Taking the step towards parenthood and starting a family is a big milestone. Couples who have transitioned into this phase can attest to how immense lifestyle changes are with having a little one at home. As exciting as growing a family may be, it is equally stressful and worrisome. Partners who used to only be concerned about themselves or each other are now fully accountable for the survival and upbringing of new life. It is no wonder why reports of marital dissatisfaction increase after kids enter the picture.
I remember a specific conversation my husband Jacob and I shared with another couple about bearing children a few years back. “Postpone having kids. We love our children, but delay it as much as you can. Enjoy each other, life’s not the same after having babies.” When we asked them to expound, they merely responded, “our love life was more fun before.”
I can imagine where they might be coming from. Before Baby Jake, Jacob and I would already have ups and downs in our relationship. Fast forward now, despite both wanting the best for Baby Jake, our approach is not always aligned. Conflicts often arise when we disagree about specific decisions to be made for the household, which only gets settled when one of us compromises.
Our marriage is continuously a work in progress as we intentionally remind ourselves to prioritize each other above all else.
Because we have to first be happy and be full in love as husband and wife before we can raise Baby Jake happily and lovingly together.
This Valentine’s Day, I asked four moms to share their experiences on how life has changed after having kids and what their plans are this weekend.
Thankful for Every Moment
Yhannie Acullador Mosqueda is a Bohol-based business woman, wife to a pastor, and mother of two. This month of February, she has been busy putting together makeup from Ara Mina’s cosmetics line, Ara Colours into a bouquet as a creative Valentine gifting idea for her company, RMG Direct Selling. Because of this, she is unable to celebrate Valentine’s this weekend to accommodate all orders and complete deliveries.
Yhannie’s love story with her husband is unique, because they were only boyfriend and girlfriend for three months before tying the knot. They were already husband and wife when they shared their first Valentine’s together, which made the day even more unforgettable. These days, Valentine’s is more about family bonding, with romantic dates thrown out the door. They’re able to sneak in quality alone time only when their children are fast asleep. During which, a topic of discussion follows on how fast time flies and how quickly their kids are growing.
While their life is definitely no longer the same after having children and in spite of the challenges, they are able to make their relationship meaningful by focusing on the important things. “Having a child hinders us from going on fancy dates, but we insist on enjoying these moments 100 percent, because someday when they grow up, become independent. and have their separate lives, it will just be me and my husband again.” In the busyness of life, they cling on to God. “He gives us the calm reassurance that we are together in this journey.”
While there won’t be any Valentine’s date for the couple this year, she stays faithful and grateful for God’s blessings—a thriving business, a supportive husband, and a beautiful family.
Keeping it Practical
Former PBB housemate turned actress, Kamille Filoteo is currently in a loving relationship with her boyfriend Derrick. For Kamille, Valentine’s Day was never really a big deal, because she believes every day is Valentine’s Day when you’re with the people you love.
Now that she has kids, she appreciates it a lot more as every memory becomes more exciting with her babies. This year, she plans to spend Valentine’s weekend at the comforts of her home with Derrick, who also celebrated his birthday this week, along with their two beautiful children—away from all the traffic.
Glenda Victorio was born on Feb. 14, which makes love month extra special for her. Valentine’s season always equates to family for her, as she grew up celebrating the month with her loved ones. Now married with two children, she continues the tradition of making Valentine’s all about family. As an entrepreneur, most of her days are spent at the office, leaving her little to no time left for her children. Her birth month is an excuse to vacation from that routine.
This weekend, she looks forward to eating out with loved ones and friends at her newly opened Brilliant Cafe, Aesthetics, and Spa in Morong, Rizal. She also mentions that children should help make the couple happier, stronger, and more brilliant, not deteriorate the relationship. Consequently, beyond Valentine’s Day, she states, “Don’t forget to tell your partner you love them everyday. Keep the love burning, because your partner’s happiness is your happiness.”
Make Time to be Together
Mosh Cruz, volleyball analyst for OneSports, vlogger, wife of PBA player Jericho Cruz shared that Valentine’s Day for her and Jericho has always been about spending time together. “We’d normally go on a simple date— movie, dinner, then dessert. Nothing fancy, just reserving the day for each other, no other schedule on the specific day.”
As a mother to Thea and Krader, her Valentine’s tradition with her husband has changed in a way that they now celebrate the occasion as a family. Valentine’s Day is about love, and Mosh shares that it’s important for her to spend it with the people she loves.
She also adds that they make sure to do other activities after family Valentine’s dinner, such as drinking wine or getting a massage. They celebrated ahead of time this year, because Jericho was in Guam for a FIBA game on Valentine’s Day.
Life after kids is truly never the same for Mosh. Even if she dedicates one-on-one time with Jericho, she confesses that her mind tends to be all over the place, “always thinking of my little ones.” To keep the spark in their relationship, she encourages getting some time off from kids with your significant other. Once a week, or even once a month, allocate that one day or night to “feel like you’re just boyfriend/girlfriend again. It makes a difference!”
At the end of the day, Valentine’s Day is really just one day. It’s nice that modern society has hyped it into a season that emphasizes on love and making your significant other feel special.
These four moms teach us that in order for a relationship to flourish, one must always have a grateful heart, be content with practical lifestyles, show love everyday, and make time for one another.
With or without children, their advice applies to all couples. Having a family just makes it more difficult due to scarcity of time, but the consistent effort to make it work and to demonstrate love beyond the month of February is key to keeping the relationship glowing milestone after milestone.