THE BABIES AREN’T THE ONLY ONES GOING THROUGH THE TERRIBLE TWO’S
It’s no secret. Parenting is hard. Well, so are the terrible two’s. And when you combine that with marriage, you might as well stick a fork in your eye and go to bed, because it feels like death. But it’s not and the good news is despite you thinking when will this horrific phase go away?, it does. P.S. the clock is ticking over here in my household and I’m right here with you. Pass the wine please.
If you’re a parent, you’re probably familiar with the term terrible two’s. From my recollection, sometime ago when my daughter was between the age of 2 and 3, her and I were at the market and somewhere between the cereal aisle and the cookie aisle, I discovered a completely different two year old. She wasn’t like exorcist different, but pushing it. I’d never seen her throw a fit quite like this before. And it was over leaving. Yes, leaving the supermarket. I was a horrible mother for not leaving the supermarket full of fluorescent lighting and apparently cotton candy. She threw herself on those cold dirty floors with a granola bar in hand and screamed there for a good 5 minutes. If you know how long 5 minutes feels in "mom minutes", imagine it being 20. That’s what it feels like in real time. And it fucking sucks. I was mortified. My sweet, little adorable Kona Blue was the epitome of psychotic bratty toddler not getting her way in the supermarket and she was damned if the whole store didn’t know her name. Yeah, that was fun.
Well, imagine two of those. Yeah, I wasn’t even at the grocery store today, I was in my own home with our family of 6 and the tantrum throwing, snot falling, thomas the train throwing was in full effect, in my living room. No audience here except our family and well, let me tell you this. Not only is it a test to your patience in general, it was mind blowing that I didn’t lose my shit entirely. But I didn’t. But I could see it in my husband’s eyes. He was reeling. And not in the sexy cute way.
Marriage is hard. Did I say that already? Ok, well then, marriage is hard. It’s like Organic Chemistry hard. Only harder. And more complicated. More blurred lines. More strange calculations that don’t make any sense until you see the answer and you’re kind of relieved that there actually is an answer because it was impossible to get it after a whole year of studying. Marriage is just that. It’s math and science. And the chemistry just puts it over the top. Because well, ironically if you don’t have chemistry, you don’t graduate marriage. And marriage will suck. And not be sexy. But enough of that, back to complicated.
Imagine two screaming toddlers that scream a lot. When you wake up, when you run out of cheese it’s, when it’s nap time, when it's bed time, when you run out of yogurt, when Netflix is out, you name it. That’s a lot of screaming. And that annoys the shit out of parents. It sucks. It totally sucks. And not all marriages are built alike. Some marriages handle screaming like no biggie. Some want to pull their hair out. And when it’s everyday, some wanna hide and eat ice-cream.
We, the parents, we are kind of like number 3. And here’s the thing. We love those kids more than anything. But when it’s day after day after day, it’s hard to carry on like we did in our pre-kids days. Ya know, lots of kissing, touching, dining, lounging, breakfasting, sexting, sex-ing, wine-ing, relaxing. That was us before 4 kids. And don’t panic, it’s not death. It’s not the end of a marriage. It’s the realization that your patience has to significantly increase or you will die a miserable death. It means, progressive and aggressive efforts towards kindness and grace with each other. It means planning a date night not involving anything or anyone except the two of you. It means having sex like you mean it. And don’t skip this one. No sex can be dangerous and let me tell you, connecting with your partner after you’ve both made it through the shit show of a week and everyone is still alive? Yes, celebrate. Go out with a bang. Yep, I just said that.
I only tell you this because I’m a learning lesson. And by that I mean, I’m the guinea pig for most of my young friends. And especially the singles and the young-ins. You should hear me say a million times a week to these kids, “travel the world and kiss lots of boys please." Trust me, when you’re home with 4 kids in your 40’s, you’ll want to look back and remember.
And listen, I’m no philosopher on life. But I do know this. The magnitude of the beauty within marriage and the family dynamic is more joy than your heart can take. It’s color is vast and the love stuff is tangible. Palpable and always within reach. But keeping yourself in check by offering up grace and forgiveness while being able to sweat the small stuff, (aka the terrible two’s times 2) in the middle of the busiest time of your lives, is not only possible, but the benefits long term, are the moments you’ll look back on and say, we made it. We totally fucking made it babe.
Well, we're close. And we will get there. Cheers marrieds!