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    13 Years and 3 Kids Later…

    Written by: Darcy Nichole 

    “You cannot sit back and hope for a happy marriage, you have to create one.” I just recently read this and couldn’t agree more. Almost 14 years and 3 kids later, I’ve definitely learned a few things about being married. I am by NO MEANS an expert, I can only speak from my experiences and lessons… and there have been MORE than a few. Especially since the boys came. oh man have there been some lessons since those nuggets graced our lives. There have been ups, downs, sides, backs, fronts and everything in between! But at the end of the day, I couldn’t imagine my life with anyone else. Josh actually completes me, and I thank God everyday that we get to choose each other and adventure through it all together.

    This has been one of the biggest lessons I’ve learned. Being married and staying married is a daily choice. Even when you don’t want to choose them, you do. And believe me, there have been times I have wanted to kiss my husband so hard! (ps “kiss” is code for nothing close to that!) And I am sure that he has undoubtedly felt the same about me. I can only imagine. haha! I’m by no means close to perfect, and I can be a bit of a handful… but hey, who doesn’t love that?? In all seriousness, I really have learned that no matter what is going on in our lives, it is a CONSCIOUS choice. And even on the hard days, because let’s be honest everyone has their faults, I try to be mindful and say out loud (even if it’s to myself) how grateful I am that I get to choose this incredible man daily! Like, what??? Sometimes it truly baffles me how lucky I am that I even get this choice. And on the flip side, he chooses ME! Crazy, spazzy, hyper, spitfire, full of energy and passionate… me! I truly hope that I will never forget to be grateful for every day I get to spend with Josh. There is no one else out there I would or could choose. He is it.

    Another lesson that I have learned is what you focus on grows. This is especially important when children are involved. In such a fast paced, technology driven society, it is so easy to get caught up in the day to day. It’s the same grind everyday with work, kids, schedules, bills, meals, and any and every other thing you can think of. In the midst of all of this, it has been somewhat difficult to get out, just the two of us to enjoy some alone time. A huge lesson we learned is to MAKE TIME. I cannot stress how important this is! And I don’t always mean a date night, or random hubs and wife adventure; but even the simple act of putting your phones away after the kids go to bed and just enjoying conversation and laughs. It’s so hard to fit everything in, but prioritizing time with your significant other should be a NON-NEGOTIABLE. One of my favorite things about Josh is how he challenges me mentally. Through conversation, we debate, we agree, we discuss, and we just converse, and it makes a huge difference. It’s SO easy to just sit with each other and watch a movie or read a book or even the scary reality of sitting together but being totally separated on whatever device you have chosen for the night. Being next to someone and actually interacting with them are two totally different things. Put the phones away, shut the TV off, and talk. Or get out when and if you can! That’s it. I can’t tell you what a difference it makes… that feeling when you get to interact on an intimate level with the person that you love. For us, it’s definitely helped keep us close in the chaos that is our daily lives.

    The last thing I really want to touch on seems to be somewhat controversial when I’ve spoken with other married parents. I can only say from my point of view what works for us. You might feel differently, and that is absolutely okay. I try not to judge as parenting and marriage are NOT even close to easy. It takes work and A LOT of effort. So here goes. My children are NOT my number one priority. Go ahead.. I can take it. (: I’ve heard it all when I say this to other parents. I’ve gotten reactions anywhere from gasps to jaw drops to obvious utter disgust.. but my take on this will NEVER change. MY HUSBAND IS MY NUMBER ONE PRIORITY… and always will be. And before you go calling CPS with the idea we are negligent or bad parents, I have to be clear. *wink wink* My husband is MY number one priority.. the boys are OUR number one priority. Does that make sense? I feel so strongly about this for a few reasons. The most important reason is relationship modeling. I want my kids to see how important their dad is to me. I want them to know that he is my priority and we stand together. I want them to see that I make time to choose him first, and in that they learn something priceless. They learn it’s okay and necessary for mom and dad to put each other first. It’s an incredibly important model of love that only you, as parents, can teach them. And as much as you say this or that, they will learn what they live and see. Another reason this philosophy is so incredibly important to me is because as much as I love my boys, they won’t be with us forever. They will grow up, faster than we know, and leave us. They will go out and live their own lives. I actually get emotional, happy and excited when I think of it. They are just starting this crazy thing called life, and for a few years, we get to guide them, and be a safe haven for them. A secure place they can be themselves, whoever that may be. But when they leave, as they will, I do not want to be left living with a stranger. As I said above, it’s SO easy to get lost in the day to day.. and this life goes so incredibly fast. I really don’t want my kids to leave the nest and I am left getting to know my husband all over again. He is my best friend, my partner in this crazy life, and I want to spend it with him! ALL OF IT! So yes, he is my number one priority, and the kids are our number one priority.. together.

    Again, I am not an expert by any means, but I do observe, and listen, and most importantly I ask. I ask couples that have been married for decades their ‘secrets’ and I listen. I observe both successful and unsuccessful marriages. I ask my husband what’s important to him and try my best to honor him as he does me. Every relationship is different, but I can tell you that everyone wants to feel important… especially to someone you have dedicated your life to. Through everything we’ve been through, the ups and downs and all the rest, I know that my lessons about this thing called marriage are not even close to being done. And i’m grateful for that. I want nothing more that to be better, not only for me, but for my amazing husband who pushes himself so hard, daily, to be his best for me and our boys.

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    Photography by: Natalia Cruz

    Romper on Darcy: H&M

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