Marriage with Two
Nadae has been the best and most challenging thing that has happened to our family in this season of our lives. While this time around my husband and I had a better handle on dealing with a newborn, we didn’t expect to have as many difficult and taxing conversations.
Don’t get me wrong, we knew things were going to be different and we’d have to make some changes to our dynamic of 3. But the reality of those changes didn’t hit me until we started having the conversations of what our new norm would entail.
For starters, we had to really set appropriate and realistic expectations for each other. Life with two little ones was going to require more of our time and attention. It became even more evident to us how hard things would be when we started reworking our schedules. We wanted to make sure our priorities weren’t compromised - most importantly marriage and family. We had to rethink how we would handle full time jobs and careers, pastor our ministry, pursue our entrepreneurial ventures, keep up with our health goals, and all while not losing “us.”
If I’m being very honest with you, there are more moments than few when I step away from our conversations because I don't want to fold under the pressure of making hard decisions. I've had to consider everything from cutting my hours and giving over some of my ministry responsibilities, to recruiting more help and spending more time at home. (More on this in another post.) Whenever I feel my eyes well up, I tell my husband, “I don’t want to talk about this right now,” and walk away to catch a breath. He knows the conversations can take a tool on me. So he lets me walk away and a few minutes later will come check on me to make sure I'm not having a meltdown. During these moments we just hug in silence for a few and then agree to talk later.
While I can’t say that we have everything figured out (I wish!!), we are both learning that balance is impossible for us. Balance requires an even distribution of our time and energy. It implies that everything in our lives is treated equally. So instead, we have committed to adjust to a new rhythm. A rhythm gives room to develop a pattern that best fits the need of our current situation. It means we can give 100% of ourselves to the things that require our attention on any given day. This also means that we will fall short in other areas on those days, and that’s OK, as long as we don't fall short too many times in a row. Our new rhythm allows us to be fluid and flexible with each other as we ensure that we don’t lose focus of our marriage.
When we were 3, we adapted to our new lifestyle. Now, as a family of 4 and with more responsibilities, we are creating a new rhythm to accommodate everything we have going on. I constantly have to remind myself that if other families have done this, then there is no reason why my family can't adjust. But with any transition, change can be stressful. Just like any rhythmic composition, it takes time to develop a pattern one feels is right. There’s a lot of trial and error, moments of frustration, and moments of excitement. I don’t know where this journey will take us, but I do know that as long as we’re a team, we’ll get there!
To all my married folks, remember that you and your partner are a team. Come what may, you are not each other’s enemy; you are in this together. Stay strong, stay encouraged, and continue to love hard!