Five words: Have a sense of humor.
In short that is as easy as it can be. Laugh when you feel like crying. Smile when you’re ready to throw up your hands in defeat. And joke about everything.
Cory and I were married seven years before the babies came along, but going from a couple to a family of four defiantly presented stresses that result in frustration, exhaustion, and honestly just missing each other.
I won’t say we never fight. In fact, we do often. But through most (not every) exchanges we are respectful and humorous. Finding the sweetness in my voice again when I haven’t had more than 6 sporadic nights of solid sleep in almost a year sometimes seems impossible. At times I find having Cory home, even though I miss him like crazy when he is away, is more work for me. He does not know our routines. He doesn’t pick up on some of the baby cues I now know by heart, and at times even forgets what I refer to as baby troubleshooting 101 (are they hungry, are they wet, are they tired). We’ve coined these moments with the phrase “unhelping”.
But I don’t want to be the mom that controls so much of baby world that I make Cory feel like he doesn’t belong here as an equal parent. So finding that balance between my way of doing things, and the collaboration that develops our way of doing things essentially requires a sense of humor.
Especially when mutiny is afoot from the underlings.
Cory calls me every day at lunchtime, to tell me he loves me, and for me to brighten his day with whatever baby milestone or mischief was achieved that day. While some mommies may complain about their baby commandeering the laundry basket and unfolding all the clothes, I allow joy to overflow us, at the laughs our two little trouble makers make. This spreads to Cory, when I happily tell him at our lunch time phone call, and whatever stupid stress he is facing can melt away, as he pictures the three loves of his life playing in the clean laundry.
And although the clean laundry is now bundled up in the basket still sitting on the couch as we speak, I am heading to cuddle my sweet husband, laugh with him, and fall asleep smiling in his arms.
Happiness is often a choice. I choose my little family to be my happiness.