When people say “marriage takes work,” or “marriage isn’t easy,” or “marriage requires sacrifice,” I don’t know about you but I imaged dramatic fights and yelling and storming out of rooms. That’s what I equivocated with “hard.”
Now don’t get me wrong, our first year of marriage did have me storming out of a room at least once. Thankfully our communication skills have improved dramatically since then!
But marriage is hard in the same way that life is hard. The daily grind wears you and can become monotonous. One more pair of socks on the floor. One more pile of receipts/bills that needs to be addressed. One more schedule to coordinate.
Then you add in kids. One more cry in the night. One more diaper explosion. One more appointment on the calendar. One more birthday party or event to make time for. One more (or two or three or four!) more voices all vying to be heard at the dinner table.
We are 10 years and 3 kids in and the most accurate description I have for us right now is “tired”. Not just because of the occasional cry in the night and not just because the baby gets up at 5:30am (though that definitely does not help!). We are physically, emotionally, mentally, and soul-weary tired.
Nick works full time. We also run our own business on top of that. We have a 1, 2, and 3-year old. I struggle with mental health issues. Our oldest is special needs, and I am usually coordinating 8 therapists/professionals at a time with him, often while driving to or from a shoot. Not to mention the emotional energy spent grieving each stage of diagnosis and what life could have been for him. (Don’t get me wrong, I love him to bits and know he is special in so many good ways, but grief still needs a space). On top of that it’s all the little things piling up, from groceries to laundry to preschool forms to banking to remembering to eat and text people back and shower occasionally. None of this is bad. It’s just part of family and married life and it’s so draining. To be constantly “ON”.
But maybe other than choosing to not deal with mental health issues and wishing Micah didn’t have special needs so that life was easier for him, I wouldn’t change a thing. All things in life that are good and worth it usually come with an equal dose of “hard”.
The fresh love and weekend adventures and travel and staying up late days have faded. As I write this I have a church event at 7pm tonight and I’m 100% on the fence whether I have a “late night” in me or not. The newness and shininess have gone. But the love is still there. There is a steadiness and familiarity, a safety in it. Like a favourite sweater that has seen better days, but is now worn through with memories.
This season is a hard one. Life is usually never easy – we all have our own things. But I am so happy to be doing it by Nick’s side. This man is 5x the parent I could ever be, and 10x the spouse. He is patient, and loving, and kind. He is the rock to my crazy. (And I am the fire under his butt!). He encourages my dreams purely because they are mine, even when they are not practical. He supports my ambitions. He tempers my mama bear. I still can’t believe that he chose me (because there were at least two other girls “in the running” when we met!). He is one of God’s greatest gifts to me, and I can’t believe we have been married for 10 years already. Here is to another 10, and another after that! I love you, my better half <3.
All images by Natasha Davis of Wildwood Photography. To be honest, she asked me why I wanted photos done and my answer was that I’m too deeply in the trenches to be savouring all the moments and seeing all the love that I know are there, and could she please step behind the lens and show me. Friends, she delivered!