The surprising new meaning of renewing your vows after having kids

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Isn’t it true that after we have kids, everything changes – our bodies, how we spend our money, the fact that we have little precious time alone? One of the biggest changes for me is how I relate to my spouse since we’ve had kids. After a long challenging day with my children, I am nostalgic for the old times as a childless couple – those long late nights staying up having intimate conversations (or not talking at all), going on leisurely walks, going out to dinner and watching TV all cozy on the couch. I sometimes wonder how in the heck we filled up all of the crazy amount of free time when kids weren’t in the picture. We had such a great time!

Recently, I was listening to a podcast about saying goodbye: to our stuff, to our old selves, and to unhealthy relationships, and it made me think of my relationship with my husband and how much it has changed over the 15 years we have known each other.

Sometimes I mourn the loss of that early relationship and I wish it could be like those first years again. But wishing for the past doesn’t help us in the present and that thought is not helpful to me now.  In order to focused on the future, I have said goodbye to our old relationship and have opened myself up to redefining our current one. It’s like having a brand new husband if you think about it. One that’s a bit older and more worn in, but is more comfortable. Someone that is a partner in every sense of the word and holds me accountable for my actions and values. He is someone who I have created life with, someone who knows me better than anyone (sometimes even myself) and still loves me unconditionally. He challenges me and helps me to be a better more enlightened person everyday. And that is all new; well at least in the sense that those are the things I love about him most now.

I finally get why people renew their vows. It’s not to only to recommit to each other for life, it’s to celebrate your relationship where it is now and where it will go in the future. You are reborn as husband and wife, saying goodbye to the old couple, and hello to the new. This thought is helpful. This thought is life giving.