We have one child. Our son is 15. Great kid. Wouldn't trade any of the things I went through, because that would mean not having him. That being said.
Kids will strengthen the strong parts of you marriage. Kids will also pull at the weak seams of you marriage.
Kids will bond you when you both share the same views on certain things. Kids will pull you apart (if you let it) where your differ on certain views.
Having children will many times bring out personality traits and consequences of things that happened to you or your spouse earlier in life.
For example: My wifeís Mother was not a good parental role model. Her Father was pretty much useless. My wife was deadest on being a stay at home Mom, and ended up putting her son FIRST, before our marriage, for a long time. She didnít see this as wrong.
My wife never had a strong Father presence in her life. Early on, and every now and again still, she will disagree with my parenting methods, and try to tell me ďIím too hard on him.Ē I understand where she is coming from. We have worked through it, but I have been firm from the beginning that I am his Father. I wonít interfere when she is disciplining or dealing with our son, if I disagree about something, Iíll bring it up to her, without our son present, later. Iíve had to stand her down on this a few times, but itís not as bad as it sounds.
Having children WILL NOT save a struggling relationship. What they WILL Do is keep you busy enough, and shift your FOCUS so that your relationship with your spouse doesnít SEEM to be as bad as it was ďbeforeĒ. Thatís a slippery slope.
Know that having different views on Politics is one thing, having different BASIC views on disciplining a child for example, is quite another. Iíve even thought of writing a questionnaire for guys to ask of potential wives when the talk of having children comes up. Sounds silly but itís not.
Compromise is your friend on CERTAIN issues. But having your spouse confront or disagree with your, regarding your children, in FRONT of the child, is NEVER good. It can make kids feel like they can play one off the other, even at young ages. They arenít doing it to be mean or nasty, they are doing it because it can work to get their way. This can start when they are young. I see parents who stick together ďFor their ChildrenĒ but most of the time I think itís bull****. They stay together because they are so entrenched and involved as a family unit, that breaking it off seems harder than staying. Easier sometimes to stay, bury your head in the sand and keep going, than to address the problems and meet them head on.
In our case, my wife suffered depression and anxiety after the birth of our son. She also struggled with IBS Like symptoms and lactose intolerance (Wasnít before the birth). This luckily didnít affect her ability to be a great Mother, but it sure put strains on our marriage.
Turns out what of the biggest issues my wife had was being a stay at home Mom, which was her choice. This was a HUGE adjustment to a woman used to being independent and working outside of the home. Keep that in mind as well.
Kids are great. I wouldnít trade my son for anything in the world. But making sure your priorities are the same as your spouse is HUGE deal when it comes to having kids. Taking Back the Reins