Just days after his team was eliminated from the World Cup, Portuguese star and man-candy-about-town Cristiano Ronaldo announced on his official Twitter and Facebook accounts that he's become a first-time father. And the world reeled with shock, because seriously, that came out of left field.
When you have small children, you have little control over your life. My wife and I feel this as much as anyone. We live in less than 500 square feet with a 3-year-old and a 15-month-old. We've moved across the Atlantic twice since we got married five years ago. We've endured serious health issues and two kids who just refuse to sleep. And yet we are (barely) sane. Here are 3 slightly counterintuitive, Zen-inspired reasons why.
Twentysomething guys are often thought of to be party- and booty-obsessed overgrown babies, but a new study reveals that most of them actually covet fatherhood! Biological clocks, stability and good, old-fashioned love are some of the reasons motivating men to have kids.
I've been reading a book I wish I'd had when my first child was born: "And Baby Makes Three," by John Gottman and Julie Schwarz Gottman. The authors write about how parents can keep their relationship strong as they adjust to the challenges of parenthood. Most of the book is good solid advice on fighting well: remember you're on the same side, work things through, take a break when you need to. All of the conflict resolution skills you learn before you have kids but forget when you're sleep-deprived. The Gottmans have an insightful chapter on parents' sex lives, too. What I found most interesting was that couples who adjusted well kept touching each other affectionately, even when their sex drives were low. Other "secrets of couples whose sex life is going well" include: accepting that things have changed, communicating, indulging in quickies, and making time for "gourmet sex."
Per some "insider" info, Owen Wilson and Kate Hudson are better than ever in this current incarnation of their relationship. After sparking a romance on the set of You, Me and Dupree, the couple has had some ups and downs. But this most recent go at it is going pretty well and there are, allegedly, talks of parenthood being floated around. Also, Owen Wilson ate a dog biscuit with Jennifer Aniston on German TV.
According to the ongoing research at the University of Iowa, newlyweds experienced a significant drop in marital satisfaction in the first year of parenthood, says the Times Online. In fact, the decline is far more severe in couples with a new baby than in newlyweds without children.
What’s it really like to have a baby all by your lonesome? Not so lonesome after all, says Louise Sloan. "I was ready for kids at age 28—and well aware that women's fertility starts to plummet at 35. When I saw my doctor that fateful year, she asked me if I wanted children. "Yes," I replied. "Definitely." With a stern look, she snapped, "Well, you're not getting any younger!" Thanks for the news flash, I thought. What kind of idiot does she think I am? I was a romantic, procrastinating idiot, to be exact. Despite my clear intellectual understanding of the issues involved, it took me until age 38 before I seriously started thinking about single motherhood, and even then, I had to be dragged into it kicking and screaming by my biological clock, which was starting to sound more like a car alarm."
Having a child irrevocably alters the balance of a partnership. The responsibility, time commitment and difficulty having baby is tough, no matter how strong your union; romance and sex after kids can be hard to accomplish. Although many couples decide the disruption is worth it, finding a new equilibrium can be challenging. Here, one mother comments on why she won't do it again. In her own words, "admitting that bringing a child into a relationship might ruin said relationship verges on the unpatriotic. Like most of us, I expect romance to survive marriage and committed cohabitation. I’m more dubious that it can survive raising a child."