it is a common and widely held theory and belief that parenting is hard on a marriage. (most especially the parenting of young children.) i’ve read all sorts of statistics and articles surrounding this theory, and, well, i’ve tested it in my own home lab.
we all know by now that my marriage has endured suffering, heartache, and weakness, and that it has also experienced deep love, passion, and true connection. the facts and circumstances surrounding both our highs and lows are varied and dynamic; while i’m certain there is much more to come for us, pat and i have already been through a lot together – the richer and the poorer.
so much of our time these past five years has been filled with parenting. parenting, y’all. kids: the drain of your time and money and youth. kids have zapped a lot of what pat and my’s relationship had been built on: travel, dinners out, morning sex, lazy, long days in bed. it all seems so obvious, right? you start putting energy into your kids, and there is less energy for each other. it’s basic math.
upon reflection (and there has been so much reflection. reflection until we’ve been blue in the face), having kids has had significantly less to do with our previous hardships than i originally may have guessed. not only this, but i know for a fact parenthood has enriched not only our individual lives, but our marriage.
parenting with my husband is a privilege. it is hilarious and hard. it is endless inside jokes and eye rolling. it is laughs in bed about what they said earlier that day and frustrated sighs at the kitchen sink over how much they are annoying us.
parenting with another person is sharing a love for your kids that no one else can have or know – like a secret club that only you two get to be members of together.
finley always poops during dinner. it’s just, her time. it’s like clockwork. 99% of the time, pat is home for dinner, and so 97% of the time, he gets to be the one who wipes finley when she is done. he’ll be sitting there next to me at the table when we hear her yell “iiiiiiii’m done!!!!!” and he’ll usually say something under his breath to me like, “let me just finish CHEWING my food please. no chewing food while wiping poop.”
about an hour ago finley pooped while i was eating chips and hummus in my kitchen. and as i heard her yell, “iiiiiiiii’m done!!!!!” i smiled so big, with all those chips in my mouth.
i smiled so big, thinking of pat. feeling so close to him, so connected. much in love.
and so i finished chewing, tended to finley, and came over here to write this point:
i picked the right person to wipe my kids’ asses with, and it’s a daily blessing for my marriage.