The dream. Ah, the dream. Is that all it was?
Love sick, love spells, blinded by love, love, love, love.
I swear it happened once. I was almost 21. I know, so young. But that’s when I met him. The man who changed it all. Changed my life. Gave me life. Ignited the fire within me, and made me think of having it all; the dream.
And he gave it to me. He gave it all to me.
I was the bride who didn’t care too much about the logistics of the wedding, but more about the marriage. I just wanted to marry this incredible man. This man that I had the honor of waking up to every morning, rolling over and doing whatever the hell I wanted to him.
The honeymoon was amazing, both after the wedding and the first year of marriage.
We fantasized about a child. Half-me-half him. How romantic.
The fantasy became reality.
Then I went into labor.
And pushed a baby out of my vagina.
(WHAT THE FUCK JUST HAPPENED?)
Once I did that, it’s like I woke up from a love coma. The all-consuming fog had lifted and a new fog had engulfed me. Swallowed me whole and drenched me in what I like to call, “The Life Quake.”
It took a few weeks for the shock to wear off and for me to accept this mom thing as my new normal.
The duo was now a trio, and that was great in some ways. But it kind of sucked ass in other ways.
On one hand, it felt like my whole self was broken: emotionally, mentally, spiritually and physically.
My husband, on the other hand, managed to stay completely the same, even sleeping most nights and eating most meals.
My, how things had changed. All he wanted was a little sex, and all I wanted was a fucking shower.
Life became hard disagreements, resentments, adjustments to change, lack of communication, lack of understanding. I could go on forever.
For the first time, our relationship became hard. It became work.
But we stuck it out.
I railed my emotional points into his head. I beat dead horses on the regular, while he sat in silence and prayed for it to be over soon. We went to bed mad sometimes. I cried alone as I watched my baby sleep. I told him I was unhappy, and didn’t know how much longer I could feel this loneliness.
Was it the hormones? The shock of our new normal? Did I just miss my husband? Was I being selfish?
Yes. All of it.
But we stuck it out.
Once the second kid came along, we felt like old pros. It was nice and fucking terrifying to know what to expect this time around. We corrected a lot of the mistakes we made the first time around, especially with our relationship. And that helped.
But it was still fucking hard!
Again with the breast feeding, diaper changes, the crying baby, and having even less time alone.
I was pretty sure I would never get my libido back no matter how hard I pleaded with my hormones.
The dream didn’t feel so dreamy. It felt like a nightmare some days.
But I often caught glimpses of my husband looking and exuding the same charisma as the man I met when I was almost 21. And those glimpses kept me going. I just hoped he was catching glimpses of the same woman he met, and not just glimpses of my growing ass.
After the infant fog began to lift, and we made a team decision not to have any more kids, I felt relieved. I felt like we were making a choice for us, and not just the kids. We decided to focus on us again and on raising healthy, great children.
We began asking for a lot more help. Not because we needed it, but because we wanted it. We wanted to make time for our marriage. We went on a few small trips, took date nights out alone and with friends. We stayed in and had the house to ourselves. Oh, and I found my libido again. It’s alive and thriving.
But raising our kids is still fucking hard.
I’m the only person my toddler wants at this stage in his life, and that’s kind of sucking the life out of me. I’m finding myself raising a very hard-nosed and witty 7-year-old, and it’s making me crazy.
Don’t get me wrong, it’s the best time of our lives, and we know that. We couldn’t ask for more. Healthy, happy children, and a loving teammate who’s always in each other’s corner.
But it’s still fucking hard.
But we stuck it out, and we will continue to stick it out.
Because we know it will keep getting better. It will keep rewarding us when we least expect it, and we will continue to surprise each other with the fact that no matter how much our lives have changed, we are still the same two people as the first day we met.
And regardless of how fucking hard it is, we are absolutely living the dream, although it’s been redefined over and over.
It’s our dream.
©2015 Alison Chrun, as first published on Scary Mommy