When Your Spouse is Parent
When your spouse is a parent, you enter into a deeper layer of companionship. It is not glamorous, and it is not picture perfect.
It is a season full of ups and downs, of very ecstatic highs and some very sleepy lows.
I once heard it put that it magnifies both the joys and the trials. Both spouses end up feeling and experiencing things with a greater intensity as the crown of "parent" becomes an integral part of who they are.
I thought that parenthood would change so much about me...that it would make me more empathetic, more caring, more selfless. But it really hasn't changed me all that much. I still am the same person, the same woman, the same spouse, but I am now a parent, and it brings out a richer part of my own personality. I am still Theresa, it's just that I am "Mom" now too.
It's been a joyous thing to watch my spouse become "Dad". All the hilarious evenings that we spent dreaming up what having Leo would be like are now our reality. Garrett has experienced his first diaper change, his first solo day of fatherhood, and the first of many interrupted sleeps due to a squeaky little human in the room. I always knew that he would make an excellent parent, but knowing that and experiencing it are two different things, and it has warmed my usually stagnant heart to watch him emerge as Dad.
I love my spouse all the more because he is an expert at rocking a wailing two month old, or when he takes out the trash without asking because I am glued to a nursing babe. I love that my spouse compliments me in my new role, and expresses his admiration at how I am able to juggle the various roles that make up who I am as a person. I love my spouse for becoming a parent with me and for having a kid that reveals and exemplifies the most creative and kickass thing we have done to date: bring a new human being into existence between just us two.
When your spouse is a parent, you find a thousand new reasons to love them.
And even if you end up finding a thousand more ways to be annoyed at them at the same time, the everyday moments of laughter and baby wearing and oohing and ahhing constantly replace the minor annoyances and grievances.
Cardinal Burke said that "there is no greater force against evil in the world than the love of a man and woman in marriage."
It is a fiercely challenging thing at times, but my goodness, this type of diaper-changing, pacifier-searching, don't-wake-the-sleeping-child love is totally worth the hype.