This article originally appeared on AdoreThem.com
What does a perfect marriage look like?
What does a perfect marriage look like with three small children and sleepless nights?
What does a perfect marriage look like with three small children, sleepless nights, 4 dogs, busy schedules, an upcoming move, and juggling all of this while trying to run a new business?
Sometimes all of the chaos of everyday life has me thinking about where Scott and I are at in our relationship. Prior to kids our life was so different! We traveled, went to fancy dinners, hosted parties, and enjoyed much more alone time. But with each child that seemed to change.
Now, 11 years later, traveling to exotic places has been replaced with exploring anywhere a packed SUV can take us. Instead of going out to fancy dinners, we pick up sushi to go and enjoy it on our patio. But the noise and laughter in our home has also changed. There are no longer quiet days looking for something to do. There are no more last-minute movie dates, because you are now surrounded by kids, dogs, popcorn, and Disney characters.
Life has changed. The feelings and love has changed. But for us, it's gotten even better.
I once read that a successful marriage is falling in love with the same person over and over again, - and I could not agree more!!
It is so easy, especially in this phase of life, to fall out of love or to not always like each other. In fact, there are days we sometimes cannot stand one another!
But we always seem to get back on track. The butterflies definitely do not last forever. But they were replaced with 3 precious little human beings. And those feelings of infatuation were replaced over time with something much deeper - a true friendship and partnership.
Sometimes we have to remind each other that we really are partners in this journey. At the end of the day we both want the same things for our family.
The day-to-day can be hard and challenging. But we are building a life, a family, raising our children, creating memories, and deepening our relationships.
Together we find common ground. Sometimes we need to apologize, put aside our stubborn ways and agree to reconnect. Together we make it work, and together we take care of our home.
I don't like to cook, but Scott does. He often make a mess, but I clean it up. He claims the basement and garage, I get final say in the house. I clean inside, he does all the yard work. I love to laugh, and he can be very funny. He stays up late with the kids, and I get up early with them. So basically, together we can accomplish a lot!
But we can also bicker and fight. He has a temper and I am very sensitive and emotional. He is very stubborn and I can be feisty. Together we also have many faults.
And yet.... some-how and some-way we do make it work. We respect one another, appreciate the value we each bring to our home, and together we share the same dreams and goals.
I think the key to making our marriage work through this phase of life is that we don't put as much pressure on "us" - instead we both agree that our family is our priority. We love each other, and do occasionally try to sneak away for the occasional date night. But by sharing the same priorities, and working towards the same goals, that brings us close together. It's in a different way than when we were dating or newly weds, but it's also deeper.
And I have full confidence that once our children get a little older and become more independent, we will find that alone time again - but then of course we will miss our children needing us so much ;) So I think my point to all of this is that marriages go through phases as we have children and raise our families. There are challenges, and also really special moments, through each of those phases. Just try to appreciate the good, and when it gets hard, appreciate your partner who is right beside you through it all.
Our marriage is imperfect, but together we will continue to fall in love again and again.