The Fog of War

Remember what life was like without any kids?  I can almost not imagine how things were before Ella and Pax were born.  I’m not talking about how easy it was to go somewhere without having to pack a diaper bag, stroller, carry on suitcase full of changes of clothes and toys to entertain.  I’m talking about relationships.  You know, your spouse?  It use to be “just the two of us”  before there were three, or four…

Looking at pictures, helps remind me.  Though sometimes it seems like long ago, or when I was a different person.  I am reminded of the love we shared as newlyweds.  Our first apartment.  Our first car.  How we used to wash dishes after dinner and talk or go for walks in the evening to get Rita’s Italian Ice.  Kids come, and we both take on new roles as Mom and Dad, almost without thinking.  Sure, we mourned our old life a little, but I love my kids and wouldn’t change having them for the world!  It’s just that somewhere, it could be easy for Erica and I to lose sight of each other.  I see some people who are empty-nester’s now, and struggling with who they are, and what purpose they serve.  Since, now, of course, they feel they are no longer moms and dads (Yes a dad is always a dad, but after the kids have grown up and moved out, he morphs into almost a peer-dad and is no longer changing diapers or making the house rules and enforcing curfews etc.)

I like to remind myself that the whole goal of parenting is to one day have “Life After Kids” too!  Eventually, if I’ve done my job right, my children will grow up into self supporting, fully functioning adults, and move out on their own to live life away from mommy and daddy.   At that moment I will be alone with my spouse, and I don’t want that silence (I’ve almost forgotten what silence sounds like) to be awkward.  I want it to be a day that we both look forward to.  To spend time together again, talking, sharing life.  Without having to talk over a toddler repeating themselves or a baby who is babbling.  That means that while we are living this crazy life and raising our children, we must not let our marriage disappear in the fog of war that toddlers and infants create (and as they get older, tweens and teens, too!)

Recently, we’ve been turning off the T.V. at night, since that is such a huge time waster.  We have also started spending less time on the computer.  We get more done around the house, and I enjoy doing housework with my wife.  I know it helps her out, and also we get a chance to really talk and connect.  Don’t get me wrong, not every night is a deep discussion, and sometimes we do choose to  veg.  But as we get closer and closer to Ella’s third birthday, I realize time is going by fast.  And before we know it, the kids will be gone we’ll be “just the two of us” again.   I want to do whatever I can to prepare for that day!

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3 Replies to “The Fog of War”

  1. Great post. I think many couples lose their identity as a couple and become the bigger kids in the family. It’s important to maintain the love that brought the family together!
    T

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  2. you’re like my husband. he is always ‘preparing’ for the time when it’s just the two of us. being the second marriage for both of us, we came into it each having our own kids (me 3 and him 1). we do sometimes get time to ourselves when my girls are visiting their dad and husband sends his kid off to his grandma’s, but i’m sure you know what i mean. it’s funny, i think moms are usually the ones who feel more of the ’empty nest’ syndrome. at least dads are there to say, ‘ok, you can do it. time to live your own lives,’ you know what i mean? i’ve already had ‘some’ experience w kids leaving the nest when my oldest moved w my mom and dad after my husband got married and moved to cali. of course, he moved in w us when my mom drove him crazy. when he moved out and back home to vegas for the final time, it was easier. i just hate to see what a hot mess i’ll be when my girls leave. lol :o/

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  3. You are so right. I have come to know too many situations that when the children grow up and leave, the parents find they have nothing in common and really struggle or their marriage ends in divorce – so sad! If you keep focus on Christ and as you said get rid of the time wasters, God will continue to be glorified in your marriage ‘to death do you part’! Praise God for that! ~~ Roxanne
    http://www.eternallyhopeful.wordpress.com

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