Marriage isn’t for the weak and neither is Parenthood. Within the first six months of being married, Keith and I understood why there were so many divorces and within the first six months of being parents, we could understand why so many may be hesitant to have children. Now, with that being said, we enjoy being married to each other and being parents to Charlotte. However, the work that is involved is one that can not be measured accurately enough.
So, let me first start by saying Charlotte wasn’t an ‘oops’ baby. She was very much intentional and I’m happy that she was. We found out that I was pregnant a little before hitting our six month mark of marriage and she was born shortly after our one year wedding anniversary. When she entered the picture, we were, and often time still are, in awe. To be a parent is such an incredible responsibility and it is safe to say, if you are not intentional about everything concerning your child from the get-go…. well, it would seem as though life can come at you hard and fast.
For the most part, Keith and I have been on the same page and there were a number of issues that we had to go back and forth on to get on the same page.
Being that we didn’t depend on family or friends to take care of our daughter (nor were we ready to leave her for a couple of hours), we did not go on our first date until Charlotte was nearly ten months old. We have learned to find creative ways to have quality time together but it has proven to be a challenge time and time again. We have learned to check-in regularly with each other to ensure that each of our love tanks are as close to full as possible. We’ve hit “empty” a couple of times and that was never a fun ride.
Keith has learned to recognize when I need some time alone after a long day with Charlotte and not interrupt that time. I have learned to let him be a father without nitpicking every step of the way because while I get to have a leg up on knowing her like the back of my hand because I got to stay at home for nearly a year, he is still her father and he also wants only the best for her. My way isn’t the only right way – this alone is a tough pill to swallow at times.
Most importantly, we have learned to listen to understand and not just to reply. We are trying to keep our home filled with peace and harmony because we want Charlotte to grow up knowing that love exists in our home for her and between us. It has been extremely easy to become complacent in our relationship (especially where intimacy is concerned) because we have unintentionally made Charlotte our first priority. We put our needs to the side and realize that this can turn into feeling neglected and unloved by one another.
If we aren’t taking the time we need as a couple, we cannot be at our absolute best for this little girl. We are in the process of breaking negative generational cycles because we want our marriage to thrive. Having a baby goes beyond wearing matching mommy-and-me outfits, owning a luxury stroller or posting cute family photos for whatever social media account tickles your fancy. If you’re already going through it, you’ll know this to be true. If you’re not at this phase yet, you’ll see for yourself one day.
Our marriage took a hit when we had our daughter and it pushed us to get our behaviour and actions together really quickly. We are better as a couple today because of her. We hold ourselves and each other accountable, in a good way, because of her presence in our lives and we wouldn’t have it any other way.
Xx See you all next week! And remember, follow us on Instagram to keep us with us !
Photographer: Jessica Blaine Smith