Last month Sam and I celebrated 6 years of Marriage! Sometimes, it’s hard to believe it’s been this long, yet other times it feels like we’ve been together forever. Either way, at the end of the day there’s no doubt that we truly are soul mates and best friends. As a team, we just make sense.
For us, what I think makes the difference for our marriage is our friendship, practicing the art of honest and basic communication, plus our relationsip with God. These things help to strengthen our commitment to each other.
Year of Grace, Highs & Lows
In Judaism, the number 5 represents God’s grace. Looking back at year 5, that grace is definitely what helped us survive. Our 5th year was easily our biggest rollercoaster of highs and lows.
The highest point was the birth of our son Samson. Reveling in his newness and the fun ways he grows. The lowest point, was adjusting to our new married/parent life. We were sleep deprived, emotional and hormonal! There’s something about being rediculously tired. It plays with your brain and your heart in ways you cannot imagine, unless you’ve been there!
During year 5, we learned, changed, and grew so much! In many ways we are both different people than we were before Samson was born. We had to basically re-learn who our “new” Spouse was. For a while, I felt so disconnected. Even though we were able to go on periodic dates, it still felt awkward at times. Example: One time we were out and I asked Sam if he wanted to hold my hand? He looked at me like I was crazy. Like, really Des? So simple, but such a big deal.
Preparing our Getaway
We initally planned on taking Samson with us to Michigan. Tickets were purchased, baby travel necessities were ordered and we were set! However, a couple of weeks before we left, Sam asked me what I thought about going without Samson. My first feeling was horror and sudden grief! Leave my baby behind?! Then I thought, we actually could use the break and it’ll probably be really good for us. If our marriage is strong, we can parent together more effectively, giving Samson the best of us.
The only way I was going to be “okay” with this trip, was if my Mom & Sister could take care of Samson. They were able to come, and arrived the day before we left. Like typical first time parents, we gave hands on tutorials and left typed out directions of his routine.
Our flight left early the next morning and Samson was still asleep. I air rubbed & kissed him. As we left the house the tears started to flow and I told Sam I didn’t want to talk. It wasn’t until 30 minutes into the drive that I finally talked. I just kept telling myself, this is for us and this is for Samson. He’s safe, he’s going to have fun and I need to have fun too!
We were able to Skype and my sister sent pics at least once a day. Just seeing how happy he was made me feel so much better.
By the 2nd day, I definitely loosened up more and started to really enjoy the trip. Sam had planned everything for the weekend. We stayed with our older Cousins who have a gorgeous mini-resort type home. We had family time, together time, guy time, girl time, and I got to take an uninterrupted nap! Sam did a great job planning for shopping, massages, and fine dining. I just went with the flow!
We received two very valuable takeaways from that weekend:
First- taking the time to reflect about the past year and explore our hopes and desires for the upcoming year. We discussed our individual needs and how we could improve as a couple. We also prayed for our marriage.
Second- the time spent with our Cousins, Kerlin and Lanee. They are parents to two of the most respectful, brighest and talented kids, Kayla (15) and Jay (11). I loved observing their family dynamics! Throughout the weekend they shared their testimony, dropped nuggets of encouragement, and gave us some wisdom on how they made married life with kids work for them. It’s always so refreshing to hear from others who are honest about what they’ve been through and how they made it successfully on the other side. They are definitely one of our favorite role models.
Surviving Marriage with Kids
Mother’s, we get so easily caught up in taking care of our kids. We want to give them our all. Fathers get caught up in working hard and long to provide for the home. They too, want to make sure, they can give the family all they need and want. But, what about giving each other our all? Both sides have other needs, outside of raising the kids.
Depending on your situation it could be easy to compare yours to another, thinking the grass is greener. Stop! Don’t get trapped into comparing your marriage to others. Every marriage is different and no two experiences are the same. However, there is one thing I know for sure – we all have to be intentional about investing in our marriage. You may not be able to go out on “traditional” dates often or run away on kid free vacations. Still, you know what? That’s okay!
There are so many ways to bond, so don’t get hung up on how you make your investment. Just keep in mind the importance of quality over quantity. Agree to be more intentional about your marriage. Even if it means putting “date night” on the calendar, just to make sure you’re accountable to take time out for each other. I doubt it’ll end up feeling like another “thing” you have to do. It can be something to look forward to.
For us and many of you out there, you know this investment is something you have to keep working at. If you’re still lost or clueless and need some inspiration, look out for my next Married Life post. There will be ideas from some other couples who have or are currently making it happen.
Mrs. Mommy and Mr. Daddy you can do this! You’re not alone! Just remember: the stronger Mom and Dad are together, the stronger the family unit will be and that’s a bond no one could ever take away!
Happy Married Life!