...because we all have our motley moments!

Saturday, September 6, 2008

The Toughest Years

My husband and I have been married for over seven years now, and it amazes me that there is still more to learn about how to be a better partner to him, and vice versa. But I know I can be, and I know he can be, and this challenge is what keeps our marriage fresh. I think it always will.

The funny thing is, before we decided we were ready for kids, I had this epiphany: we needed to be married for at least 2 years before we had any children. My theory in support of this was that we needed plenty of time to get to know each other as partners in marriage before we complicated it with kids. Important things like:
  • Which side of the bed was mine?

  • Who takes out the trash?

  • Who does the grocery shopping?

  • Is he a safe driver? Are his reflexes fast enough to dodge sudden obstacles in the road, thus preventing a life-altering (or -ending) crash? Maybe I should drive...?

  • How do I know when he's sick of me and needs some space?

  • How do I let him know, kindly, when I need some space?
  • I was raised Catholic, he, Methodist...where would we go to church?

Some of these things turned out to be silly...

  • I'm left-handed. I like the left side of the bed. Duh.

  • He takes out the trash, of course.
  • If he crashes the car, at least we'll go together.
  • And it's pretty obvious when we need some space. We speak in 1-2 word sentences, terse and to-the-point. Can't waste energy required to hold myself together on speech.
Finding the right church was harder. We church-hopped for a while before having kids. We knew this one was really important in the life of our future family, so we didn't make the decision lightly. We also didn't make this decision until after our first child arrived! All of a sudden, with the birth of our baby boy, our priorities and spiritual needs became crystal clear.

Presbyterian seems to be the happy sticking place for us. We love our church family! They support us in every aspect of our family life, as individuals, as partners, and as parents. Awesome. I feel so blessed by all the ministries that touch our lives: my circle group, The Breakfast Club Sunday school class (our grown-up class), Mother's Forum, Lil' Kidz programs, Vacation Bible School, Preschool Sunday School, Girls' Nite Out, Musikgarten, Wednesday night Ekklessia dinner and classes, and inspirational Sunday morning worship services.

Our church is also the home of MOPS in this town, yet another wonderful ministry that supports me in my mothering adventure while my kids are preschoolers.

Without all this support, looking back over the past seven years, I don't know how I could have handled these soul-searching, sleep-deprived, tidal wave years of becoming new parents. These are the toughest years of my life thus far, as a wife, as a woman.

But as a Christian, I am thriving.

No, we didn't have it all figured out before becoming parents. We don't have it all figured out now, either. How boring would that be?


Karly said...

First Prez really does rock!!! You all are so fortunate to be a part of such an amazing church! I miss it.

I totally agree that the key to getting through these tough preschool years is faith and friends. And you've got lots of both! What a blessing!

Donna said...

We miss you, too, Karly!

Did you know your Motley Moms article "Mount Everest In My Basement" was featured in our September MOPS newsletter? Everyone is really enjoying reading your posts around here! It makes us feel at least a little bit more connected to you way up there.

We're ready for you guys to come back to us for good!