My husband and I will celebrate our 9th wedding anniversary this year.
Two homes, new cars, a puppy, vacations, career changes… we’ve been doing a lot of life together. Like all marriages, these 9 years have seen the good days and the bad. The moments when we’re totally in sync and ever-in-love, and spells where we seem to be missing a beat. Without a doubt, he’s the love of my life. I hit the jackpot when we said “I do.”
As my college sweetheart, he fell in love with the 19 year old version of myself. We passed silly love notes back and forth in a quiet library, stayed out drinking and dancing until the early morning, skipped class and cuddled in bed on a Tuesday afternoon. Our lives revolved 100% around bettering ourselves and enjoying each other.
We were head-over-heels and we got married young. We chose to spend 5 more years as just us two (plus a puppy, of course) and we were still on a roll. Slowly, we started to fantasize about baby feet tip toeing through the house, imagining gazing at a little creation that was part me, and part him.
When we brought our first baby home, we felt the inevitable shift in energy.
We were beyond thrilled and in awe of our healthy baby boy… but holy $#*! we were tired. I’ll never forget the scene about a week in. I was deep in the trenches of baby blues and he had just gone back to work, immediately coming down with a miserable head cold. We’d been up all night with the baby and as we looked at each other before he left for work that morning I thought we’ve never seen each other like this. We’re, like, real adults now.
And boy, did it get real-er.
When we brought home our little girl just 21 months later, we thought we were parenting pros. The amount of chaos we so happily jumped into couldn’t have been predicted by either of our sleepy-eyed souls. Life wasn’t going to wait for us to rewrite the guidelines to our perfect marriage, it was up to us to find our new normal. Having two young kids can feel like you’ve traded in date nights, late mornings and sex for sleep deprivation, washing sippy cups, and a serious case of brain fog.
There’s so little about our present lives that align with our pre-parenting days. But as in need of a nap as we may be, we’re happy. In this phase of life, we see each other at some pretty vulnerable moments. I see him put everything aside to become super dad the minute he walks in the door, knowing he still has work to do after toddler bedtime. He sees me pour all the love I have left onto our kids when I haven’t had a moment alone all day. Seeing each other at less-than-perfection and still managing to have a crush on each other. This is love.
Our New Reality
We’ve found new favorites to take the place of our once-loved routines. We may be home 98% of the time instead of checking out the newest restaurant, but there is no one on this Earth I’d rather binge a Netflix series with. We have far less alone time, but we squeeze the most out of those moments, making sure to laugh about the absolute chaos of our days. It’s in those glorious moments of laughter that I remember why we fell in love, and I hit the jackpot all over again.
Do we have it figured out? I’d say we’re doing just fine… until the next curve ball is thrown our way. I fell in love with this man, and now we’re figuring out how to sustain that feeling while giving all our attention to these little love monsters we’ve created. It’s the puzzle that’s never complete, but that’s what makes that long-awaited date night so sweet.