This is a challenging one to write because our story is a little different. It's actually ass backward.
Most people meet, get married, buy a house then start having kids, or some sort of path like that. We met, got pregnant, had the child, moved in and then bought a house together. Pretty much the opposite of what is usually recommended. I would think it is generally accepted that it's a pretty good idea to know your partner more than 3 months before you get pregnant. Whoops. Thank goodness everything has worked our for us, because of the couples I know who started on this plan, only one of them is still together.
So here we are, together less than a year when Phoenix is born and we find out she has Down syndrome. Talk about stressful. But looking back, not entirely so. After the shock wore off, we were pretty ecstatic to be having a baby. Our own child. To start a family.
It is also pretty well accepted that having a baby is a stressful event that tests the strength of many relationships. Many couples find it the source of conflict and arguments. And we have had our fair share of them to be sure. But surprisingly, her having DS wasn't the source of them. Most of them had to do with who was going to move where (we lived in cities 3 hours apart for the first year and a half of our relationship and until Phoenix was 9 months old) and about Husbands work situation. That's where most of the conflict stemmed from.
I had a friend tell me a while ago that she felt that the 9 years she had with her husband didn't in any way prepare her for how their lives and roles would change after the children arrived, and how she felt this ultimately contributed to the end of their marriage.
When I apply this experience to our situation, the future looks bright. Because our whole relationship has been established within the structure of our family unit. To be clear, we have interests and bonds and commonalities outside of Phoenix. But raising Phoenix unites us. It's this common goal that we have together that helps clarify our vision for the future.
So when asked how our relationship has changed since the child has arrived. The answer is...not so much. We have less time for ourselves. We have fewer date nights due to Husbands unpredictable schedule. Our outings revolve around shopping and household errands and chores and walks around the neighbourhood. But we like our life. At least I do. Husband can speak for himself. Life after kids is good. It's just different than life before kids. You have more responsibilities and less time for yourself. It's busier. It's happier. It's filled with love, sharing, laughter and a surrendering to child-centred interests.
Life with your partner after kids is good.