After five years – five years! – of marriage, I’ve had so many thoughts about the special relationship that marriage is. In some ways, time seems to move at astronomical speeds. I can close my eyes and in an instant, I am back at Ithaca College, walking down to the baseball field to watch Ben’s game. I can smell the damp, spring air and in my mind, I’m yearning for the sun to shine on Ithaca’s South Hill. While twelve years have passed since that time, it’s still more familiar than ever. In other ways, time creeps along slowly. In five years, did we really have two kids? How did we move three times? Job changes, home purchases, travel, and family events fill every inch of the past half decade.
To celebrate five years of wedded bliss (it really has been pretty good!), we took a weekend trip to Maine, just us – like the old days. Ben’s parents took care of our pup Dasher while my mom and dad stayed with our kids, and in return we enjoyed 48 hours of alone time. No schedule, no itinerary, no naps (other than our own!), and certainly no diapers. Being away from the busy day-to-day felt surreal. I had that feeling of there being a million kid things I needed to take care of, but in reality we were taking a break to enjoy each other. Gasp!
Something that has been bouncing around in my head lately is the idea that not only does it take a village to raise a child, but it also takes a village to support a marriage. The reason our whole trip was even possible was because of our village.
Ben and I depend on our family, friends, and babysitters (essentially our “village”) to help care for our kids. Most of the time, we really need this help if we are both working. But it dawned on me when planning this anniversary getaway that we needed our village so that we could take care of our marriage. Ben and I got out of town to celebrate us, not to work. We played golf, hiked, and slept in. All the while, our family was caring for our son and daughter. Was the trip a necessity? Not in the same way that going to work is. But to maintain our quality of life and the quality of our relationship, the trip absolutely was a necessity.
When it comes to motherhood and parenting, finding other mom friends provides support and encouragement. The same can be said for marriage. Why not surround yourself with others who will help keep your marriage on track? Just like raising kids, marriage can be challenging so it makes sense to have your village to support you so that you don’t have to navigate the matrimonial waters alone.
With five years of marriage under my belt and being in the throws of raising two young children, I fully believe that we don’t need to tackle this tough stuff alone. But rather with a village, solutions and support and love all abound much more freely.
I’d love to know: do you depend on your “village” to help you take care of your relationships?