I thought when I birthed my first child that that was the hardest thing I’d ever have to do. Boy was I wrong.
Marriage is the hardest thing I’ve ever had to do. Dating is so fun and exciting and new. Planning the wedding was a cakewalk; pun intended. After our first child was born over 8 years ago, nothing has been the same. It shouldn’t be. We now have a family and two tiny (read: beautiful) little humans to raise and mold into decent adults. That’s a lot of pressure.
It was not only good for our marriage to get away and do something just us, but was vital for our sanity.
There have been times in our marriage that have been so much harder than others. After our first was born it was months before we got any decent sleep and being sleep deprived and raising a tiny human did not bring us closer like we were told by society. It did quite the opposite. Throwing a second child into the mix? What were we thinking? Time to ourselves or date night was a pipe dream. This was our chance to reconnect and remember why we fell in love and why we put up with each other every day (i.e. why he puts up with me).
After 10 years of marriage, my husband and I recently went on a week-long cruise without the kids. It was our first adults-only vacation in 9 years. Money is tight, schedules are tight, and life is just about as hectic as it could get, but I reluctantly went anyway.
Spoiler alert: it was amazing! The week we spent was filled with mostly sleeping in, buffet food galore, exploring new countries, trying new things together and plenty of Pina Coladas. We went rock climbing on the ship while we were in the middle of the ocean. We surfed on the back of the ship several times. We met some amazing people. Taking a vacation was so therapeutic and relaxing. Not having to worry about nap times, potty training or refereeing fights over who got more Goldfish on their plate was the most refreshing part.
Take that trip or spend the night without the kids just reconnecting without your spouse. Whether or not you think you need it, you do. I promise. Take this opportunity to put quality time into your marriage. What you put into it is exactly what you’re going to get out of it. It’s not just about being alone and talking about your marriage or your feelings (there are professionals for that .. trust me, I know)It’s about doing something together and enjoying your time with one another. Take that trip. Plan a date night. Watch a movie at home alone. Whatever it is, do it.
I’ll admit that I sort of worship the ground my kids walk on. If I can pick an activity or restaurant my kids will enjoy instead of going somewhere I want to go, I’ll do it. Being parents is a major part of our lives at this point in our marriage but it certainly isn’t the only part. It isn’t the foundation of our relationship. I’m starting to learn the benefit of focusing on my marriage more. Setting an example of what marriage should look like is important for me to show my kids. I’m learning to make more adult time no matter how infrequent it may be. I’m learning to lean all the way into my marriage.