So we have discovered that being married with babies is a lot different from just being married. Brent and I have always just got along pretty well (thankfully) and when we decided to get hitched and live together it was not hard… not to say we didn’t fight or annoy each other but we both are easy going. All those horror stories you hear about your husband driving you crazy because he does weird things with the toothpaste just never was an issue for us.
BUT once we added kids.. things got a little more complicated… We didn’t have very much time to just be together… especially while trying to still cram all the SAME things into our lives that existed before.
Thank God he is good and he used this time to teach US a lot. The honest truth of the past year is that as married people with kids our lives together HAD to change. We realized we cannot do all the things we used to. We must rely on one another MUCH more heavily. We have to actually plan to make sure we spend quality time together or SOMETHING (kids, work, goals, friends, etc) will suck all our time away. We have to go out of our way to make sure we let the other know they are important. We must forgive often (being sleep deprived and stressed doesn’t always bring out the best in people, weird).
Brent and I just celebrated our 6 year anniversary! (woot)… and lucky for us our anniversary is right at the start of a new year so its a great time to reflect, evaluate and this year we decided to set some goals for our marriage.
I share this first to help keep us accountable (I’m not good at new year resolution things, luckily Brent is great meeting goals)… and also to hopefully encourage others who have found growing a family to be exciting/magical/miraculous/etc BUT still may find strategies to stay connected helpful.
Here’s the list….
1. Share at least one devotion together a week.
We have been working through the book Devotions for s Sacred Marriage by Gary Thomas. This devotion has been WONDERFUL! I recommend it to all married people. We may just re-read it once we finish it’s that good. (buy it, really)
2. Do something active together at least once a week.
This could be a walk, a run (after I have this baby), a gym trip, a hike, etc. There is something that just lifts your mood and makes you feel closer when you go out there and do something together.
3. Go out on one date/kid free outing at least once a month.
We LOVE our kids! They are so fun and adorable and entertaining and we just want to soak up every moment we have with them BUT we realized we still need time set aside just to be together focusing on the union that made all these adorable little people possible. When I had Isaac I sort of lost sight for a little bit (between the overwhelming love I had for Isaac and the severe lack of sleep) of the fact my husband is my anchor and the love of my life. I will always love my kids with the deepest, most unconditional love I have ever known… but I will grow old with Brent… when our kids have moved on it’ll just be the two of us thinking up “would you rather” scenarios together and being those adorable old people you see walking together at the park… but if we don’t continue to invest in us now we won’t have much to talk about then.
4. Run the half marathon together this coming fall.
So Brent is really fit and driven… I like to move around but am kinda laid back. I for some reason decided I really want to run the half marathon this year.. I am probably trying to rebel against the 3 years still going that my body has felt out of my control… as I have been in a constant state of pregnancy and nursing since October 2011 and probably will continue to nurse for another year or 2….and who knows by then we may get crazy enough to want a third precious bundle (crossing my fingers for a girl one day still).. Anyways Brent is going to do it with me which will be a really fun way for us to spend some time together AND we can take the babies running too (bonus!).
These are just some very simple ways we have pledged to try to make one another a priority through this year. I can’t wait to see how we grow together!
If you find yourself needing support or encouragement as you grow as a couple please let me know. I’d love to pray for you and of course you can always pray for us as sharing a life together is always filled with ups and downs… but I can’t imagine doing life any other way.