Last Friday, Rich and I celebrated our fifth wedding anniversary. We spent some time together (i.e. Isaac’s nap time) reflecting on how much our lives have changed since having kids, and the impact it’s had on our marriage.
I recently read an article where the author lamented how having a baby ruined her marriage. While I completely disagree that kids have to “ruin” your marriage, I agree with her sentiments that they don’t make marriage easier.
If getting married was the minor leagues of learning how to unselfishly consider another human being, kids are the ninth inning with two outs of the seventh game of the World Series pro level. In fact, they leave you choiceless. You must consider their needs above your own, as their survival depends on it. Kids can be very needy. They need to eat, drink, have their diapers changed, be read stories, be walked, taken to the playground, and have multiple outfit changes in a day. And that is just the beginning.
Before kids, it was easy to spend time together. If we wanted to go out for dinner, we went. A last minute getaway weekend? No problem! All we had to do was book a hotel and go.
Two years into parenthood and we have yet to spend a night somewhere together without a child. We celebrated our anniversary with take-out pizza. Life has changed.
But buried in the newborn fatigue and piles of baby gear and toddler toys, lies the beauty of marriage. Rich and I are bound together by a covenant. Our passion, energy, and even love may ebb and flow; fatigue and stress may feel overwhelming. But in seasons of both joy and pain, the covenant we made doesn’t change. Rather, it challenges us to change and grow so that we might keep it.
I see how easy it is to lose touch with your spouse while raising kids. We have to be intentional about caring for and communicating with one another. As much as we adore our children and they need us now, the goal of parenting is to launch independent, responsible children who can successfully leave the nest. In 20 years or so, it’s just going to be us again. I hope, by God’s grace, we will still be working at knowing and being known by one another.
Having kids has not ruined our marriage but has created our family. And although it’s not always comfortable or easy, it is pretty amazing.
Baby item we are loving this week:
This is a must for all the pumping moms out there! It allows you to pump directly into bags and then connect a bottle and nipple directly to the bag. When it’s all said and done, all you have to wash is the nipple! When I pumped for Isaac we fed him with Dr. Brown’s bottles. They worked great but took forever to clean. If we’d had this with Isaac it would have saved us countless hours of bottle washing. We have packed all our bottles away and are just using this system. If you plan on doing a lot of pumping, I’d strongly recommend it!
This is what your five year anniversary looks like when you have a two-year-old and a five-week-old. I know, we are so romantic. Isaac has been supporting the Springboks during the Rugby World Cup. It’s the logical heritage to support seeing most Americans don’t even know the Rugby World Cup is being played. Last weekend we went for our first hike as a family of four. It was such a fun day and they both did great being worn! I sound like a broken record but I LOVE babywearing! I’m so glad we do things like this with our kids.