It cracks me up how different my relationship with Jordan has become since our kids made their entrance into the world. You know that you are married with kids when your idea of a date is dropping the kids off at Grandma’s, grabbing a pizza and going home to sit on your couch (and probably take a nap)! Or, better yet, you go grocery shopping together – because that is SO much easier minus little ones! You know you are parents when you pull into your driveway and deliberately let the van idle for 30 minutes, because you know that as soon as you turn off the engine and open the door, the marathon begins (the car seat un-buckling, kid-carrying, diaper bag, milk cup and blankie grabbing, complete with at least one moment of discipline), and you just don’t have the energy.
The cool thing is, children really do make your marriage better, stronger, more fun. You go from being a care-free pair of kids gallivanting through life to a well-practiced team, and there is great fulfillment in working together. Snuggling on the couch, watching your boys play in their funny toddler way, and knowing that the two of you are in this together and that you are succeeding…it’s a great feeling! Not to mention the closeness you must have developed to be able to read one another’s minds – like when Child A is having a melt down, but you are in the middle of a diaper change with Child B, and you give “the signal” to your spouse with a single raised eyebrow and your spouse understands that Child A is in need of a spanking, a cup of milk and a clean shirt, in that order. It’s amazing.
It’s true that it is not so easy to be spontaneous once you have little ones. It’s also true that you no longer want to be going, going, going like you did when it was just the two of you, partly because you no longer have the energy, but also because your house just feels like home. You actually enjoy just hanging out in your own four walls. The entertainment is already there, and so much more exciting than a movie, or a trip – you have a two year old, and therefore, ANYTHING CAN HAPPEN!
I do feel that we have become pretty well adapted to two children. It’s kind of scary. Cause we are about to be launched into the three-child territory, and our perfect little routine is going to be blown to smithereens. I’m sure we need it, though. There’s nothing like a new baby for a little spiritual “growth spurt”, and what would we do without growth?!