“Marriage is hard” — so goes the saying, and it’s a very simple truth. But marriage with kids? Well, that’s a state that the word “hard” doesn’t begin to describe, and one that many of us never expect. As a young wife and new mom I certainly expected parenting to be hard, but I never realized the degree to which it would complicate my marriage. That’s why 13 years after becoming a mom, I love this Facebook post from blogger Lauren Eberspacher of From Blacktop to Dirt Road. With just a few simple yet eloquent phrases, she captures the essence of what it’s like to be married while you’re parenting little kids.
Photo Facebook: From Blacktop to Dirt Road
Eberspacher’s sweet tribute to her husband and partner explores the beauty in the exhaustion and the service that parents give to their children and to each other during “the years”– catching stolen moments together whenever they can in the midst of diaper changes, midnight feedings, and endless days when everyone seems to be sick.
Her words touched me because I have experienced this. Marriage with kids is exhausting, it is joyful, and it is such a blessing. Having a partner to parent with who is truly your best friend even at the end of the most difficult days, or the beginning of the grumpiest mornings is an amazing gift that we need to acknowledge more often. I hope you’ll read her words below and be inspired to share them with someone else who totally gets it.
“These are the years that we don’t sleep.
The years that we hear cries in the night and give cuddles in the darkness.
The years that we don’t sleep in the same bed, but brush hands in the hallway as we pass one another by.
The years that are short, but that nights that are so long.
The years that we change sheets in the middle of the night and sleep with buckets next to the bed.
The years that we take turns answering the calls of the night and say, “Good job,” when the other comes back to bed.
The years that we celebrate the nights when the kids get to sleep over at Grandma’s and for one morning we wake up feeling human again.
The years that we feed babies and change diapers and burp babies and change more diapers and feed babies again.
The years that we wake up weary, and maybe a little snarky, and have to say, “I’m sorry,” as we rub our tired eyes, and choose to forgive the grumpiness once again.
The years that we cling to one another in the early morning hours, looking into each other’s tired eyes, knowing that there is no one else either of us would want to be this exhausted with.
The years that we sit on the couch with our coffees in the morning, and stare at the beautiful little people we created playing on the floor who make us so tired and wonder how they can wake up with so much energy.
Yes, these are the years that we don’t sleep. The years that they say that someday we will miss. But this morning, this is the morning that I’m thankful for you, my partner of musical beds and up all-nighters. This morning I’m thankful that I have you for the years that we don’t sleep.”
Is that beautiful or what? Thanks Lauren, for inspiring married parents everywhere and reminding us how beautiful marriage with kids can be.