Every time I walk into the office kitchen I can’t stop staring at this box.
This is our view at the restaurant.
I have a beer in my hand.
The kids (and grown ups alike) are cheering for hermit crab races.
We’re about to have an amazing seafood dinner.
There is a breeze on the patio.
And the singer was belting out Better Than Ezra.
All I can say is I don’t want this vacation (or night) to end.
And now you can judge away.
But if you do you’re wrong.
They shouldn’t be my everything and I’m proud that they’re not.
There are a lot of moms out there that would judge me for not having my entire life revolve around my children. For not making raising them the only priority in my life. For not devoting the entirety of my time and energy into my children. (Please don’t misinterpret this to be that I don’t devote an EXTREME amount of time to my kids, because I do, just not all of it.) For not putting my role as “wife” and “friend” on the backburner while I fill my role as “mom.” For not making “parent” the most important thing that my husband and I share. But I’m quite confident that my husband and I are doing it right.
The other week we asked my in-laws if they could come into town in August and stay with our kids while we went away for the weekend. And the “Sure!” was quickly followed with “You’re going away alone again?”
Yeah, we are. It’s hard with children this young for my husband and I to go away on a full vacation alone for a slew of reasons. So we make it a point every few months to plan a weekend alone. And we’ll probably continue to do so until all of our kids are in college. Because our marriage is the center of our family. And I think that’s the way I think it should be.
My husband and I love our children. I love them more than I even thought was humanly possible before they were born. Those little souls are the world to us. But they’re here on this earth because my husband and I loved each other and wanted to start a family. It all began with the two of us in love and that’s how it’s all going to end.
Our goal in raising our family is to help each of them develop into a strong, confident person who is caring and is going to go out and make a positive difference in the world.
We want them to live. To truly and deeply live. To live more fully than my husband and I are right now.
We want them to be independent and adventurous. To experience many places and things and let those experiences seep into their being and make them an even better, empathetic and more compassionate version of themselves.
We want them to go off to college. To fall in love. To get an education. To have stories and times they can only share with their friends because they’re not the types of things you want to share with your parents. We want them to fail over and over so they learn to pick themselves up and dust themselves off and then keep going.
To raise children that will become the adults we want them to be means that they are going to have to leave us. We want them to. We want them to have a life of their own that has us in their inner circle but doesn’t have us as the epicenter. We want them to be out in the world on their own loving and living their life. After they are grown we want our home to be a place where they are certain they will find acceptance and love and laughter but we also want them to create a home like ours for themselves.
Out of my lifetime, and their lifetime, my children will live with me for 18 years. And do not doubt for one second that I won’t cherish every minute of that time that I have them under my roof or take it for granted. Or devote most of my life during those years to catering to them and for them. Or shed thousands of tears the day they leave my house to really start building their own life. Because I most certainly will.
And do not question if whether in a situation at gunpoint and I had to choose the life of my child over the life of my husband if I would choose the life of my child. Because I would 100 times out of 100. And I know my husband would do the same. I gave life to my children. And I believe it is my responsibility and privilege to protect their well being and safety at any and all costs.
But the 18 years my kids will spend under my roof is about 1/3 of the time my husband and I will be spending together. And our life and success as a family unit is largely dependent on us as a couple, not us as parents.
And that is why our marriage is just as high of a priority as raising our children is. Because ultimately our marriage governs how everything else in our family plays out. It’s why we try to spend so much time together as an entire family- because we like hanging out with each other. It’s why our kids will be able to recognize a healthy relationship from an unhealthy one. It’s why they’ll have the belief that true love can last. It’s why they’ll know that you treat people with kindness and respect. It’s why they’ll know that in an argument if you want someone to listen to what you are saying you don’t raise your voice. It’s why they’ll know that a home should be a safe haven. It’s why they’ll know that they can always count on their family. And it’s why they’ll know that in life for anything to be successful you have to put effort in to it, marriage included.
So that’s why in August my husband and I are going away for the weekend by ourselves, again. Because our family is our entire universe but it revolves around our marriage.
i don’t know if you know this but zana bayne is one of my girl crushes. she is a bad-ass with a super creative spirit and a unique, dark, witchy appeal. i met her once, at nicolette’s birthday party, and got all “omg, i love you,” which was weird. anyway, zana recently expanded her bondage-y leather accessories line to include a peplum belt ($362, as shown above) and it is killing me; i may need to splurge on this one.
The storms that hit the MidAtlantic this weekend left our area with 100+ degree temps and no power. While we were lucky enough to have our power the lack of 9-1-1 service required that pools remained closed.
We solved that problem with a quick trip to the toy store for some slip-n-slides and water toys and rounded the kids up into our front yard.
And while I was taking pictures of our family playing I couldn’t keep my lens from focusing on the almost-2-year-old.
Can we just discuss this chunk?
I eat her up.
i believe in this.