Romantic relationships are a lot like the clothes in my closet. Stick with me here, I promise it will come together.
When you’re dating, the relationship is like a sexy pair of leather pants: hot, steamy, and a little sweaty. After you’ve been together for a while, the relationship is like a pair of skinny jeans: They feel good most of the time, but you’re a little curious about whether or not they’ll still fit after you put them in the dryer.
Then there’s marriage — ahhh, marriage. Marriage before kids is that trendy T-shirt made from free-trade cotton with an indie rock band logo on it, hugging your curves in all the right ways. It doesn’t just look good on you, it feels good too.
And then there is marriage with kids. Unlike the hipster T-shirt, this is a pair of flannel pajama pants that you put on every single night. They are stained and frayed, and probably a little smelly because you don’t wash them as often as you should, but they have an elastic waist and cute dancing reindeer, and well, they might not look good but they are the absolute favorite article of clothing that you own. They are soft and settle on your hips just right when you pull them on. They are your ass-kicking pants and lounge pants and everything-feels-better-when-you’re-wearing-them pants.
There is marriage. And then there is marriage with kids — reindeer pajama pants with tiny holes in the knees because they are your favorite.
Marriage with kids is spending weeks coordinating a date night, only to spend the evening eating takeout while watching reruns of Parks and Recreation because the babysitter canceled or one of the kids got sick.
Marriage with kids is post-it notes left on the nightstand that say, “I took the kids for donuts so you could sleep in.”
Marriage with kids is scheduled sex and quickies in the bathroom hoping not to get cockblocked by a 5-year-old.
Marriage with kids is reminding him it’s time to shave his back and telling her about that long white chin hair that’s starting to curl.
Marriage with kids is holding hands while watching your daughter’s basketball game and stifling giggles at your son’s school holiday concert.
Marriage with kids is arguments about 529 plans, where to spend the holidays, and how to do new math.