So, I'm just going to be honest and say that our life can be really hard at times. If you've been following our journey on my blog, I'm sure this comes as no surprise. It is a known fact that caring for children with complex needs can take an emotional and physical toll on parents - and I'm sure that when people make statements like that, they are talking about caring for one child with extra challenges. We have three.
Our days and nights are consumed with caregiving and meeting the needs of our children. It is a full-time job for both Andrew and I, and it can be exhausting, as you can imagine. While we recognize the importance of taking care of ourselves (both individually, and as a couple), the time to do so just doesn't always present itself, and it is easy to let it slip. Without time to devote to our relationship, we have found ourselves on more than one occasion feeling like we are merely tag teaming as caregivers, and this is not how we want to exist.
One day last week, we arranged it so that we had a couple of hours to ourselves and we were quick to take advantage of that time alone together. We grabbed our sunscreen and sandals, and headed to the beach! Worsley Park is a beautiful little spot right on the ocean's edge in Chamberlains, CBS. Andrew and I used to go here quite a bit when we first got together. We would hike the trails and take in the breathtaking views of Conception Bay, daydreaming about our future and how we would spend our life together. We even had our eye on a house out this way, but we ended up building a better one.
When I take a step back and put things in perspective, I guess I could say the same for the life we had imagined - we built a better one! Though it seems really tough at times, and there are many nights where we don't sleep, and there are days that it seems we will barely make it through, as we look into each other's tired eyes, I know that there is no one else either of us would want to be this exhausted with.
While walking along the rocky shore, I said "Let's find a heart-shaped rock!", then took two steps and looked down to see this:
Andrew and I had a wonderful day together. It's amazing what a couple of hours to ourselves can do for our relationship, our mental health, and our overall outlook and attitude going forward. It really doesn't take much. After an hour or two breathing in some salt sea air and getting our feet wet in the cold North Atlantic, we were rejuvenated and ready to head home to our kiddies.
Our lives are busy, and the challenges we face with each of our children can be a lot to manage at times, but we are well equipped to handle whatever comes our way. Knowing that we have each other is what makes it all possible, and though they are few and far between, these opportunities to reconnect and spend a little time alone together are good not just for us, but for our whole family.
"Being deeply loved by someone gives you strength, while loving someone deeply gives you courage." -Lao Tzu
We need both of these things, and fortunately, we have an abundance of both, made stronger by our love for each other.