What Parenting has Taught me about My Marriage

parenting taught about marriage

If I thought I knew my husband before we had kids, I was smoking crack. Parenting has unveiled a whole new world of things that smell, mystery stains all over our clothes and more team work than I knew possible. I have ZERO clue how we used to spend our evenings when we thought we were ‘ever so busy’ prior to children but now….now, we spend our time high fiving when we manage to trick the toddler into eating veggies because we told him they were only for mommy and daddy, special food with special powers and surely he wouldn’t want any.  

Parenting has taught me a lot about my marriage. Mainly, that I had a lot to learn. It has shown me how easily a day can go from good to really really bad (like Mariah on NYE kind of bad) while also showing me how incredibly strong we are together.

I can’t think of anything that compares to watching a man turn into a father. It’s pretty magical. There aren’t enough unicorns with fanny packs full of fairy dust in the world that could come up with something as fantastic as watching my husband be a daddy.

Watching that man play with our children after a long day at work is the kind of servant leadership a girl dreams about. The kind she needs to be a better person herself. Never a complaint or even an asking of just ten minutes to unwind. {Well, okay, so one time he did that and I kindly reminded him that he had an hour commute and he could choose to use that as his unwind time or he could come home to two toddlers and no mommy. Needless to say, he agreed that I might have a point.}

In being a good father, he encourages me to be a good mother. This shows me what they mean when they say that marriage is not for our happiness but for our betterment. 

We don’t agree on every little parenting point. You can imagine my surprise when in the front row of a major parking lot I looked over to see my three-year-old taking care of business, #becauseboys. We are working on understanding the difference between bushes in the backyard and public places. And I may or may not try to beat him to the mailbox each day so I don’t get a lecture about all the baby girl packages. But we do agree that when it comes to parenting, our marriage comes first and our kids come second. Something we heard about in concept prior to parenting but didn’t understand as an actual lifeline until putting it to practice. To all of you that just panicked that my children would come second to my husband, don’t worry, we also agree that their health, safety, education and spiritual well-being are family priorities. From there, we take it as it comes.

I could go on and on about parenting, marriage and all that I’ve learned about the man I married 6 years ago. He was practically a stranger in light of what I know now. I’m excited to wake up 30 years from now with a whole new understanding of who he is, what he needs and where our marriage has been. But here are three current things that stand out:

When it comes to chores, gender roles are truly for the birds.

Prior to kids, we always shared the load, pretty equally in fact. Once I turned into a milk maid, he turned into the Sherpa, carrying each of the twelve bags I promised we needed to survive each outing. But more than that, he basically started doing everything around the house. Through being Mr. Mom, he discovered how much he loved cooking. He’s even talked about going to culinary school. Lord bless us…. the man doesn’t need one more hobby.

Any way you see it, he is the biggest team player and it pushes me to play hard for the team, too. Marriage is dependent on this. 

We said our vows and come to find out, we meant them.  

Annie, our second child, came along and things went from foggy to just plain hard. Her colic and my postpartum depression placed us in a black hole of disconnect. We were mere roommates. But you know what I love and respect about that season? We functioned. We each did our part to make the world go round each day. We remained a team and the dishes got done, the babies got bathed and we lived to see another day, one at a time. We had no idea what we were doing but we were faithful to the responsibilities set before us and we eventually came out of the weeds. In sickness and in health, in the good times and the bad, till death do we part.  

I won the marriage lottery.

I am a mess. I fail my husband more than I’d like to admit but he stays the course. I’ve been worn down and abused, told I can’t trust men, but my husband… no, he’s the one that healed that wound. He sets the most beautiful example to our son and our daughter will certainly have high standards. He loves and serves us well. He can’t read my mind. He doesn’t always understand my hurts and pains. But he tries.

I knew this prior to having babies. I did. In my head, I really knew. But now, now I see the way he looks at those children and I can’t imagine a more beautiful sight. If he has ever looked at me with half as much love, I truly have won the lottery.

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One Response to What Parenting has Taught me about My Marriage

  1. Charlotte Howard July 17, 2017 at 7:14 pm #

    This is beautiful and such an amazing thing that have children can do for your marriage. You and your partner can grow so much stronger once raising a child together. It is truly a bond that shows you a lot about someone you truly never knew.

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