A couple weeks ago this little guy turned two months old. I cannot believe that two months have gone by this fast.
It is funny to hear myself say that.
In the beginning all the days and nights ran together and I thought that I would never get a good night of sleep again. Honestly.
We struggled with feeding, we struggled with squirmy diaper changes, we struggled with bath time, we struggled with discerning each cry.
We struggled with breastfeeding, we struggled with formula-feeding. We struggled with finding the balance between the two.
We struggled with finding space for all of our groceries in the van, now that we have another car seat installed.
Little things like that. Yes, little things.
You know what our greatest struggle has been though? To communicate effectively as husband and wife.
In the midst of raising a new baby, we are also raising three other children that range in age from preschool to high school.
We have church events, community events, family events, ball practices, and ball games. Oh, and we homeschool, so their education is all on me. No pressure there or anything.
We’re busy. But so is everyone else, right?
It is no wonder that so many new parents struggle to keep their marriage alive and well.
There are so many great opportunities out there for us to choose from, but what if we’d just choose each other, instead?
Just a quick scan of Facebook events or the radio stations calendar of events and I can have my whole month filled up before it even begins.
I don’t want that. I don’t want to “be busy”.
Life does not slow down. Not even for new babies and tired moms. It just doesn’t.
Things around here seem to be going at an even quicker speed, despite my best efforts to slow and savor. The days are disappearing before my postpartum, hormonal, teary-eyes.
When we welcomed our first son into our lives nearly 10 years ago I struggled for that whole first year to find joy, and to keep my marriage together. We had to learn how to balance two kids (our oldest daughter who I was in the process of adopting, and this new babe), and a new marriage.
It wasn’t easy. It wasn’t fun. I’d describe it as painful and hectic.
Ugh, what a yucky way to describe a season of life, but it was. God has given me so many experiences to speak on, I should be grateful for that. He always pulls me through.
About a month ago while I was sitting on the couch in peace, nursing my sweet baby boy who wanted nothing more than comfort and cuddles from momma, I realized history was repeating itself.
I cried. First a few silent tears, and then the big ugly snot-dripping-can’t-breathe cry.
I missed my husband, I missed my joy.
The worst part of missing my husband through that was that he was right there next to me on the couch.
I obsessed over every detail of being a mom of 4. Food, routines, chores, quality time with each kid. I wanted to rock it all, and instead, I hit rock bottom for a bit.
The one detail I left out was being a wife; my first calling in this family.
I’m his first, and last. After all of these kids are grown and have families of their own, it’s just him and I.
Sure, we had time together each night when he held the baby while I pumped and we watched TV, but that’s not the quality time we needed. There’s only so much that you can discuss during commercial breaks.
I took the TV out of the living room and started getting more intentional about putting my phone away.
Within just a week I noticed my joy coming back and our relationship rekindling.
Don’t get me wrong, our marriage was fine. But at the end of the day I want a marriage that is better than just fine.
I started this blog years ago as a journal about becoming a better wife, even if just slightly. I have learned being the best wife isn’t a place where I will ever fully arrive and stay, but a journey that I need to keep striving for.
I must put in effort.
The same effort I put into designing planners, washing and folding clothes, and keeping everything together.
My marriage takes work. I’m sure yours does too. Not always, because sometimes the seasons are easy and flow freely, but other times they’re rigid.
If I’m going to put in this effort, I’m not going to half-ass it. I’m going to make it WORTH the work that it takes, if that makes any sense? I hope it does.
You guys, marriage is full of hills and valleys, just like every other relationship.
I’m grateful for the valleys, because then I can look up to the hills and see how truly amazing they are. And I’m grateful for the hills, because they remind me that without work, I can quickly fall into the valley.
I always tell new parents to be sure to carve out time for their spouse, 5 minutes here and there are just as good as the impressive date nights, and in the long run, make a bigger impact too.
I think I’ll just go ahead and take my own advice here. After all, hindsight is something like 20/20. I’ve been here before, I know my way out.