Wednesday, February 25, 2015

The Two Shall Become Three

A pregnant friend of mine asked me the other day if having a baby impacted our marriage. Once I stopped laughing, I told her that having a baby changes EVERYTHING and NOTHING about marriage all at the same time.

This Saturday marks our 6th wedding anniversary, but the Man and I have been together for almost 9 years. Nine years of love, independence, freedom, and (let's be honest) selfishness. We graduated college, got "grown-up" jobs, moved 300 miles away, and bought a house with only each other to account for. Those years were a blessing and a curse. On one hand, we were able to strengthen our relationship and ride out some very tough times without the responsibility & stress of another living being. On the other, we were used to just us. Quiet. Restful. Skinny. Bliss.

Before the Bear Cub arrived, we braced ourselves for a hit to our marriage. I spent long nights and early mornings praying for God's protection over our relationship - that God would bind our hearts together and unify our efforts as new parents. My growing belly was a daily reminder that our lives were going to change drastically (the Man helped with his snarky fat jokes, referring to me as his "cray-cray baby momma"). Everyone gave me their unsolicited advice and I did my best to be prepared.

But no one warned me that becoming parents would make me fall desperately in love with my husband again. The Man took on his new role as Dad readily and flawlessly. He loved to swaddle the Bear Cub, carefully wrapping the blanket around his tiny little head, whispering secrets only known between a father and son. For the first few weeks he would tend to my every need and complete chores without being asked. My heart soared.

Two weeks later I was sobbing in the bathroom with a handful of poop, blaming the Man for wrecking my body and driving me out of my ever-loving mind. We couldn't agree on anything. Neither of us had slept. We ate frozen pizza and mac n' cheese for every meal. I peed every time I sneezed, coughed, laughed, breathed. He couldn't do anything right and I cried ALL THE TIME. Lord help us if this was to be our new normal.

We've learned that in order to stay sane, we need to remember the days of just us. Yes, a lot has changed, but the Man is still the wonderful, generous, kind, strong, and honorable person that I married. Our days are filled with poop, spit-up, crying and no sleep, but he is still my best friend who makes me laugh like none other. It's vital that we still sing along to Styx while making dinner or fall asleep on the couch to Frasier reruns or spend entirely too much time in the gym. We need to remember why we chose to spend our lives together, for better or worse.

So yes, parenthood has influenced our marriage, but we won't let it define it. 

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