When I married my wife, I didn’t only step into a marriage covenant, I also stepped into the role of being a step-father and automatically having children in our home.
The change was pretty extreme. I literally went one day of life having my primary responsibilities being myself to the next day my responsibilities including three other people. It was a great honor and privilege but I’d be lying to myself to act like it wasn’t a big change.
With the quick adjustment, I noticed several area’s where daily life changed drastically(not a bad change, but a reality). I compiled this list not as a remorse for the days of old but as a reminder of the change that came with responsibility. It’s good to remember where we have come from.
Here are 4 differences of being married with kids and being single:
This is probably one of the biggest differences but it has to be pointed out. When you are single, many times you are looking for things to fill your schedule. You want to take a nap, take a nap. You want to go to Waffle House at 3AM, you can do it. But now having a wife and children, this dynamic has changed. Now I need to consider my wife. I need to be helping take care of my children who are consistently in need of supervision.
When I was single volunteering places and doing things was easy. Being married with kids, it takes a process to see about doing things because you can’t be selfish with your time.
I used to have albums as soon as they came out. I was on it. I was in the know with not only what music is coming out but what artists are good and not. My iPod was apart of the essentials(wallet, keys, phone) that I never left without. I realized after our marriage that I didn’t keep up with my iPod anymore. Mainly because I can’t use it at my job and my wife and kids deserve my undisturbed attention. Regardless, this is an area that has changed since having a family.
As well with music, because I am providing for five instead of one, I can’t afford to spend all the money I used to on music.
3) ROAD TRIP!
I used to love hanging out with friends on a Friday night and while talking deciding, “Lets just skip town for the weekend.” It was a freeing feeling. We’d drop everything and go. It was apart of having few responsibilities. I went pretty extreme on this once I got a job with an airline and would do weekend trips to other states. I didn’t mind if money was low and I had to crash on a couch somewhere or eat ramen for the weekend.
Whether or not it’s LOTR at midnight or spending half of a check on tickets to an amazing concert, I was enthralled with entertaining myself. I completely dove into every opportunity I wanted to for entertainments sake. And to be honest, that was the stage of life I was in. I could spend hours and money on things I enjoyed. Once I got married, this changed.
Each of these changes that I took notice of are just simply changes. I could do a blog post on the benefits of marriage. I could do one on the benefits of being single. Both stages of life are simply different. If you seek to be selfish and carry them over into your married life, it will be horrible for your marriage. But if you seek to view each of these within how they can work for your family, they can be great.
Time is something I don’t have nearly as much of now that I am married, but I now have the responsibility to manage it well. With managing it I can figure out ways our family can have fun and be spontaneous, meanwhile be responsible to not make foolish decisions that will hurt one of us.
Music is great. My love for music hasn’t changed. But now I can help find stuff that will encourage my wife and children. I can find fun stuff that we all enjoy. I still have times where I will listen to stuff that I prefer more than everyone else.
Road trips are great with a family. They really are. I have traveled plenty in my single days but now getting to take my wife and kids to the few places we have been together, it is a different joy to see these places with them. I can’t take trips as often. My wife won’t be sleeping on anyone’s couch. I have to be strategic but the joy in experiencing these rare places with my family is undeniable.
Entertainment now is inclusive of our family unit. No, I’m not spending half of my check to get tickets to the rock show I want to every time. But now we have found area’s of common interests in our family. There are certain things we love to watch together. There are certain artists that the whole family enjoys.