I wake up to the hum of the blender and squeals of our daughter. As I was catching the last few moments of sleep with the baby, he’s started the day with the big kid. She’s deciding what to wear and can’t find her favorite underwear. I slowly peel myself out of bed, trying to not rouse the baby. With the bedroom door softly closed, I quickly trudge downstairs to assure my daughter that her “day” underwear—as she calls it—is in the dryer. It’s not long before the hustle of the morning takes over. Somewhere in the middle of making breakfast, navigating big feelings, and changing diapers, I take my first sip of coffee. The one he was blending for me before my feet hit the ground this morning. A faint smile crosses my face.
During this season, our love isn’t effortless. Everything takes planning. With a preschooler and a new baby, much of the day seems transactional—discussing the logistics and executing the next task at hand.
“When did he last eat?”
“Did she nap today?”
“Do you want to do the dishes or the bath?”
“What can’t go in the dryer?”
“Who’s bringing her to ski this week?”
“Did you serve a fruit with snack?”
This back-and-forth continues throughout the day, making sure our little people are well cared for and well loved. Most days we are flopping into exhausted heaps on the couch by 8pm.
I think back to September 2017, just a month shy of celebrating our first wedding anniversary. We were in Iceland enjoying breathtaking scenery and lots of happy hours. The logistics were very different then—pack our own bags and make sure we got to the airport on time. It was our second big trip that year after spending two weeks in Hawaii on our honeymoon. Our vacation days were the perfect mix of relaxation and adventure. At home, our careers were off-the-ground and we had settled into married life (which, admittedly, wasn’t all that different for us). Life, and love, felt easy.
I really loved those days, but the thing is, I really love these ones too.
There are many seasons of love and we decided long ago that we are committed to all of them. Back then, it was carefree traveling, cheering each other on at CrossFit competitions, and weekly dinners out at a restaurant. It was a time to pour completely into one another, neither of us having many other obligations than work and our hobbies.
Now, almost four years into parenting (two of them during a pandemic), it’s my morning cup of coffee. It’s the lunch date that requires childcare, a pumped bottle of milk, and passing the baby back-and-forth as we get ready, but is oh so worth it for an afternoon cocktail and adult conversation. It’s watching in awe as our kids start to form a sibling relationship, hit a new milestone, or otherwise do something utterly adorable, but still sharing a joint sigh of relief when they are both asleep at the same time. Sometimes, since it is 2022 after all, it’s laughing at the same meme. It’s reminding each other in these little moments that the spark is still there under the sleepless nights and physical demands of young parenthood.
The thing about seasons is they always come back around. There will be a time for uninterrupted mornings, big travel, and more time for pursing our hobbies alongside one another. But, for now, I’ll take my morning cup of coffee.
This post is part of a blog hop with Exhale—an online community of women pursuing creativity alongside motherhood, led by the writing team behind Coffee + Crumbs. Click here to view the next post in the series “Love Looks Like”.