL ON EARTH. We fought all the time, nasty loud arguments. (Had we had kids, I’m sure my answer would be “Marriage is hell; kids are bliss”)- Thus, it is my experience that the quality of a relationship is hugely dependent on the compatibility of the partners.

    Thanks Heather for your candid nature, gifted writing and fine photography.

  • suspiria

    Survival is an instinct. Motherhood? not so much.

    First-time animal mothers often lose their babies because they are inexperienced. It’s a learned thing, not at all like breathing.

    It’s a cultural thing that women = mothers.

    “Bad mommy” or “no mothering instinct” is just another way for the status quo to beat up on women and control their behavior.

  • angrysugarmama

    it all sucks!

    (but being a mom sucks most.)

    a mean mom. }:)

  • http://faydean.typepad.com amy j.

    My husband and I had been together for 11 years by the time we had our first child. We had been together for eight before we got married, so yes, my marriage had been work, but had finally come to a place where I understood what to do to be happy in it.

    Then I got pregnant, unexpectedly. We hadn’t ever really seriously considered children. He had just graduated medical school and started residency and we had JUST bought our first home. I figured out I was pregnant while painting our living room the first week we moved in!

    Motherhood hit me like a TON of bricks. For three months I was miserable…unbearably happy and miserable in this way I never even knew was possible. Takinh care of a baby was seriously hard and I was sleep deprived and alone alot, it felt like I was dying of exhaustion and losing my mind for about three month. And I said things, did things…showed my worst side many times during that bad part, that first part…things I STILL regret seven years later.

    And then, the baby started sleeping through the night, she smiled at me and began to giggle and it didn’t seem so foreign one day…it felt right and happy and blessed and comfortable and JOYOUS…until she became a toddler, LOL. Then I felt like I’d been kicked in the head again…and guess what? My husband didn’t understand and my marriage was difficult for many months until I got the hang of it AGAIN, lol.

    Then I was overwhelmed with how I LOVED motherhood…how I couldn’t imagine not experiencing it again…as she learned to count and dance and eat on her own and ride a trike. Amazing…easier in many ways, yet so much harder when I was a control freak and she was having nothing to do with it.

    Then I got pregnant a second time when she was two…she would be three by the time the baby came. OMG, that pregnancy was awful and scary and I was beyond in agony and worn out by the time I delivered. It seemed easier the second time, yet it hit me HUGELY “What the hell have I done to myself doing this again” in the midst of sleepless nights and a baby who puked on me many times a day. For about three months again…rinse, repeat, then she smiled, giggled, grew the craziest curly hair and smiled so big that I melted every time I saw her. Then my oldest daughter was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes…and my world crumbled and I felt beyond upset and worried…I felt helpless.

    That first year…after I had my second was so bad that I literally don’t remember most of it…in terms of dealing with stress of taking care of children. I was on the verge of a nervous breakdown trying to learn to care for my oldest child’s disease and raise an infant simultaneously.

    HARD.

    Marriage? I barely recall honestly. We survived, though it felt we wouldn’t at times.

    Marriage is hard, true. But motherhood goes to the center of your soul and NO part of it doesn’t effect you deeply…both on the good days and the bad. Every accomplishment and joy brings you to the verge of what some existentialist might call “ultimate joy”. Yet, the bad bits can make you not only regret your lot in life, but also feel THE WORST you could ever contemplate feeling in your entire life or any thereafter. Guilt being at the center of most of those bad feelings. Mommy guilt is hardly even explainable to someone who isn’t a mother.

    Heather, you said it best yourself in fact with a quote I can’t even recall now many years ago about the extremes of the experience.

    I’m a mom that admits easily that I don’t like all aspects of motherhood…in fact I loathe bits of it. I resent it sometimes even. I get fed up and I don’t even like my children for periods. And I sure as hell don’t understand them at times, despite reading every child psychology book I could and asking moms from all corners. I should know that they do such and such as this age or it’s “typical” behavior and not get so uptight. But I don’t. And I won’t. When they act like buttheads I will be embarrassed and frazzled. And when they are smart and funny and amazing I will just sit in awe that I made them.

    In short, marriage work gives you experience in terms of what motherhood work will require, but nothing can ever prepare you for it.

    Both suck horribly at times, but are SO incredibly worth it you can’t even put it into words. It is the best and worst thing I will ever do in my life…motherhood. And, I must add, that I don’t think I could do it without my marriage. I KNOW I couldn’t.

  • http://greengirlseverydaydetails.blogspot.com Alicia

    I am right there along with ya, being a mother has been harder and more consistently trying than my marriage. But I think all the trials in my marriage and being a mother has made me stronger so I do feel thankful for them.

  • Bunny

    In my first marriage, parenthood was so much easier. I (clearly) had married the wrong person: we were good friends but their was no passion. I was made to feel inferior and the constant bickering, him wanting more love, sex, interest than I could give him was very difficult. However, we shared two children, and we made a great family. What I miss the most is working off of each other, having someone there who had seen a ten pound baby exit my vagina, watched me collect barf in cupped hands from a puking child at three in the morning. Someone who was legally required to parent equally took a lot of pressure off. It also helped that our oldest son was an angel and the baby was a fairly easy baby. Until he started moving.
    When the youngest was three, things crumbled. I was so unhappy, living off pills to function and mask my unhappiness. I was strong (maybe selfish enough) to know it was over and leave. I met my current husband who lights my fire, my intellect; who respects me and worships my children.I don’t need anything but his love and support to get through my days (no pills). Our relationship is so easy that is seems almost unreal. I work at it in that I try to keep the mystery alive, but we are incredibly happy (it’s probably sickening to those around us).
    Parenthood became supremely harder. The youngest is non-stop activity and mischief; he is a few months younger than Leta and I know exactly what his attitude will be in three months by what is going on in Leta’s behaivor. Tough cookies to parents, but wonderful just the same. The divorce was responsible for a lot of pain in our lives and we deal with it the best we can. As a SAHM I try to alleviate my current husband from the daily crap that goes on, figuring that after an exhausting day of work supporting us it’s the least I can do. He doesn’t have to deal with the arguments and cajoling and the pancakes and the backpacks; driving all over town to get them to school or the doctor or baseball practice. I often feel like a single parent, though I choose to make it that way. Bio-dad and step-dad get to be the fun parents while I am the mean one that gets shit on.
    I agree with you Heather; maybe for diffferent reasons, but mostly for the same: when you are married to “The One” you are supposed to be with, marriage is not a chore. Something to work hard on and keep fresh,yes, but nowhere near as difficult as the amount of energy, time, patience, and selflessness it takes to raise children.

  • April

    Parenting is, hands-down, harder for me. 12 years into my relationship and 8 into the marriage, it still feels easy. There are hard moments, but they don’t come EVERY SINGLE DAY the way they do with parenting. Having a great marriage is what helps get me through those hard parenting moments.

  • http://belgianwaffle.net Anne

    Parenthood is harder, a lot harder. Marriage is easy by comparison. I used to wonder now what we argued about before we had children; if we couldn’t find a restaurant, neither of us was going to collapse on the pavement screaming – what was our problem exactly?

  • Katie

    I’m only a wife so far, not yet a mom, so I’m speaking a bit out of turn, but in theory I would think that parenthood would be infinitely more challenging than being married. When you marry someone, they are already a fully developed human being (well, hopefully…), and you are not responsible for their survival, welfare, or even their happiness. You’re an equal partner.

    When you become a parent (again, I’m speculating here) you’re fully responsible for that human being for at least a few years of their life. They literally cannot survive without you. It’s more or less constant (even when you have the help of a partner) – forget about the physical demands, which no doubt are numerous – I’m talking about the emotional ones.

    At any rate, both of these relationships – marriage and parenthood – are challenging, as you say, and both can be very rewarding. I applaud you for speaking so honestly about motherhood – it’s the main reason I read your blog.

    I have been trying to get pregnant for a very long time. No success yet, but I haven’t lost hope. However, no matter how much I want to be a mom, I’m not so naive to think that it’s going to be perfect for the mere fact that I struggled for so long. I think women (and men) have the absolute right to want something very badly and still admit that it’s freaking hard sometimes, that it sucks, that your kids can be a pain in the ass sometimes. Just because women fought so hard to be included in the workforce doesn’t mean we can’t bitch about our jobs. We’re human, we’re not perfect, and admitting that something is hard is downright normal. And makes people more relatable, too.

    I think the most important thing to realize here is that we all deal with things differently; we all have our own personal strenghts and weaknesses, and the best thing we can do is allow ourselves to be normal and imperfect. The best thing we can do for our friends is support them through their struggles and applaud their successes.

    I love your blog, and I’m thrilled that you’re pregnant. This kid will be so lucky to have a family like yours to welcome it.

  • Bobby Joe Boner

    By far, marriage is so much easier then parenthood. Been married for 7 years. Have a 2 year old. It is so much easier to meet the needs of my wife then to meet the needs of my kid.

    As I sit here, my daughter just threw ice, dumped out water, and tried to stick a sucker stick up the dog’s ass. Parenthood is so much harder for my wife and I.

  • Anonymous

    Parenting two teenage daughters is much more challenging than being married to the man who is their father.

  • http://aplanetnamedjanet.blogspot.com Janet

    For me parenting has been harder. So much has been on the job training as I had no experience with good parenting — ie, even tho I lived with my biological parents, my “reason for being” was to help on the farm and I might as well have been hired help.

    I do believe that God sent my husband my way. There really is no other explanation for how well it has gone other than that.

  • http://trouttowers.blogspot.com her royal troutship

    This hit so close to home. I love my marriage and I love motherhood, but marriage has never made me want to sew rocks in my pockets.

  • http://rootbeerlove.blogspot.com Annemarie

    I can’t say that I’ve experienced parenthood. However, it still seems to me that being a Mom is going to be way harder than being a wife is. I mean, my husband can take care of himself (most of the time), and tell me, clearly what he wants of me and if something is upsetting him, what it is. Maybe once we have kids, I’ll change my mind. I’ll let you know in a few years.

  • Jennifer

    Being a mom is hands-down harder. My husband and I had a strong established marriage before our son arrived, and that has made all the difference. And although we have off days, we’re extremely committed to each other and put each other first. Before anyone and anything. Being a mom is hard and frustrating. I feel like a failure at it a lot of the time. He’s my lovely son, but it is very difficult. I think you make a good point about how it was in the past. Even my mom (who is awesome) when I look back, didn’t spend a whole lot of time with my brother and I. Which doesn’t bother me, it just makes me realize how hands-on I sort of am (and how REALLY hands-on som moms are).

  • http://www.amymossoff.com Amy

    I’m with you, Heather. Becoming a mom threw me for a loop, and although things have gotten much easier, it is still much harder than marriage. I can sum up the reason in one word: uncertainty. What made me crazy with my newborn was the uncertainty about EVERYTHING. What the hell did that baby want or need? Did those other moms in the momversation seriously have a clue? I don’t believe them. My husband and I would theorize endlessly about what was going on. It got so bad we had to make up an acronym: TOOMA, which stands for THEORIZING OUT OF MY ASS. “Maybe she’s cold. Or maybe it’s an ear infection. Oh, shit, I’m TOOMA-ing again.”

    That is my definition of hell. Well, that, or being eaten alive by a tiger.

  • http://www.fiveblondes.com Leah

    WHAT?! Babies for sure, and I don’teven have one. A relationship takes work, of course, but if something isnot working you can just say – you know what, hunny? I am going to get a beer/Vegas/sleep over at a girlfriends and you don’t even have to worry abut the other person whereas you couldn’t do that with a baby!

  • http://faeriedustdreams-michelle.blogspot.com/ Michelle

    One thing is for sure . life was easier before having a child. I worked, we were not struggeling with one income and 3 mouths to feed and we had more time for each other.
    now we rarely talk except for him to tell me what a mess the house is or what a mess I am. I’ve grown so distant with my hubby that I’d rather be a parent than be none at all. at least my little boy shows me undying love no matter how much housework I did not do.

  • Barb

    I feel much more confident in my marriage than I do in my parenting ability right now. But maybe that’s because my son is a teenager and the last few years have been incredibly hard. (And he’s what I would call a “good” teen. My heart goes out to those parents with troubled teens.)

  • http://emilyruthwonders.blogspot.com emily ruth

    similar to what you said on the video about how you wouldn’t date a guy who screamed through your entire date i have recently been comparing the “job” of being a parent to any other job that one might have…
    if you had a job where the people you were in charge of:

    yelled “NO!” at you when you asked them to do something

    needed you to remind them how & when to do every little thing

    had raging fits when they didn’t like how you returned their stapler

    needed reassurance & hugs after every interaction

    expected you to clean up the messes they made

    you would be quitting that job, no matter how cute & sweet they could be, about 4 minutes into it…& that in a not very short sentence is why i think parenthood is harder…plus though my marriage is rough sometimes at least my husband is reasonable & i can talk things through with him…the 2 & 4 year olds not so much…

  • Joe

    Both are hard.
    On a other note- I like your blog to begin with but dispite that fact that I am married with a kid and you are married with a kid and you are too tall for me- because of this video I am now in love with you. (to be completely honest I’m probably also a little in love with your husband and child) but only in a really creepy internet cyberstalker way. so- no worries.

  • http://lovelyracket.blogspot.com Jen

    I really think it depends on who your spouse is and who your children are. For me, it is 100x easier to deal with my husband than deal with my 5 year old. But it’s easier to deal with my 3 year old than the other 2 put together. Everyone is different.

    Overall though, marriage is easier. You can rationalize with your spouse b/c they are an adult like you. They can take care of themselves. If my husband screws up, I don’t feel responsible. If my kids screw up I think “what the hell did I do wrong to make them do that?!”

    I feel like collapsing under the weight of knowing that the lives of my daughters depend on how I raise them. The values and ideals that I instill in them and the discipline I dish out molds them and affects everyone they meet for the rest of their lives. The pressure of that is way worse than if I didn’t wash my husband’s favorite shirt.

  • Anonymous

    Parenthood is harder. I’m much more insecure about my actions as a parent than I am as a partner. Not that I’m the stellar example of a partner all the time but I feel more confident in my role and my expectations. Anything I do to my partner might mess our relationship up some (but probably not enough to ruin in most times) whereas there are lots of things you can do that feel like they might mess up a kid.

  • Sara

    I love being a wife, and I love being a mother. That doesn’t mean that both are perpetual tulips and sunshine. Most days, I’d say that being a mother is more difficult, in that it is more emotionally draining and frustrating. I think it helps if your spouse is your friend, your support, someone you truly enjoy spending time with. You know, the whole “we click” scenario. It doesn’t hurt either if they are exceedingly hot. ;) Seriously though, I think it depends on the spouse and the kid(s). My husband and I are both super laid-back, and our 2 y/o daughter, since the day the kid was born, has been in constant MOTION! ALL THE TIME! OMG WHAT IS THAT I MUST TOUCH IT NOW! She exists in all caps. She is a renewing source of joy (and entertainment) for us, but jeez, sometimes we’re like can we sit down? For just a second? To breathe?
    I have to agree with whichever one of you ladies said it, that it is easier to neglect a marriage than a child. It is in our DNA to forsake all else to meet the needs of our children. Notsomuch the needs of our spouse. It is important to remind each other hey, please don’t speak to me in that tone, you’re being an ass, when you act this way you make me feel this way, yadda yadda. I guess some couples are more geared towards voicing those concerns than others?

  • Laurie Kirkwood

    I’ve been married 12 years but only been a mom for 18 months, and both are hard in their own ways. But if I split the two apart–if I imagine myself as a mother WITHOUT my husband, then DUH, being a mom is MUCH harder than being a wife. For the first ten years of my marriage I could do whatever I wanted to do EXCEPT have a boyfriend, so it was really pretty easy. I went to Italy with my sister, went to graduate school, took acting classes and acted in plays just for fun, and actually went to the gym five days a week. As a mom, I HARDLY EVER get to do what I want anymore. If I didn’t have a husband, then I WOULD NEVER get to do what I want. At least my husband and I can trade off so the other one can go for a jog, visit with friends, or take a dump in peace. Being a mom is WAY WAY harder than being a spouse and there ain’t nuthin’ no one can say to make me change my mind!!

  • Anonymous

    A couple of years ago, I would have said that marriage was much easier than parenthood. But today, as I struggle with my husband’s battle against alcoholism & the damage it has done to our relationship, I am not so sure. On the other hand, my daughter is nearly two, and is a huge pain right now. Overall, I am still not 100% sure I made the right choice by becoming a parent. It has never come easily for me, and, like you Heather, those maternal instincts have come slowly. But then again, if I didn’t have to worry about my husband, perhaps parenting would be easier. So, for today at least, I think it’s a toss-up. But if you had told me a few years ago that I would be saying that, I would never have believed you.

  • http://theambershow.net amber of theambershow

    It’s been 3 years of living together/being married. It’s easy for me. Parenthood scares the shit out of me, and I’m terrified to even think too hard about having a kid.

    I’ve heard people say “Parenthood is easy, marriage is tough!” and it gave me hope, although I never really bought it. I’m glad I’m in good company with those feelings, although I guess I still have to see.

  • http://www.stylishhandwriting.com E.P.

    Since I’m not married and don’t have kids, I cannot directly relate to this question. I just wanted to chime in that I’m probably with you on this one, though.

    My parents divorced when I was 18. Obviously, there are issues that are still being sorted through. So as far as I’m concerned, we’re making it work when I get married because I don’t want to put anyone through what my parents did. And since there were never any kids in my family, I can see myself having trouble adjusting whenever I do decide to have a child.

  • calimom

    It depends on where you are in the spectrum of either relationship. Both parenthood and marriage evolve, and, as such, the difficulties come and go. At this point in my life, as far as parenthood goes, it’s much more difficult than my marriage- #1 child is away at college, and #2 is headed that way next year, so there are a whole new set of worries and demands that I didn’t have two years ago- how am I going to pay for gas for #1′s car/ #2′s college applications; why hasn’t #1 called yet; why hasn’t #2 come home yet; why did #1 say that; where did #2 the phone? Next year, as an empty nester, I’m sure I would say my marriage is more difficult because, after 20 years of marriage, 19 of which I was either pregnant or parenting, my husband and I will have to revisit our relationship and figure out how to be really, truly alone again.

    My husband’s answer to being alone again? He’s going to build a naked room-

    Men…

  • Ivelina

    For me too parenting has turned out to be more difficult. My daughter, a one-year-old now, is not a very difficult child but with her first serious cold, I felt absolutely crushed with worry. I love her so much and I feel that my responsibility will only get greater in the future.

    I would say that my marriage is easier mostly because my husbands makes it so – he is much more open to discussing problems than I am and cannot be angry with me more than 5 minutes which I find the best trait ever.

  • Lila

    Pffft! Have these women lost their minds? :-)

    I completely agree with you, Heather, WITHOUT EVEN HAVING A CHILD, but based on my friends’ and family’s experience, that parenting is much harder than marriage.

    I’ve been married for 15 years, also agree with you that marriage is not that easy, but compared to dealing with a child’s moods, going through adolescence, etc. etc.? Piece of cake :-) .

  • http://dkzody.wordpress.com dkzody

    Yep, motherhood nearly drove me to a mental institution. Fortunately I had a smart doc who got me straightened out without hospitalization, but he threatened. That is why we only have one child who is now grown and expecting her first. I cannot wait to see what this child brings to her life.

    Marriage? PIece of cake. Married for almost 34 years and still loving it. Especially after the child graduated from college and had her own place.

  • http://www.soshesays.net Leesha

    I have to agree with you that it’s easier to be a wife than a mom. I didn’t have a horribly awful time with my son, but there were times when he was screaming for hours on end, or refusing to nap, or puking on me for the 14th time in 20 minutes where I was like, someone please take him from me before I explode.

    I never have that problem with my husband. Sometimes I tell him to shut up because he’s annoying me, and the great thing is that he understands what I’m saying and shuts up. I have yet to teach my son that skill…

  • Anonymous

    #281 and #300 – sure, a Tootsie Pop works now, but wait until your son challenges everything you say and, somewhere along the way, ended up with the attitude that EVERYTHING is a right and not a privilege and every religion is stupid as is every other person. I refuse to take full responsibility for his personality as we also have a daughter that has always been respectful, is becoming self-sustaining and remains an optimist, most of the time. They are only two years apart and had the same upbringing and same, still-married parents. Nurture is very important but nature is instilled in-utero, I think.

    I wouldn’t have missed parenthood for the world but it is, by far, the hardest role I have undertaken. Marriage, on the other hand, has become much easier over the years. As you keep butting heads over the same issues over time, you figure out most of it isn’t worth fighting over and you become more tolerant of the sports on tv, the empty cracker/cereal boxes, milk cartons, etc. set back in the pantry and fridge and other idiosyncrasies. As someone else said in an earlier comment, you have to choose you battles and save your energy for the big ones (that usually come from your teenagers!)

  • http://www.thetowells.com Lori

    I find marriage a bazillion times easier than motherhood. I have a 10 month old who is constantly changing; my husband stays his wonderful self always.

  • Shooba

    Being a wife is harder. Being a spouse in general is harder. I mean where did I sign or initial in the marriage contract that said it’s ok for you to put your crusty feet on me for me to rub after I’ve been on my feet all day in front of a classroom of teenagers with raging hormones and bad attitudes and not offer to reciprocate?
    Being a parent is easy, and your child loves you and generally accepts you no matter what kind of day you had and is perfectly happy with peanut butter and jelly sandwiches for dinner instead of a full course meal.

    signed: Still going strong after 10 years married……

    P.S. Good luck Heather!!! You’ll be as great as you already are!

  • http://retiredsyd.typepad.com Retired Syd

    I can’t play this game fairly because I don’t have kids. But that video really struck me because I don’t really think marriage is hard at all. I’ve always thought our marriage was especially easy because we don’t have kids–so maybe there’s something to that.

  • Beth

    I am in the same boat as you. I have a daughter, went to hell and back after her birth, love her more than life itself, and am pregnant again (12 weeks) and looking forward to the baby, but not my body, the birth, the sleep deprivation, the crazies….

    Marriage is so much easier. One, the other person can talk and two, you can tell them to leave you alone sometimes. But my daughter is so much more rewarding. You probably feel the same way.

    Good luck to you on your pregnancy!

  • http://www.repliderium.com repliderium.com

    I am not a mother but most of the people that I love are. I am however in a relationship & I would have to say I think the relationship would be the less difficult of the two. Society can be harsh on women (or parents) who “admit” confusion or a feeling of inadequacy with regards to their children. It’s as though if your parenting instinct doesn’t kick in the second they’ve thrown away the placenta, you must be a bad parent. I think that is one of the biggest difficulties that parents face- I can talk to anyone about a relationship problem & chances are they’ll say “been there!” but I have witnessed many parents being made to feel “less than” if they don’t have all of the answers. I think it’s ridiculous, but it’s there.

  • http://roomswithaview.typepad.com/ Shaun Paddock

    No question about it for me; Parenthood is more difficult than marriage. It is so difficult that I am concerned that I may be messing up three kids lives. I cannot divorce my kids now can I.

  • Keagan’s mom

    I would have to agree with you Heather, although I haven’t been a mother for very long (5 months), I would say that parenthood is exceedingly more difficult. Although I think part of what makes it more difficult is that you have to balance being a spouse and being a parent now, and that is often more challenging than it seems. I love being a mom, and I love being a wife, but being both sometimes takes alot out of me. I also think that being a new parent is especially difficult, as everytime I can’t see my son’s chest rising and falling I immediately panic that he has stopped breathing (and other first time mom paranoia), but I am slowly becoming more comfortable with it. The absolute only way that I can be a success at being a parent is because I have an amazing partner, and having an amazing partner makes marriage easy comparatively.