Yesterday I celebrated 15 years of beautiful marriage with my husband. Notice that I didn’t say flawless. It hasn’t been. We’ve had our ups and downs, times when we agreed about everything and times when we didn’t. We’ve dealt with scary times with the kids, times that shook us and shaped our faith. You don’t get to 15 years without some struggles, some molding. And, we won’t get to 20, 25, or 50 without more.
Beyond the struggles and often within there is great beauty. There is a union that is unmatched by any other earthly relationship. Yes, including your kids. The only relationship superseding this is the one you have with God…and that union makes this one even better. But, there’s work.
My day yesterday was not unlike most days. I taught school, vacuumed the house, cleaned bathrooms, did a few loads of laundry, made 7 breakfasts, 7 lunches, and several snacks, changed roughly a dozen dirty diapers, and picked up countless toys. I taught character and enforced rules. We worked on manners. We prayed and read the Bible. These are the wonderful and tiring moments that fill my day.
But, yesterday was not just any ordinary day. It was a day to be celebrated. Part of me would have loved to stay in comfy clothes, eat Chinese food with my husband, and call it an early night. Instead, I got all those tasks above done by 3:00, got myself all dolled up, and left the kids with pizza and a sitter so I could go out on the town with my husband.
His day at work had been stressful and I was definitely worn out. It wasn’t the easy choice to go out even though we were so excited. That time together was a precious gift though and is the very work that keeps us so in love 15 years after “I Do.”
Sometimes we pour so much of ourselves into our kids that we forget that a huge part of mothering is balancing our other relationships. It takes work and sometimes the idea of that is so overwhelming, but the results are a beautiful blessing.
The better your relationship with the Lord, the better mom you will be. You will have more energy and patience for those little ones by setting aside time with Him. Taking time out of your day to pray and meditate on His word will bring you a balance in motherhood that is so needed.
I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me. Philippians 4:13
This goes for your husband too. Pouring time into that relationship serves the whole family. Taking time away from the kids to shower your husband with some attention is not only ok, but a blessing to everyone. When my husband gets home from work, all the kids are excited for his attention. We often make them wait a few minutes while we connect, though. They wait in the other room while we talk about our day. When we are done we all hang out together as a family. We aren’t neglecting them, we are setting them up for healthy marriages. We are teaching them that they aren’t always the center of attention and that’s ok.
Last night my husband and I talked, held hands, and laughed so hard. We ate a great dinner and finished all our sentences. We accidentally walked into a film festival and enjoyed a few celebrity sightings. We connected again. We both like to stay in because our plates are full and it’s easier, but oh how great it feels when we push ourselves to get out. It was worth the rush of the day and the time getting ready. It is the payoff of 15 years of pushing through the hard times to find the sweet connection. It is the beauty that comes from putting Christ in the center whether things are going smoothly or crumbling around us. It is the relationship we are blessed with when we love our kids enough to not put them first.
Whether you are a working mom, stay at home mom, homeschooling mom, mom of 2 or mom of 10, life gets busy, tiring, overwhelming. The mess is beautiful but so often draining. It’s ok to feel drained and overwhelmed by your blessings. It’s not an ungrateful heart to admit that all this wonderful life around you takes its toll sometimes.
Don’t let that exhaustion deprive you of your important relationships though. God, husband, kids, and then everyone else is the priority list. Find some time with the Lord each day. It doesn’t have to be first thing in the morning. The Lord knows I am not the person to advocate that. It can be anytime that works for you, but find it and let Him fill you up again.
Make time for your husband too. Put the kids to bed early, play a game, get a babysitter, sit outside on a beautiful night, laugh, and hold each other close. Find the time. It will be so worth it, for you, your husband, and your kids. There is so much beauty in this life, finding the balance just takes a bit of work.
If you enjoyed this post, check out some of Brandy’s other writing…