It’s hard being married with children.
Mark and I have an easy relationship. Neither of us are particularly passionate people, so we don’t fight a lot. I found a man who is willing to take on his share – or more – of the household maintenance. Even in parenthood, we share similar values about life. Being married to Mark is easy, comforting, safe, right.
But still, throw children into our life, and marriage is hard.
I’m sure every parent has experienced this: our days quickly fill with the needs of our children, and our work. Morning to night, we’re focused elsewhere. Feeding and clothing the girls, walking the dogs, household chores, the work that brings in money, entertaining and teaching our little people, providing them with physical and emotional safety – all these things take time, energy, and mental focus. At the end of the day, there’s not a lot of energy left for ourselves, let alone for each other.
And so, we drift.
It starts small. Sitting on the couch in the evenings, barely talking because we’re physically and mentally wiped out. We add in a few extracurriculars in an attempt at self care and finding a place in our community. And then we realize we’re not even sleeping in the same bed at night because our children won’t sleep by themselves in theirs. The ways in which distance grows are so innocent.
But, you know what? This thing between us, between him and I, it is so vitally important. He gives me strength, encouragement, and appreciation when I feel like I’ve reached the end of that which I am capable. He recognizes when I need a break from everything and takes over what and when he can. He pushes me to be better, a better friend, a better mother, a better citizen, a stronger woman of convictions and faith and love. I don’t want to do life without him.
So, this weekend, we did something about that distance. We asked for help, and dropped the girls off at Mark’s parents place, knowing full well that we were setting them up for a long sleepless night (especially with Eden, who hasn’t slept for more than 2 hours at a time in her whole 15 months). We didn’t plan anything spectacular. We went for lunch, spent the afternoon wandering through thrift shops, went for dinner, and came home to watch a couple movies, before settling in to sleep through the night, blissfully, together in our own bed.
We didn’t need much to bring us back together.
It’s almost time to go pick up the girls again and I am ready. Twenty-four hours apart and I miss them so badly. But this was nice, this was needed. Reconnected, he and I will be better spouses and better parents and we’ll all be happier for it.
(Photos courtesy Sarah Markus Photography)