I remember the very first time I cried postpartum. Scratch that, the second time. I’m not talking tear up looking at your baby, I mean full on sobbing. I sobbed the first time I held her. Then I sobbed when I missed my husband.
We were a few days in after coming home from the hospital, I was grasping how to nurse Maxi and it looked like she was maybe understanding day vs. night. I felt hopeful and peaceful. It was about 7 in the evening, Paul turned The Bachelor on and Maxi was asleep in her bassinet. I was excited to have 2 hours to eat dinner, watch a show and regain some form of routine with my husband.
My phone went off and a friend texted me. She was saying she was in the neighborhood and wondered if she could come see Maxi.
I lost it. I sobbed. And I sobbed. And I sobbed some more. I kept thinking, “No! I don’t want to share my husband anymore. I’ve shared him with visitors for an entire week. We’ve barely talked about anything other than my milk supply and diapers!” My poor friend was trying to be kind and it sent me into a hormonal fit.
The first year with Maxi, I feel so deeply in love with Paul watching him be a father. I felt like we were this little invincible team. I was so proud of us, of Maxi, of our family. It was almost like I loved my spouse more than I ever thought possible, therefore I wanted more time with him- but time we didn’t have as freely. Before I had Maxi I swore up and down we’d always do date night each week, I mean how hard could it be?
But it is hard. You’ve got work and weddings and church events and baby showers and bridal showers and engagement parties. Before you know it, you’re using a babysitter for things that have absolutely nothing to do with date night. Today, I wanted to talk about marriage with kids. It’s fulfilling. It’s exciting but it’s also new and something you continually invest in. You grow as a couple in parenting and as individuals in motherhood and fatherhood. While we can’t just go off on a weekend trip whenever we’d like and date nights are much less frequent, there’s a deep level of intentionality which I love. We are intentional with our words, with our acts of service and with our quality time. You have to be!
Because I’m such a new mother, I didn’t think it would be fair for me to solely give my ideas on marriage with kids. Parenting is all about your village, so I wanted to introduce you to some girls that could be your online village! I turned to my favorite style bloggers that share motherhood and asked for their take on marriage with kids. I admire each mother for such different reasons and know you will, too!
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Meet Julia. Julia has a daughter a little younger than Maxi and shares her classic style on Lemon Stripes daily. Julia has so much knowledge on wellness and shares healthy recipes, natural alternatives and great practices on her blog. However, my favorite thing about Julia is her vulnerability. From her fertility struggles to her feelings on motherhood, she’ll have you nodding your head in agreement as you read her heartfelt words that fill you with encouragement. You always leave her site knowing you aren’t alone and with a few ideas to tackle an issue. Julia and her husband are both business owners so I truly admire how they are able to prioritize their relationship separate from their parenting.
Read Julia’s blog here.
Kate is the author of, “For the Love of Fancy.” If she were in your Facebook Mom Group, she would be the supportive mom. Breastfeed? Great! Formula fed? Fab! Paci? Awesome! No paci? That’s wonderful. Your baby walked early? What a champ! Baby doesn’t walk yet? What a sweet, little cuddly one you have! This girl is the type of girl we all want to be. She’s encouraging, kind and inspires you with her love for her family. I wanted Kate’s take because she’s got a toddler, a baby on the way, a full-time blog and her husband travels for work all the time! Kate is my dear friend that lost her home in the Houston flood last year. I was talking to her the entire weekend and when she went back in the home and saw they lost everything, all she cared about was her daughter’s playroom. It really has stayed with me because it shows the type of mother she is. She wasn’t caught up in the fact they lost everything material and had to start over, she just didn’t want her daughter’s day-to-day experiences to change.
Read Kate’s blog here.
Stia is one of the authors of Bishop and Holland. Stia is one of my good girlfriends and I call her my Kate Middleton friend. She is always so poised and graceful. She writes the blog with her mom and sister-in-law as they share fabulous style for all ages. Stia is the mom of two little boys, William and Henry. I love Stia’s parenting style as she is really relaxed and is so natural at everything in parenting. When she first brought William to Fashion Week for work I was inspired by her ease at which she blended motherhood with work. She would sit front row at a show, go nurse her baby and then take him to the park. She’s a breathe of fresh air because she reminds me that as long as I’m relaxed, everything I do with Maxi will be okay!
Read Stia’s blog here.
Ultimately, marriage with children is going to look different for every couple. We all have different lifestyles, roles and experiences that shape how we work on our marriage. But I think the best thing about marriage with kids is the new love you bring to the table. I always say that marriage didn’t make me selfless. To me, marriage in and of itself is fun, exciting and a bit self-serving at times. I mean who doesn’t love their spouse giving them words of affirmation?! But motherhood gave me selfless love. And what a gift it was that I could bring that new love to my marriage. We may have less one-on-one time, dinners out will never look the same and we probably won’t have a lazy Saturday in bed for years on end. But we have a new kind of love, one that is fiercely loyal, purposeful and filled with so much grace. So whatever your story, your family unit or your relational roles acknowledge the beautiful, new love you bring to the table and protect it!
Thank you to these wonderful women for sharing their stories and encouragement. Please give them a follow! And to my husband, thank you for giving me the best kind of love!