Marriage After Having Kids
I stood in the kitchen on a black memory foam mat my husband had recently bought me and began washing dishes. The counter was full of dirty dishes that needed to be cleaned, after all, they had been piling up all week. As I stood at the kitchen sink looking into the small frameless window built into the support wall I was able to look into the living room. Spread across the light colored faux wood floor was yet another mess to be cleaned, the evidence of small children. A plastic pink high heel, the kind that swallows a young girls feet and clicks loudly as she walks. A collection of bright colored books that once set on a small black bookshelf on the other end of the room, the titles ranged from The Bible App For Kids Storybook Bible to classics such as The Giving Tree. There was a stuffed mini mouse on the floor that had come from an overpriced package of diapers that thankfully we no longer had use for and perhaps the largest item left to linger for me to put away to its proper place was the blue and green sit and spin that brought laughter and arguments of ownership to the house.
As water rushed over the mound of dishes and soap bubbles rose to the top I began to think of how blessed I was to have this family of mine. I could see my husband in the living room, he was quietly sitting on the grey suede couch when it hit me, the quiet. It was too quiet. There was no yelling, no screaming, no words flying from small mouths such as “no! It’s mine!”. There was no laughter or distance sounds of Iron Man attacking Queen Elsa coming from a back bedroom, the house was still. The children had gone off to be with their grandmother for the weekend and had been gone for just past an hour and in that time there was simply silence. Not a word had been uttered. No, I did not mine in the least, my husband and I were at peace. Yet, it began to cause chaos in my heart and finally I spoke “I wonder how they do it, your grandparents. How do they live with the silence? Do you think it gets boring?”.
He must have read my mind because from the other room I could see him place the iPad down and get up to walk my way. He disappeared from my view only momentarily before turning the corner and entering the room I was standing in. He walked across the small room and embraced me from behind, only to answer my question by stating “they got a dog”.
There was a point in our relationship that we could carry on a conversation for hours upon end and still have more to say. Now, we struggle to fill the silence in the room. Our love has not faded, although it has altered greatly since having children. It would be too easy to fill that silence with argument, to rage that the other never wants to talk anymore but easy is not always best. Truth be told, we are tired. We are exhausted. We are worn out. We are good parents and we give greatly to our children. We give them our time and we give them our energy, we join together as a team on subjects of discipline-even if we do not hold the same opinion. We defend one another when a child rages a temper or talks down on a particular parent. To our children we are a team of one.
Yet, we must remember that the silence will come, our children will grow old and leave to have children of their own. When they do, we have each other and so it is vital to our marriage that we remember to embrace the other spouse to show we love and understand, even in the moments of silence.
Monday Marriage Challenge
Embrace your spouse. Put down the electronic devices and talk. Communicate. Do whatever it is that you need to do to form a strong and lasting bond with your spouse