At the end of the day, it’s easy to let all the stress, exhaustion, and mess of parenthood leave you feeling discouraged. But my beloved grandmother, Ann Polk, says we need to just stop and enjoy. Let go of the things that don’t matter. Besides, she says, you won’t remember what you argued about when it’s all said and done.
Instead of allowing all the chaos to create distance in your marriage, she says to make the most of your time together. She advises couples to think deeply, read books that challenge you spiritually and intellectually, and engage in meaningful conversations with each other. Doing so has allowed her bond with my grandfather to continue growing stronger over the past 67 years.
“We took advantage of being together and never felt emotionally alone,” she says. “We have always had deep personal conversations and they have grown stronger each year. We are more attuned to each other’s thoughts and emotions than when we first began!”
“Most importantly, enjoy now! Realize how happy you are now. I have often thought I was so happy among the chaos of the newborn, toddler, and teen years. But I didn’t realize it then. I would love to be able to go back to the experience of living one day with my babies and know and say, ‘I am so blessed, I am so happy.’ Be happy and know it!”
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Kimberly Carroll is a military spouse, mother of toddlers, and graduate of UNC Chapel Hill. She has a heart for the weary and broken-hearted, holds tightly to her eternal hope in Christ, and values vulnerability over perfection any day. Follow Kimberly on Facebook and her blog as she discusses mental illness, body image, community, faith, and the importance of never giving up.