Stronger Together

As excited as I had been to meet my baby boy, one of my biggest pregnancy fears was regarding the change that would come when our little family jumped from two to three.  Nate and I were in a really good place…  Like a really good place!  And I knew that our marriage was barreling towards the most exciting – and draining – chapter yet.

We shut our eyes, held on tight, and braced for impact, not unlike someone insane enough to go over Niagara Falls in a barrel.

Flash forward 19 months; and I feel as though we’re just now stretching out our legs a bit and maybe peeking over the top of the barrel in the hopes of catching a breath of fresh air.

Being a parent has been hard on our marriage, mainly because we just don’t have free time… ever.  Brady goes to bed around 9pm now (thanks to the 18 month sleep regression), and he’s up at the crack of dawn.  That leaves us with very little time (and absolutely no energy) for just us.  

It’s a phase… it’s a phase… it’s a phase.

I remind myself of that often.

Last week, Nate and I went on our first date in months.  The prep for it wasn’t exactly the way I’d used to get ready for dates…  😉  I’d run out of my deodorant, so I smelled of men’s Old Spice and baby wipes.  I never had time to do my hair or a proper makeup job.  And my house was trashed.  But I was sporting a cute new t-shirt, I had a handsome guy by my side, and I actually had the opportunity to sit still during an entire movie.

Oh goodness, it… was… amazing!  Nate and I went to see Now You See Me 2 and then we sat in a coffee shop and put together a date bucket-list for the summer.  Since I have the summer off from teaching, my mom can watch the little guy here and there just so that Nate and I can have time together.  It is SO very much needed!

Being a parent definitely puts a marriage through the ringer.  And like every chapter in life, it brings about its own set of challenges… and awesomeness too, of course.  Sometimes, you just have to pray and fight your way through the tough patches, because there are so many wonderful moments to be experienced too.

But it’s true that it’s easy to lose the romance.  That it’s sometimes hard to remember to put your marriage first.  That it’s ridiculously easy to go through an entire day without really talking (because toddler-talk doesn’t count but you’re doing it so much that you feel talked out).  That life is overwhelming, and can be lonely, and you really do need to fight, fight, fight for each other.

Every single day, you have to make that conscious decision to put each other first.  You have to decide to enthusiastically support each other, even though you’re tired.  You have to kiss and mean it…  hold each other close and tight… and FLIRT!   (You’ve spent your entire day changing diapers and playing hide-and-seek.  Flirt  a little and remind yourself to have fun and to not take everything too seriously).  🙂

Bit by bit, as one of the tough toddler stages is coming to a close and life is settling back to a more comfortable pace, Nate and I are making time for us again and rediscovering our love for each other.

Parenthood sure isn’t easy.  Marriage isn’t either.  But they’re both worth it.  And I’m really excited – and proud – that we’re learning to find balance while prioritizing what’s important to us!

 

 

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17 thoughts on “Stronger Together”

  1. Loves this! Well actually I love all your blogs! It’s kinda like you write what’s in my mind sometimes! It’s hard to have us time! We currently live with my I laws and co sleep with Canaan…so not much time or energy or aloneness for any romance and zack leaves at 6 am and don’t get back till 7pm:/ it’s so draining sown times but I have to remeber it will get better! Thanks for writing such in encouraging blogs!

    1. Thank you, Tasey!! 🙂 I think that most of us moms go through very similar struggles (and victories), but – too often – we feel alone in them. I love it when we can encourage each other, because being a mom is the toughest (and most rewarding) job out there. 🙂
      It is hard to let go of the time you once had with your hubby. I still definitely have days that I miss life just being him and me. It’s a weird feeling, because – at the same time – I wouldn’t trade being a mom for anything in the world! I love my little guy more than words can say. It’s sooooo true that being a mom is SO hard… but worth it. 🙂
      Just looking at Canaan’s smile, it’s obvious that you are doing an incredible job raising that little boy!!

    1. Thank you! 🙂
      And I know that when it’s time for you to start raising a little one, you definitely will find that balance as well. It really is tough sometimes… But when you’re committed to your relationship and marriage, then you definitely learn how to put each other first, even amidst the craziness of raising a little one. You will ROCK at being a mom, and I can’t wait to see it one day! 🙂

  2. Love, love, love this. Everything you said just rings so true of a Christian marriage. I love that you and Nate are taking the time to just be with each other and go on dates. Here’s to an awesome rest of the summer!

    1. It’s tough during the newborn stage to schedule dates. Honestly, the first time that Nate and I went out for a date was when Brady was about 3 months, I think. We went to a movie, and I stressed the entire time. 😉 I kept worrying about Brady and wondering if he was okay. Thankfully, each time has become easier, and now I trust my mom completely when we’re gone. I know that she takes SUCH good care of my little guy… and he has a blast with her. So now I can go away and just enjoy time with my hubby. (So all that to say, if your first date is a little stressful, I promise that it does get easier). 🙂

  3. Hannah over at the Art In The Life blog wrote something like, “No matter how big a family gets, it’s only as strong as its founding two members.” I’m certain she said it more eloquently, but hopefully I conveyed the sentiment. I’ve kept that quote in mind since becoming a mother and it’s a great reminder to not be completely consumed with being a mom and to focus attention on the man who made me one!

      1. Ooh, thank you for sharing! I don’t read her blog yet, but I am going to check it out!! I LOVE that and definitely plan to write it down somewhere… 🙂

  4. I am glad you guys were able to get out for a bit. I love that shirt… So cute! We just got out this past weekend for an awesome date for the first time since my youngest was born (8 months ago). We both felt so much better after taking that time. It really does make a world of difference.

    1. Going away, just the two of you, is such a great reminder that your relationship came first. It’s surprisingly easy to lose that focus! I’m so glad that you were able to get away for a bit!! Nate and I have been trying to do better at making time for just us, and I always look forward to that time! 🙂

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