Three years – that’s it? As we looked at our approaching anniversary date, we thought this year’s celebration would be a higher number. Having a kid definitely catalyzes your relationship; It feels like we’ve been tied together far longer, but I suppose this feeling isn’t a bad one. We’re used to marriage by now. We have graduated the honeymoon phase and the notorious adjustment period that follows. We’re not new, we’re not old. We’re just … married.
And boy did we pack in a lot during these past three years. Becoming parents is definitely the most defining year yet. When I think about the biggest lesson from year three, the first thing that comes to mind is friendship. I’ve heard countless times how important it is to “marry your best friend,” but this is the first year where this has really clicked.
Our first two years of marriage were largely us at our best. We were both rocking careers that filled our days with passion, and we were kid-free – in Hawaii of all places. We were both well-rested and there was no shortage of time to spend together. Friendship came easy, fun and flirty.
Insert the year of parenthood (and the move away from Hawaii). I left my career behind in exchange for motherhood. Every ounce of our being was re-directed into this tiny human that we created. We were both sleep-deprived and there was approximately zero time to spend together one-on-one. And yet our friendship grew stronger.
I suspect this is because parenthood has a way of stripping your marriage to its roots. The romance, the passion, the energy get absorbed in this shared, monstrous task of raising a child. But if you truly marry your best friend, you don’t feel the loss of this change because you have each other more than ever – and that is a gain.
While I was running on three hours of sleep, he got up first to make me coffee. While I was wearing pajamas far too late into the day, he complimented my messy hair. While I was tired of making dinner, he ran out to spruce things up with wine. No longer were we coming together at the end of our days to celebrate our individual successes, we were coming together at the end of our days to celebrate teamwork.
This is the year our friendship grew deeper. Having someone on your best days is nice, but having someone on your tough days is everything.
I am so glad I married my best friend. I wouldn’t be half the mother I am without his love and honest friendship.