The point is there will be days, months and seasons of your life when you wish you hadn’t signed up for this marriage, these kids, this job or whatever it is that has you questioning your sanity. It is normal, but trust me when I say it will pass if you let it ride.
Mom sits on the couch while her 3-month-old nuzzles her neck and squirms uncomfortably, trying to find the right spot to sleep.
Her 2-year-old daughter has just bounded out of her baby brother’s room wearing a pair of his pants, which of course look like shorts on her. She is wearing nothing else. Her 5-year-old, normally very independent, is whining to her dad, who is trying to clean up the dinner dishes, because she can’t peel the orange he just gave her.
For a moment, mom and dad's eyes connect. They are looking at each other pleadingly, wishing they could go back to the time before kids when they were just a couple.
Then, suddenly, a peal of laughter interrupts their thoughts. Their 2-year-old, who has now removed her brother’s pants, is running around naked as a jaybird and laughing at herself. Such a sweet reminder of why they had children.
Be careful what you wish for, or you might miss those moments. I recall a time when my children were spread out between the ages of 1 and 10. Most days, the house was unkempt and so were my wife and I. We were just weary from normal household duties. Often during that time, I wished and wished we weren’t in such a hectic pace of life. I wished the kids were older. I wished we didn’t have to deal with so many things.
Then I got my wish. The kids are now mostly out of the house and, of course, I’m wishing I could go back to one of those hectic, crazy days again because they were fun, full of love and there was a good-natured feeling in the air.
The point is there will be days, months and seasons of your life when you wish you hadn’t signed up for this marriage, these kids, this job or whatever it is that has you questioning your sanity. It is normal, but trust me when I say it will pass if you let it ride. It might feel like you are on a roller coaster that never stops but, eventually, it will come to a complete stop and you can get off and rest. For now, just try to enjoy the craziness for what it is: a moment in time.
If you don’t appreciate these times for what they are –– fleeting moments strung together like party lights in the backyard –– they will overwhelm you instead of illuminate you with joy. As a couple with children, find ways to get time alone. Be creative.
I know a young couple who uses points from their credit card to purchase gift cards for dinner. It feels like the dinner is free and they can enjoy their meal guilt-free. There is money to buy a soft drink and appetizer, allowing them to stretch dinner out over a long period of time. It becomes more of an event instead of just dinner.
It's important that you each take time for yourself, too. It can be something inexpensive like reading a book from the library or taking a walk in the woods while enjoying the silence and solitude, even for just a half hour. It might be just the respite you need to get through the day.
It's natural, no matter what stage in life you are, to wish for what you don’t have, but don’t stay there too long. Recognize that every part of life is a gift to be treasured and not wished away.
Dan Seaborn is a non-denominational Christian Evangelist and a published author of such books as "The Necessary Nine: How to Stay Happily Married for Life!" He is the founder of Winning at Home Inc., a ministry that focuses its attention on the relationships between a husband and wife and between parents and their children. He is a staple speaker for Promise Keepers, a Christian Evangelical ministry dedicated to uniting men to become positive influences in the world.