There is partnership, and there is partnership within the walls of parenthood. Both tell very different stories.
Some days, it seems as though the kids are the only thing keeping us together. The cute thing she said, the celebratory milestone reached, a moment which to others seems insignificant, but to us binding, because we appreciate it on a different level. They offer diffusion, our kids. They afford us a reason to try harder, to be kinder, to talk longer, to love better.
Yet some days, our kids are the very thing wedging us apart. A difference of opinion in the raising of them, the competition forged over who knows best, the dog-tiredness of sleepless nights, the jealousy over who is wanted more by them, the blame-game which escalates when things get out of control, the housework which piles up, and more than anything, the freedom that gets squashed beneath the weight of two young souls who need us so much.
Parenthood brings out every issue you harbour within your partnership. Plus some.
Look, it’s hard. It’s so damn hard and the ball is wound so tight you forget what the ends of the string once looked like. You’re stretched like you’ve never been stretched before. There is so little left to give each other by the time your lives use you up that you no longer see or hear each other. Date nights get skipped. Work runs late. Chores never end. Appreciation disappears. Children push buttons. Strings are pulled taut. Things are taken personally. Blame gets administered. Armour goes up. Walls begin.
The strangest thing I’ve noticed, though, is that the very thing which drains our resources and pounds us with pressure – our kids – is the very thing which overrides so many of the issues we have with each other.
Because it’s mighty, to be binded by a shared love. When a tiny moment, a small thing your child does is significant to only the two of you because they are yours. Because you share them. Because you love them in exactly the same way. You share a look and even if ten minutes beforehand you were ignoring each other, you suddenly recognize that all which came before doesn’t really matter in the end.
Because you have this.
You have them.
And though they may be the stepping stones upon which you tread away from each other, they are also the very stones guiding you back.
Because of them, you share a thread that will bind you forever, long after they grow up and leave.
And that is mighty.
When you have brought up kids, there are memories you store directly in your tear ducts. ~Robert Brault