I love my husband. He’s the first person I call when something fantastic happens and the first person I call when I feel I’ve been wronged by the world. He even helps me plot sweet revenge, hell hath no fury like a mom of two young children holding a glass of sauvignon blanc, and later guides me towards a sensible high road solution. I also like him. As a person, I really like this guy. He is the best friend that I have. I strive to be the best wife that I can be to him. He knows that some days I just want a little me time (mostly when the Real Housewives of wherever are on). After birthing two babies in three years, falling into a monotonous routine of neglecting your spouse and relationship is, unfortunately, easy. What about us? What about our marriage? Matt and I work on a couple of things constantly to maintain our loving relationship and to keep us growing as individuals.
We forget the expectations
Transitioning from individuals to spouses, then to parents is hard, especially if you do it as quickly as we did. This commitment is new, and we weren’t “ready” per se, for the additional responsibilities. I honestly am not sure you’re ever “ready” for what’s to come: As parents, you’re up all hours of the night and irritable all hours of the day. Finding the time to spend together is elusive. You start keeping a tally of who is doing what and start to feel like you're giving it more time and energy. Your expectations for one another only seem to heighten the pressure. You feel an assortment of insecurities about your parenting and relationship skills. Through it all, you have to keep in mind that the feeling goes both ways, and remind yourself that you're doing the best you can. Don't be too hard on yourself or your spouse; it's a learning experience that you can both share, and grow from.
We set time aside for each other
Where do we find the time!? The answer is simple, we suck it up and just do it. It seems like our lives are stuck on fast-forward and our time runs out quicker and quicker. So it’s important to start small, even carving out a little time to sit and talk to each other goes a long way. Communication is fundamental, the worst thing you can do is internalize your emotions and expect your spouse to read your mind. On a good day, we work together to communicate, compromise, and make effective changes. If you’re exhausted and need help, SAY SOMETHING (with kindness and compassion). We also make sure that we escape to adult land for date night. Matt and I have been lucky enough to have both sets of grandparents close to us so that we can spend quality time and hit the reset button. Sometimes, we have to rely on babysitters, trust me it took a lot for me be comfortable. I used to be one of those parents who said: “no stranger is watching my kids,” but after spending some time vetting a few lovely ladies we have been more relaxed and happier with the help. If you can find a babysitter or a friend to look after the baby for a little while, do it! Go out for a nice dinner, talk, laugh and enjoy each other. It is so important through all of life’s struggles that you share moments connecting. We remind ourselves that our children are the products of our loving relationship and that it is so important to keep that loving environment for our kids.
It all boils down to one fact: we chose to spend the rest of our lives together and raise a family. Our relationship is the foundation. Marriage is hard. It requires a commitment to maintenance on a daily basis. We are parenting, together. We are living, together. We are experiencing new unchartered territory, together. We are growing, together. When we’re happy together, our children are happy, and that’s what matters.