I’m a Mommy, but I was a Wife First

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I'm a MommyIt’s no secret that adding kids to a marriage is exciting, wonderful, life changing… and hard. Typically a couple has several years of focusing on just each other before adding to the family, besides the usual dog…aka, the trial run. My husband and I had six years, including our two years of dating, to learn how to be husband and wife before we became daddy and mommy. I’m sure any couple, especially those married for decades, would say that marriage is a constant learning process, and that six years is just the beginning. We learned that lesson very quickly.

Wife pic 2Motherhood has been a dream of mine for as long as I can remember. I always wanted a younger sibling and as a teenager I would daydream about having a family one-day. People have always told me that I would be a great mom and I took that as the best compliment I could receive. As I’ve been deep in motherhood now for two and a half years, it seems that I’ve forgotten what my other dream was for all that time. I wanted to find my partner in life, someone to stand beside me, love me unconditionally and share life’s experiences. I still can’t believe I found this in my husband.

However, I have not been very good at being a wife and a mom. Especially since I’m home with my kids right now, I think about them around the clock and am constantly working to meet their needs. And despite my excellent multi-tasking skills, I have struggled to recognize the needs of my husband. A day will be ending and I’ll look over at him as we fall asleep and realize we haven’t even kissed that day. And the only way I’ve said “I love you” was in the form of a text message. Wife guilt may be as disheartening as mom guilt.

wife pic 3To be clear, my husband does not make me feel bad about this. And we know this is something we both need to work on. We both agree that our children come first, but we also agree that they will only benefit from the two of us maintaining and strengthening our relationship. As unfortunate as it may be, we have to actively work toward this and be cognizant of our actions toward each other. If we’re not, then kids, work, the to-do list and everyday life will easily replace the time we need as a couple.

Recently, we went out of town, just the two of us. We laughed, held hands and of course talked about the kids. But for 36 hours, our main roles were husband and wife. It was the opportunity we desperately needed, and also a reminder that it is crucial to our family that we remain tuned in to each other. When it was just the two of us, this was so easy. Now we have to learn together how to be parents, while we are still very much learning how to be married. Some couples seem to breeze through this adjustment, but I’d say most find themselves in the same position as my husband and I. We are happy, scared, excited, anxious, sometimes angry, many times confused and always overwhelmed. But we fell in love for a reason. We still love each for even more reasons. I’m guilty of having a long day with the kids and snapping at him for not taking out the garbage. He’s guilty of taking the stress of work out on me. But we both will continue to love each other, learning how to do it as parents.

We want our children to see us as a team, a united front and above all, madly in love. We have to put our relationship at the top of the priority list. We have to laugh at the dinner table and hold hands while we watch Mickey Mouse Clubhouse with the kids. We have to recognize, on a daily basis, where our dream started and never take it for granted.

Wife pic 1 View More: http://lauraelainephotography.pass.us/audrey6

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I am a native Cincinnatian and thanks to a lot of moving, I know this city pretty well. I grew up on the Westside, attended Walnut Hills High School, and then headed to Oxford for an education degree at Miami University. After a few years in Hyde Park, my husband and I are settled in Northern Kentucky for the time being. One of the great things about the Cincinnati area is the abundance of wonderful neighborhoods, schools and family friendly activities! My husband, Andrew, and I have a son, Aiden (2) and our baby girl, Audrey. We didn’t exactly plan all of the “A” names, but it allows us to keep our family nickname – the A-Team. I am an elementary school teacher, but am on a leave of absence right now to be home with my kids. My days are filled with entertaining my babies, taking way too many pictures on my phone and changing a lot of diapers. Thanks to recent open-heart surgery, I have an aortic valve that ticks (like a clock!), I have ornithophobia (Google it) and I broke my hip when I was 18 (I will never ice skate again). But, I do love photography on my “real” camera, pretending I’m a good enough chef to have my own cooking show and playing outside. I turned to writing/blogging in order to document my family’s journey to better health and as motivation to keep myself on track. You can read more about my personal journey at www.limkelife.blogspot.com. I look forward to sharing the adventure of motherhood with you!

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