On my wedding day, if you had told me what my marriage would look like six years down the road, I would've had some serious pity on my future self and questioned the definition of happiness.
While I know that marriage paints a different picture for everyone and is truly unique from couple to couple, we all still seem to buy into the same sappy bullshit upon saying "I do."
You envision butterflies and sunshine as you caress and cuddle your soulmate on a daily basis. Time is endless, you're always happy, and you have all the confidence in the world that you'll handle any stress or complications with ease.
And then you have kids.
Maybe you didn't plan on throwing children into this equation, or maybe you never imagined a life without them, but regardless, here you are... parents. Little humans surround you and dictate your every move, thought, and action. What a life, am I right?
Since I have yet to stumble upon a magic potion or secret that lets me juggle it all while forever romantically embracing my one and only, my life now revolves around tiny tyrants, and let me tell you, it's not for the faint-hearted.
Date nights are sparse and long-forgotten, instead replaced with school conferences and soccer tournaments. Vacations and tropical getaways have been replaced with water parks and whatever family-friendly destination is within driving distance, because it's too f---ing expensive to fly a family of five anywhere.
Even when I do have time to do anything, my body aches to not be touched, and I'm beyond mentally and physically exhausted to even entertain the thought of sex. And after having a few babies, the idea of engaging in any kind of sexual act that once conjured up feelings of passion and intense desire have long been replaced with the simple thought of procreating, to which I say: thanks, but no thanks.
My most recent anniversary was spent nursing my sore nipples back to some life after my newborn beat them into oblivion and stuffing my face with a bag of steamed veggies and chicken wings that had turned cold from being left out too long. When I did finally climb into bed for the evening, instead of reaching for my partner, I made contact with a tiny PAW Patrol figure and a toy T-rex. This is my life now.
Now, while you think I'm probably going to say that I hate all of this, I honestly wouldn't have it any other way. Yes, it's way more difficult than I had imagined it would be when we got married, but I'm so proud of this unbelievably chaotic life. My husband is my rock and partner in life and parenting. Right now, we're battling the roughest years as we support each other and work together to give our children the life they deserve.
Romantic gestures of flowers and gifts are in the distant past, but that doesn't mean we love each other any less. Now, presetting the coffee pot and random surprise Amazon packages are the new "I love you"s.
Gifts like jewellery just don't hold the same value as they once did. My heart is full when I see my husband being an amazing father to our children. Energy and thought are now given to birthday parties and holidays. Our passion lies in hiding Easter baskets and leaving cookies for Santa. Making our children feel special, loved, secure, and comforted — that's our priority.
Maybe one day we'll return to days of having too much time on our hands, but for now, this is us. And I wouldn't trade it for anything in the world.