|photo courtesy of my amazing step-son, Soleil|
When we first got together we had a plan:
1. Crista finish school - check.
2. Enjoy one another for a few years then have kids - no check. And that was my idea!
When I was nearly finished with my Bachelor's degree I got baby fever of nearly 200 degrees (that's hot!) and Bob had to convince me to wrap up my education first. If it had been up to me we would have started making babes that DAY! Thankfully he and I can usually be described as (him) logical and (me) emotional.
So upon revision our plan looked like this:
1. Crista finish school - check.
2. Start having babies - doule check. Get it? Twins... double. Ha!
That plan was easy to follow since I finished school in May, and we found out we were expecting July 4th! Our plan was done, so we created a new one:
1. Have babies at home - half check.
2. Pay cash for the twins' birth, avoid doctors and Hospitals - less of a check.
3. Bob work minimally and Crista stay home with the babes - nope. no check.
Do you see a pattern here?
It seems that whatever we "plan" to do somehow doesn't happen. That makes life hard. When life gets hard it creates stress; not only for the individual, but for everyone around them as well. Parents can use all the help they can get.
Here is my advice on nurturing a marriage and staying together, through the difficult trial that is raising twins (and more):
1. Be Honest
This is number one because it is of the utmost importance. There was a time (okay two) when I had to come clean to my husband, and it almost broke us. Rebounding back from dishonesty twice has been very challenging for us. Why am I broadcasting it to the world? Because I think (and my husband agrees) that it can be helpful to know you're not alone through the toughest mental battles. And in the spirit of being honest, you should know that it's easy to portray life one way with words and photos but we are certainly real, too.
Hmm. Seems easy enough? Yes, it is, when you're in the mood for it. But what if your spouse wants to talk and you don't? Tough. Letting someone know that their feelings are being heard and validated can work miracles for a relationship. Personally I know that when I hear my husband say "you know, maybe you're right, I'll think about that" I instantly feel my tension start to melt away and the wall that I built up starts to come down.
3. Make Time For Intimacy
This is something I struggle with almost daily. Between wiping three butts, breastfeeding, unreliable sleep, new scars and stretch marks and aching mommy joints I just. don't. want to. I've had to be told more than once that even though I may not have the same desires I once did, my husband may (and most likely does) still have his. There are certainly many ways to be intimate so be creative and enjoy each other as best you can. You'll likely find, with time, that some of your same old loving feelings come flooding back and in return intimacy requires less effort.
4. Date Again
No matter the relationship age, amount of kids, demands of mom and dad, it's important to remember to date each other. Keep some of the desire and mystery that once attracted you so strongly. My husband once suggested I think back to when we were dating and trying to "impress" one another for inspiration. It works! If I imagine that I want to win my husband's affection I find it easier to put a little style in my hair, color on my cheeks, and care in my wardrobe which in return sparks our affection once again.
These things have made a difference for us; I hope you find them inspiring, too.