HAVING KIDS CHANGES EVERYTHING.
Ahh, that sounds so dramatic, and I assumed we were invincible to it. We had a truly romantic love story that rivals the movies. We were untouchable, surely. But, as it turns out, parenthood’s wrath doesn’t discriminate.
Having babies is kind of like a drug commercial where it looks all good and fun until you see the rapid-fire listing of side effects: may cause sleep deprivation, postpartum depression and/or anxiety, intimacy issues, inability to have a clean house ever again, lack of spontaneity, memory loss, weight gain, intense food cravings, financial hardships, and literal bouts of getting shit on. Talk to your friends and family before conceiving.
But we do it anyway because those moments of joy really are worth it. As for the side effects? Well, they put our vows to work.
At first, I viewed this as a a bad thing because I was scared. All the change felt a bit threatening. Parenting absorbs so much of our being that any expectations we previously had of each other had to be forgotten and re-defined. In brutal terms, we were no longer the same people we were when we got married.
But that is such a dangerous way of approaching marriage – this idea that we somehow should stay the same.
Marriage is not about locking our love in place. It is about loving each other through all of the different seasons and letting it grow.
Right now, we are in the season of new parenthood. We fight about whose turn it is to change the diaper, how many dishes there are in the sink, and who gets to have child-free time first. We worry about our career tracks, our budget, our love life, and our future.
It’s dumb to fight, it’s pointless to worry – but at the same time, it’s not. We’re actively working on being a stronger couple today than we were yesterday, which, is actually helping us become even better versions of ourselves than the ones on our wedding day.
Working through change is what gives our marriage substance. As tiring as it is, I can honestly say that I’m happier today as a wife and mom than I was as a bride.