Peter and I recently celebrated our 5th wedding anniversary and I couldn’t help but reflect on how wonderful its been. In five years we’ve bought a home, travelled to 4 countries, established our careers as teachers, had hundreds of coffee dates and welcomed our darling daughter Eleanor into the world. Of course, those years have not been without their moments. Juggling work, home and parenthood can be quite the challenge at times! But, we really do make a great team and love doing life together.
Our marriage has changed quite a bit since having our sweet daughter. As we were discussing the other night, it’s not that it’s become any less happy or strong. No, far from it. It has become all the happier and stronger. The joy Eleanor has brought our little family is irreplaceable. It is simply, different. Where once we focused all our energy and attention on each other, it is now channelled towards Ellie. A progression that naturally occurred when she was born.
Sometimes I do find myself reminiscing about our pre-baby days. Craving the spontaneous date nights, uninterrupted conversations and all the romance of dating and engagements and weddings. It seems like moons ago. Just look at this photo of us at our engagement party – we were so young!
Time together now, just Pete and I, has to be planned in advance and being impromptu is a little more difficult. At the end of a long day, once Eleanor is in bed, we sometimes take a moment to ourselves rather than doing something together. Not because we don’t enjoy one other’s company, but because we know time to switch-off is often the best way to re-charge and remain positive for the demands of tomorrow. Romantic gestures are more frequently of the practical kind, like cooking a special meal or cleaning the house. It’s a different season, and it’s okay that loving one another looks different too.
Nurturing my marriage and keeping it strong will always remain a priority for me. I know that when Peter and I are communicating well, feel understood and loved, our home and family are much more peaceful. It is my aim to keep these things close to my heart and mind this year.
- Remembering to laugh together and take time out for things we enjoy.
- Not sweating the small stuff. Being quick to refrain from nagging or nit-picking about inconsequential things or short falls. We are all imperfect and deserve unconditional love.
- Greeting each other warmly. Saying good morning and good night. Giving a hug as we leave and come home. Holding hands while out. Simple gestures that make each other feel acknowledged and important.
- Giving one another ‘me’ time. Space to regularly pursue our passions and interests outside work and home.
- Ensuring we have ‘us’ time, too. Booking in regular coffee dates and date nights – just the two of us.
- Making sure I’m really listening when my husband is having a conversation with me. Not being distracted by my phone or trying to do another task at the same time.
- Avoiding comparisons. Both our roles as a mother and father are equally important and difficult.
- Exercising selflessness daily. Remembering to put each other’s needs before our own.
- Frequently reminding myself of the reasons why I married my husband and all of his endearing characteristics. Being grateful for his companionship every day and realising how blessed we are to have one another.
‘Let the wife make her husband glad to come home, and let him make her sorry to see him leave’. Martin Luther