Yesterday, it dawned on me that my little baby, well, not so little anymore, is turning one in a month time. As I looked at him, sleeping soundly in his stroller i realized how much he has grown since I birthed him. Struck by this realization of the inevitability, I couldn't help but cry while sitting across Oliver in a busy cafe.
I know I have written some struggles I faced being a new mom, dealing with Zachary's eczema and just day to day challenges. But in all earnestly, I love being a mum. To me, motherhood is a great gift. I have grown so much being a momma to Zachary. Everyday, I learn a little bit more about Zachary, a little bit more about myself as well as our relationship in retrospect.
I recall one particular night during the earliest days when we had Zachary, Oli and I were up pretty late that night. I must have just put Zachary to sleep. We were sharing a bowl of instant noodle, just catching up on things but, mostly to talk about Zachary. Back then, parenthood was still surreal to us. I remember Oli mentioned something along the line of "I don't know why some people have problems in their marriage after having kids. I mean, there are so much interesting things to talk about." I agreed without thinking further. Fast forward, I could see how having a child or children could put a strain to any relationship. It is a combination of stress, divided attention, unmet expectations and sometimes selfishness that could often result in disappointments and arguments. Oli and I have a fair share of that.
You see, I am the type of person who bottles up everything inside. I don't necessarily say what I feel when I am frustrated or upset over something. However, my action speaks louder. Loud enough that Oli could feel that something was wrong. The problem is more often he does not know what he did or rather did not do. So there i was, angry; I mopped, I scowled, I clinked-clanked the dishes louder than usual, I huffed and I puffed. You get the picture. He, on the other hand, once realised my changed demeanour, left puzzled trying to figure out what he did wrong. It got to a point where our relationship became bitter because I was upset and he was upset because I was upset. It was unhealthy to our marriage. I think the turning point was when we started to actually communicate. I told him "I feel like I had to do everything in this house." to which he told me " I feel like you don't appreciate the things I do." and so, we just started talking from there on, our frustrations and unmet expectations.
In a way, things have improved. Of course, there will still be days we will be upset with the other but we learn from the past, we focus of the things that matters, we forgive and we move forward.
'Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you had a grievance against someone. Forgive as The Lord forgave you'. Colossians 3:13
Times as such, reminds us how much we need God's grace in our marriage and our life in general. When it is so easy and possible to just say Enough and walk out of the door, God's grace pulls us together to forgive and to love. To remind us the covenant we made in our marriage before Him.
'And the God of all grace, who called you to his eternal glory in Christ, after you have suffered a little while, will himself restore you and make you strong, firm and steadfast'. 1 Peter 5:10
So while we celebrate the tears and joy seeing our little baby grow up before our very own eyes into the sweet boy he is becoming, we also celebrate the bad times and good times that made our marriage stronger and our love sweeter.