Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Marriage & Motherhood

I just love this reflection over at Kelly Rae Roberts about marriage after baby. She says, "Parenthood, like any other big transition in life (marriage, separation, moves, etc), throws you into major opportunity to grow into new versions of yourself and into new versions of partnership and marriage. They aren't kidding when they say it's life changing. I think it's self changing. Marriage changing. All the changing isn't easy, but there is wholeness and healing at every turn."

She goes on to say, "We're finding the pieces just don't fit together the way they used to in the marriage puzzle, the self puzzle, the community puzzle. The pieces have changed. And so have we. Our edges are in some cases, more sharp, and in others, more soft. In some cases where there used to be tenderness there is anger. Where there used to be anger is now tenderness. The triggers are different. The lessons are different."

I've been thinking a lot about my marriage lately. As cheesy as it sounds, it is my anchor. It grounds me and holds me when everything else feels tumultuous or when I'm feeling pulled. 

But I also feel myself starting to take its security for granted. I feel like I let myself pull harder on the rope because of its strength. 

I've been working so hard to be a good mother to Henry. Mothering raises so many questions about what is right and good and true. I try to forge my path in the direction that feels right to me. I want to feel proud of the way I interact with Henry and the relationship we build together. I want to go to sleep at night knowing that I was the best mother I could be.

But I can't lose sight of the way I interact with Matt and the relationship we continue to build together. I have to continue cultivating it with care, even as my passion for building Austin's first public Montessori school grows, even as we have another child, even as our lives get busier. 

It's definitely easier said than done, and it's definitely a work in progress. But work worth doing.

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Annalisa said...

This is a very timely topic for me as my husband and I just had a mini discussion about the evolution of our marriage/relationship. We have a 17 mo. old and a baby due any day now so our relationship on every level is not what it was 2 years ago, 5 years ago, etc. I see other new parents struggle fitting the baby into their old life rather than accept that a new existence has been created. Our roles, intimacy (totally different definition!), responsibilities, and demands have vastly changed. I also notice we do rely on each other substantially more. We have taken career and financial risks - putting 100% trust in one another - which is a huge deal if I really think about it. Anyway, I'm glad you brought this up since I think we don't give a ton of room to this topic in society - we complain about our partner, worry about superficial problems in our relationship (looks, weight, etc), and of course there's room to talk about money, trust, infidelity, etc. We really don't take the time to reflect or discuss about how much our marriage means in every day and how awesome it can be.

Kelsey said...

With a little one on the way, this is definitely on my mind! I love the way our marriage is so much, it's hard to imagine it changing but I know it will. Some parts will be hard, I know, and in other ways it will change for the better and make us stronger. Marriage is certainly a journey.

Carrie said...

I know your families are far away, but I recommend, if you can, getting away for an entire 24-36 hours with JUST MATT sometimes (maybe you have a babysitter you'd trust with an overnight?). For my husband and me, our "old marriage" is STILL THERE beneath the surface of kids and work and all that. I've always made it a point to note that kids are home for about 18 years (20 for us, as we have two), but I'm supposed to still like, love and see my husband daily FOR THE REST OF MY LIFE, which is, hopefully, another 30 or 40 years after the kids leave. As I say to him when the kids have are driving us nuts, "you're the only one I CHOSE." I mean, I chose to have kids, but I CHOSE my husband after getting to know him for a long, long time. I don't want to be left with a shell of a marriage at 51, so we try to fit in our alone time when we can. I know as the kids grow older we will be able to do it more often, but it's not worth just waiting until then to risk losing too much in the meantime. Plus I just really, really like him a lot! :)

Sara said...

I really needed to hear this today; thanks for sharing!

faux domestic diva said...

A random comment…

I just wanted to say that I read your blog faithfully and I really admire your honesty and sharing about so many things. It makes me so sad that there have been comments on whatever site, with the intent of being cruel. I'm sad that anyone would participate in it. Anyway, I admire your willingness to blog and make your goals and values open to all of us to read for ourselves. And, for the record, Austin is a someday-option for us to move, and frankly, I never wanted to, because of the horrid school options. Now, I'm rooting for you, way up here, in the mini apple. Knowing that someday, just someday, I may have my own children enrolled there.

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