Having kids is hard — that's no secret. In fact, it's all anyone talks about. But bring up marital struggles at your toddler's weekly play group, and the awkward tension could be cut with a plastic toy knife.
Perhaps that's why one woman's post about how her marriage changed — in many ways, for the worse — after having kids is resonating with so many others.
"Children are hard work — they do put a damper on things," Mel Watts admitted in her raw Facebook post. "Some people may be able to keep their shit together but some people, like us, we find it hard to balance."
Mel, who writes the blog The Modern Mumma, explained that she and her husband no longer have "long date nights, sleep-ins, and surprise weekends away" because of family obligations. Instead those late nights "are now laying there silently with our backs to each other hoping the other one will get up for the crying baby."
She also admitted that although she was "mad at him for changing," she thinks her husband "deserves more" than what she has to give.
"If someone asked me today, 'Did your relationship change over time?' I would answer - yes," she wrote. "Nothing is going to be easy forever. Nothing is going to stay the same. And that's OK. Life is all about the change. It's about becoming together and staying together during the good, the ugly and the children."
As relatable as her frustrations in her marriage are, she also offered some much-needed optimism:
Once you stop comparing yourselves to your old selves it becomes easier. Once you talk to each other about it, you understand you're both feeling the same way. Of course it's worrying and of course it's scary. No one likes change, and no one expects change. But just like everything else in life, relationships change.
Read her full essay above, and as she reminds the 8,000 of us who've reacted to her post, don't worry — "surely there are other people out there who feel the same."