I could write a novel on how my marriage has changed through parenthood. For your sake I’ll keep it somewhat concise. I’ve only been “married with children” for five years, but in those years the relationship I have with my husband has changed significantly. On one level it went from “honey I made dinner topless in an apron for you” to “honey I kept everyone alive but have no idea how to throw a healthy meal together….and oh don’t even think about touching me.” That is the extreme version of parenthood and partnership. Having children has solidified our bond beyond anything else. We are thankful for the gift of parenthood and that our children show us what matters most in life.
The Beginning: I knew after our first date that I was going to marry Sam Powers. I waited 26 years to meet him and in those years spent a lot of time drafting up lists of what I wanted in a partner. So I kinda had this sixth sense that he was “the one”. After our first dinner at Norte’s Mexican restaurant I called my mom and told her I’m going to marry that man. I still remember his carefree gait as he strutted up to my door in his cowboy boots (of all things) to pick me up. This is funny because now I can rarely get him to wear closed toes shoes. He had a beam on his face that told me he was just as enamored with me. 18 months of dating led to a 4 month engagement and bam it was wedded bliss….but not really. It was like we spent 2 years being our best selves and then once we were married the ugly came out. Sam would support me in telling you that the first few years of marriage were challenging for us. We spent hours in couples therapy hashing out issues about finances and priorities; it took a long time for us to actually put our guards down and hear each other. Once we caught onto the idea that marriage is about compromise and that love is choosing the other person daily whether you like them or not, we started to become a team.
Parent’s of Small Children: This is a compassionate term we have coined for ourselves. I’m sure the teenage years will have challenges of their own but right now “parents of small children” is where its at. Our days are generally mapped out with routine: (sleep, eat, diaper change, play, eat, sleep, bath, repeat) and we often find ourselves lacking in time for each other. However this phase of life has taught us to fight for our relationship, to make it a priority and it find ways to connect with each other. It’s become essential for us to plan date nights, look each other in the face every day, and also to have patience when one of us feels weak. We don’t do this perfectly but we are more able to pinpoint when we get off track. We laugh when we talk about “the good ol days” when we couldn’t get enough of each other because it was a special time. But neither of us would go back to our dating days. We both acknowledge that our current love is more real, strong and deep then before. What we’ve experienced in raising children together has revealed more about or partnership and our individual personalities. In a way, our children have refined us.
The future: I have no idea what the future holds and that thought used to freak me out! Motherhood has made me a control freak. Having Sam by my side has given me hope that I can endure what comes our way. He’s my person, my partner in all the good and bad that is inevitable in life. I like to think that in the future our marriage will become more seasoned; that we will know every part of each other and accept those parts as our own. That we will become less considered with our individual selves and more concerned about the other. Becoming ONE like we said in our marriage vows…we’ll be Sarissy or Cram! We started off like jagged stones rubbing off on each other, but our marriage has been the most worthy project for ourselves, our sons and our family and with each year our stones become smoother.
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