family life – marriage – making it work.

hmmm… these topics are very important to me because well I am married and have been for the last 12.3 years. They have become even more important with the birth of our two boys which have taken place quite suddenly in the last 2 years. Chris and I have been together since I was 17 and he was 21 and then married from the ages of 19/23 kids coming into the picture only at 29/32.  We had quite a stretch of time where it was just the two of us. We got spoilled really and had no clue. Boy was it a revelation though with the introduction of Seth. No longer able to sleep 8-10 hours straight and then get up and go when and wherever we liked. No longer able to take a month long vacation through Europe or a 10 day cruise to beautiful tropical destinations just Chris and I. Now our vacations revolved around baby, can baby come with and if baby comes with what really will we be able to do? Yes we had been spoiled so it’s no real revelation when I tell you that these days I find myself researching books on these topics. Wanting to make sure that I can prevent any issues or fix any that have sprung upon us so unexpectedly.

Even though my love for my boys is beyond anything I could measure or truly put into words there was and is a part of me that will always look back on the days pre-kids with some longing and nostalgia. However I have hope and believe that this will not always be the case. As the boys grow and become capable of doing more and more things I know that it will be these times that I will be looking back on with that same nostalgia and longing. Longing for the good old problems of sleeping through the night and maybe too much gas that makes a baby scream out in the night. Not that I think I will actually long for those issues so much as reckognize how really little and insignificant they really are in the bigger scheme of things.

I believe that we are not alone in this and that most married couple find themselves with more issues then they had pre-baby. Not all, but most will feel the strain on the relationship, factors such as lack of sleep, a colicky or fussy baby, maybe a lack of intimacy can definitely take their toll. The inability to get away and get some one on one time or even time for oneself to purse other interests than those concerning the family, can make a couple feel like they have lost a part of themselves and the connection between the two of them is filled with a bit more static and not quite as fluid as before.

I am sure that there are people who feel that the family should really be your only interest, your kids, your home and so one are all that should fill your time and effort. And although I think that these are the most important of all that makes up who I am, I have found I am not one of those people and I don’t feel that there is anything wrong either way. I love my family and cherish every minute of our time spent together but just as much I love the few hours that I find in a week when I  get out of the house just me with maybe a friend or even just my camera to pursue my photography hobby. I find it rejuvenates me, giving me a new focus for a little time. And every time when I return home, I open the door and my oldest runs and throws himself in my arms. Realizing how much he loves me and the fact that he had some time to miss me and me him. In those moments  I understand that it was wonderful to get a few hours away allowing me the opportunity to come to the same conclusion every time, that there truly is no place like home.

Marriage – since the birth of our 2nd son just a mere 3 months ago I have felt so much more that hubby and I need to find ways to get some time away. I feel terrible taking advantage of my family too much for babysitting the boys but I have to say that if I had not had my family’s help I would be a less saner version of my self. I am beyond fortunate and ridiculously blessed with both sides of the family living near by  and they love to offer to babysit the boys.

Recently my sister Andreia has taken it upon herself to offer to watch the boys every other friday evening allowing hubby and I time for dinner and a movie or whatever we pick. I can’t express how much these evenings help. Both he and I look forward to them with longing and anticipation, each time it has been like reliving our youth,  back when we were teenagers and dating and due to strict parents 😉 we weren’t allowed out alone together but somehow we made it happen anyway. Well just as back then this time alone together without the boys has done wonders for our relationship. Getting this time alone together (even if the furthest place we’ve been to is on the otherside of the Columbia River to a place called Cinetopia) has been one of the best things we’ve done to improve our relationship since we started a family. I can’t put into words how much I recommend for any couple with brand new little ones to take some time just for yourselves. It will make the world of difference.

So here I am on Friday morning ridiculously confused… Confused with all the different feelings and emotions coursing through me. On one had I am beyond excited for the next 24-48 hours and on the other hand I am quite nervous. Today marks the first time we are spending the 2 days and 1 night away from the boys. We have my mom to watch them over friday/saturday and we are heading west to the beach. I have been looking forward to this time and not really thinking that it would be difficult at all to leave the boys, but now that it is a couple of hours away I find myself uncertain. Not so much that I won’t be able to stand how much I’ll miss them because I am coming back tomorrow night, but it’s the uncertainty of separation that gets me. What if something were to happen to them or to us while we are appart. That thought scares me quite a bit and makes me think twice about leaving them behind – worry -I tend to believe it mainly afflicts the moms as my husband has no such thoughts. 🙂 So even though I tend to worry and create problems in my head I really can’t foresee the future and it is in God’s hands where it is best left. I will do my part and pray that God watches over us while we are seperated and brings us back together in health and safety.

Looking forward to report on our trip with maybe some photos of the beautiful Pacific ocean and if the sky allows me some shots of the sunset. We shall see.

Just because they will definitely be missed and thought of:

Seth and his iPod - he loves to go on youtube and watch videos of himself I've uploaded he calls it "aboob".

little Luke with his dreamy blue-gray eyes and sweet little smile he now gives me every day.

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