My husband and I will be celebrating our 10-year wedding anniversary in a couple of weeks.
Thinking back on the last 10 years, (Actually 16, including the 6 years we dated) I realize how many ups and downs we have had along the way. Especially when we first became parents.
I wish I could say that we were “naturals” when it came to parenting, but the reality is that we had the most difficult time transitioning from two kids to three.
Our first little precious angel came before we were ready. We had both just started careers and were looking for our first home. It seemed that we had just barely become accustomed to living together and being married when BOOM. We all the sudden had a beautiful, but unexpected surprise. And when I say unexpected, I mean unexpected! (I had been diagnosed with a medical condition that claimed I couldn’t have children, but that’s a different story for a different time.)
We survived the first year of bottles, diapers and formula when shortly after, baby girl #2 was on her way. And again after that, baby girl #3 followed. We grew from a party of 2 to 3 to 4 to 5 within 3 years. Yikes!
Before we knew it, our babies grew into little toddlers, and we decided it was time to close the factory for any future surprises. It was finally here where we found some stability and our family was complete.
With this newfound stability of after school activities and family fun we also refocused on something that was forgotten along the way… Our Marriage.
If we knew then what we know now, things would have been different, but we all know that hindsight is 20/20. We became great parents and focused on our girls being happy, but we disconnected as partners. The exhaustion of work, stress, finances, breastfeeding and other commitments made planning date nights, alone time, marriage time a very difficult task.
It took us some time and counseling to get to a better place in our marriage. In time we learned to be parents and partners. We balanced chaos and replaced it with structure. We continue to learn and grow from one another because each stage of parenting brings a different struggle and challenge as partners.
Our first decade of marriage has taught me this. Expect the unexpected because the unexpected will probably happen.
Don’t underestimate the power of having a date night with your partner. Watching a movie, sitting on the couch sipping wine or taking a brisk walk together can strengthen a marriage and recharge those worn out batteries. Your kids can sense when you are unhappy. Sometimes making little changes to make things easier can have a big effect on you, which will then trickle down to your partner, then trickle down to your kids.
Remember :: Happy Mom <=> Happy Partner <=> Happy Kids <=> Happy Home