It’s no secret that marriage is hard work. Add kids to the mix and there’s a whole new set of challenges that arise. I find myself constantly feeling like I need to be doing more as a wife and then again as a mom and it’s just flat out exhausting. I’ve realized that prioritizing my marriage in the midst of motherhood is the greatest thing I can do for my children and for myself. I do the very best that I can and on some days that looks a lot like take out for dinner and our kids going to sleep in the pajamas that they’ve been wearing since I put them to bed in the night before. But every day I know I can face whatever comes my way because I have a partner backing me up and ready to catch me when I fall.
I’ve learned in these past few years since becoming a mom that I can’t be the parent or person I want to be if my marriage isn’t on track. The day that I married my husband was the day that life turned from “me” to “we” and I think it’s really important to recognize that. For me, my husband is the perfect ying to my yang. He does not complete me (I don’t believe another person can do that) but he compliments me even though we are opposite people and I think that’s why we work. I’m hot headed and he’s calm, cool & collected. I stress and he stays relaxed. I’m a planner and he goes with the flow. Not to say that being opposites doesn’t have it’s own set of difficulties, because it defintiely does, but just like any other marriage we have to put the time and effort to stay on track. We communicate & show emotion differently, and sometimes those differences are what cause conflict.
After we had our second baby I realized how important having a solid relationship really was. Life gets busy and it’s hard to make time for one another. Before we know it our kids are going to understand and see everything that goes on in the house. Children model what they’re shown. Which brings up the question, what kind of example do you want to set for you children? For me, I want my girls to see what real love looks like. I want them to think of their Dad and I as positive role models not only as individuals but as a couple. I want them to know that before anything, we put each other first. I want to show them what a healthy and long lasting marriage looks like. Hopefully it will encourage them to have a family of their own one day.
Zach and I talk all the time about how we were raised and how our childhoods have shaped us into the people we are today. It’s silly to think that our parent’s marriages/relationships don’t affect us later on in life. We both were fortunate to be raised by hardworking, loving & devoted parents and as I look back now as an adult (I can’t speak for Zach but I feel like he would agree), I can see that it wasn’t always easy for them but they never lost sight of what was really important. Them. I’m grateful for the examples that I’ve been shown from my parents as well as my in-laws on how to have a loving and long lasting relationship (grandparents too). They’ve shown us that nothing good ever comes easy but that the love of your spouse is worth all the bumps in the road.
In the grand scheme of things I am very much still a rookie at marriage. We are approaching our 4th wedding anniversary and that’s really not that long when you think of how we have our whole lives ahead of us. But just because I am a rookie doesn’t mean I am naive. I am positive that with the coming years will be many highs but also lots of lows. I’m also not naive to the idea that we might not forget what these early years were like and who knows, maybe this post will be the reminder I need years from now. A reminder to never stop working to be better, to communicate, to have compassion & empathy, and to trust with my whole heart that choosing him was the single greatest thing I’ve ever done. I think that’s why it’s so important to make an effort everyday to make a positive change in my marriage. A little love note, a “thank you”, a hand hold. All these small things feed our love and keep it strong.
I will always choose Zach before anybody else. Now before you get all judgemental and think “Well what about your kids? How can you say that?”, hear me out. Children model what they see, right? Do I depend on my husband for my happiness? No, and I don’t ever want my children to think that they need another person to complete them or to make them happy. But I depend on my husband for love, support, friendship, guidance, etc. and it just so happens that a direct result of those needs being met brings me happiness. It fills my cup and lifts me up. Feeling like you have someone who has your back through thick and thin makes you feel like you can conquer the world and what better feeling is there?
I will always put my husband first because there will come a day when it will be just us again. As husband and wife, we are the glue that holds our family together. If our foundation doesn’t remain strong the whole house could crumble. One day our kids will be out on their own and I don’t want to have to start over or feel like we don’t know one another. As much as I love my children I hope and pray that they are not in my home forever. I want them to go out into the world as independent little ladies and fulfill their dreams. Maybe even find their own partners (who I hope will be just like their Daddy). Our family unit would not exist or function the way it does without him and that is why I make it my priority to put our relationship before anything else. He protects us, loves us, supports us and provides for us. With him we are safe & we are taken care of.
I will always put my husband first because we are a team. He is my best friend. We have built a life together that I cherish and everyday we continue to add to it. I will forever be by his side to cheer him on and keep him going when it gets tough. Right now it’s my job to support him in his career but I know one day it’s going to be my turn and he will do the exact same for me. I don’t know what the future holds but I’m looking forward to whatever it may bring. We can get through anything as long as we keep each other first.