You know how it always goes down.
You’ve just slipped into something more comfortable, lit a few candles, and are starting to enjoy your husband’s kisses rather than replaying your to-do list in your head when it happens.
In the middle of a little neck nibble, you hear the faint cries of the baby.
Which quickly turn into the not-so-faint screams of the baby.
And yet again, another attempt at romance is killed for the night.
I can’t even count how many times a baby has “interrupted” any attempt at a date night or a romantic evening in our marriage; and yet, the part that truly frightens me is that after a while…I kind of stopped minding.
Somewhere along the line, the thought of the three of us cuddled on the couch watching some late-night TV together started to sound mighty appealing.
Or when watching my husband tickle the kids and hearing their delighted screams as he chases them around the house became incredibly more heart-warming than any sweet nothings he could whisper in my ear.
Heck, now that our oldest daughter has started kindergarten, I’ll even welcome her sneaky visits into our bedroom in the middle of the night – I’ll take the snuggles while I can get them.
There is no doubt that marriage during the baby years can be challenging. There have been times, especially in those first brutal newborn nighttime awakening phases, when I wondered if our marriage really could survive the baby years.
Unfortunately, I don’t do tired gracefully. When I’m tired, I become a sniveling, snarling disaster and in the midst of many a nighttime nursing session or diaper blow-out, I have hurled insults at my husband that I know were just terrible. Fortunately, neither of us were awake enough to remember them, so our marriage has survived even those tumultuous times.
I know that a lot of my frustration about my marriage throughout the baby years (five years and counting!) has been in thinking that there is a certain way that marriage is supposed to “be.” As in, married couples are supposed to go out on weekly dates or always kiss when they walk through the door, or schedule in sex nights so they don’t lose the romance.
And of course, I think that marriage takes work and that actually, many of those aforementioned items are important. (Although in my case, I am simply trying to get in one date a month. Holla!)
But when I stopped worrying about how the “baby years” were affecting my marriage and started appreciating a marriage that could include the baby years, I realized that the question wasn’t really, “how can my marriage survive the baby years?” but instead,
How can it not?
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