Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Having Children Actually Enriched My Marriage

"You're going to wait to have a baby, right?"

"You're getting married, enjoy each other! There will be time for a family... down the road."

"I'm warning ya, kids change things."

Obviously such words had zero effect on me and my husband. In one ear and out the other,
ten months after we said "I DO" we were hauling home some very precious cargo: our first son.
We traded in spontaneous date nights for all-nighters with a tiny wide-eyed baby who wasn't even able
to "shoot the breeze" with us. Oh he'd shoot things out all right, but that usually landed us our 100th
diaper changing event of the day and a load of laundry. Sleeping-in on the weekends, taking our time to
eat meals, uninterrupted conversations became ghosts of the past.

We went through a withdrawal of sorts, for sure. Sometimes I still twitch just thinking about peeing
in silence with no creeping toddler to ask me all sorts of questions while I'm doing my duty.
It's the United States of America for crying out loud - I should be free to pee alone.

We now have two children- 2 and 3 years old. Yea, the whole "wait to have children" thing
was like water off a duck's back for us. Come again? The other day, after a long weekend, my husband
and I were dying to be alone, hear ourselves think, maybe even take a nap. We ran to our bedroom
and hid under the covers giggling and wondering how long it would take before our children
realized we had gone into hiding.

Sixty seconds later, our youngest burst into our bedroom, triumphantly shouting, "I FOUND THEM!"
He climbed right up in bed, pushed us apart, and wiggled his little body right smack between us.
We lovingly refer to him as "Wedge."

I'm not trying to sugar coat it for you here or anything, but
would you believe me if I said, crossed my heart and pinky swore, that having children
actually enriches my relationship with my spouse?

Yes, there are moments when it feels like we are in two separate boats sailing away from each other as we
run this marathon of parenthood, but that is precisely what keeps us re-grouping, coming back together,
stepping up our game, and falling more in love as the years go by.

Raising babies is not easy.
Faint of heart and those seriously opposed to all things "bodily fluid" need not apply.
But if one can get over those minor details and find oneself staring into the eyes of a little person
created from the love a husband and wife share, I promise that "things will change." Now, it will be the
biggest oxymoron of your life - you'll give up anything, a million sacrifices, but gain everything.

And it will be so worth it.

When I see my husband cradling our child in his arms, I am reminded of all the times he stole me away
into his arms and lavished his love on me. I look at my children and see reflections of "us" - traits of
him and me - our love blended together and poured out into two human beings.
Every day we lay down our lives, as a team, to bring life to this family we have created.
It is binding; unifying in the most mind-blowing of ways. The rush, day in and day out,
to survive and thrive reminds us that we need each other as husband and wife
- that we must take time to re-group, re-charge together in the
love that started it all.

Having children has truly enriched my marriage.
The family that many thought should be "down the road" for us is our current destination
that we wouldn't trade for the whole, wide world.

I do believe babies + parenting + marriage is what you make of it, but if you decide together that the
"Wedge" will not conquer and divide, I'd say good things are head

-even if you never pee behind a closed door again.

Want to keep up with all the crazy? Yea, me neither.

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  1. I love your perspective, the way you write. And your slightly snarky but always humorous one liners :)

    1. Thank you, Mariah!!! Ya know, try to keep it light and fresh - bringing truth and humor into a happy balance?! It's always a good time! Love sharing. Thanks for reading!!! XO

  2. Those comments (near the top) always make me cringe. However, I think in some ways many of us perpetuate that cultural assumption about babies simply by the way we reply to them. When we were newly married (about a year and a half ago), my mom urged us against using NFP, saying we needed to wait at least a few years to have kids and that my atypical cycles would make it impossible to be effective...this from the woman who said something along the lines of, "What, are you going to wait to have sex until you're married?" when I was a teenager. It bugged me that she thought so negatively about NFP, but we stuck to our decision regardless. Then, when people started making comments about when we would have kids, my immediate response became, "Well, we have only been married since X." It dawned on me that my response only made things worse, as though I was saying one should be married for a certain period of time before having children was a viable option. At this point, I don't know what would have been a better response, but I know that I did stop saying THAT. What can we as NFP users say in response to others' statements about family planning? Please enlighten me!

    1. Totally agree, Lauren! That sometimes our reply to the statements can actually perpetuate the whole situation.

      I'm not sure what the best response in general would be! I wish I did. Because honestly it can be so different - every time, ya know? Like for us - we have the two boys - have used NFP - and sometimes people look at us and playfully ask where the "rest" are. I am finding that laughter, grace, and honesty - is helpful though! Just keeping it light and playful?


Thanks for leaving some comment love! I enjoy hearing what you have to say... and others do too! XO