First few nights of Eliakim
Having kids leads to many changes in the family. Priorities are realigned. Schedules are adjusted. Preferences likewise change and of course….. the noise level at home will always break its record the month before hehehehe.
Don’t get me wrong though! We love those changes! It may be hard to adjust at times but it was all worth it. We treasure every moment of giggling and cuddling with our kids. The mess around the house caused by our kids can be annoying but it is representative of the “fun” that is ever present in our home. The sight of our boys running around, jumping up and down and laughing out loud fill us with joy every single day.
However….before those changes, before our hampers were filled with toddler (and baby) soiled clothes, before our groceries were filled with lollies and jellyace and before finding a yaya became a real problem tantamount to the issue of inflation.. there were only two members in the family. Yes, there were already giggles and cuddles also but shared with whispers. There were fun moments but spent with romance. There was Mommy and Tatay….less the kids.
I can simply say I love my wife and thus the end of this article. However, she deserves more than that. Words are not even enough to portray the value of her sacrifice for the family. This article will not be sufficient to articulate how much she really meant to me and to our kids. 27 months of her life, her womb served as “shelter” to three Aringay boys. The word sacrifice is an understatement.
BEFORE THERE WERE KIDS, we started to dream of having a family. We got engaged and started to talk about wedding. The ring was very simple and being the “kuripot” that I am, I made it known from the beginning…starting with the ring hahaha. We were resolved to minimise our expenses. Nothing against those who do not mind spending a fortune on weddings. Since we came from families with humble background and we wanted to equate the cost of our wedding in accordance to our real financial condition. Some call it practical but we consider ourselves stingy (I’m “kuripot”, she’s GI = Genuine Ilocana)
BEFORE THERE WERE KIDS, we only have each other. Eating out were for two individuals. Uninterrupted talks was a possibility. We solely have each other’s hands to hold during long walks.
BEFORE THERE WERE KIDS, we had a memorable wedding. The preparation may have been stressful but we were so blessed by the presence of the loved ones and friends who graced our special day. We were overwhelmed with excitement knowing that starting that day, we will be sharing everything together as one flesh.
BEFORE THERE WERE KIDS, planning and going on out of town trips are simpler. Small hand carry bags will do while accomodations are easier to find. A single bed and no frill room can be our place for the night.
BEFORE THERE WERE KIDS, holidays are spent either sleeping all day or visiting relatives. We can just stay at home and be a couch potato. We are not pressured to come up with any new activity to spend the day with because obviously we only have each other to be concerned about…. and sleeping is always the better alternative.
Ramses and Nefertari! Hahahah!
BEFORE THERE WERE KIDS, we can easily commit to any form engagement. We will always have time. We can always make time. We can attend to all ministries in our fellowship and still have time together as a couple. We have lots of time at our disposal that going home late won’t be a problem.
But that was 8 years ago…. Nowadays we have to do our laundry every other day; otherwise our hampers will overflow. Eating out would mean finding restaurants that are kid-friendly. We have a number of little hands to hold (hold really really tight) while strolling (Oh don’t get me started there!). Out of town trips would need to be carefully planned as accommodations must have family rooms. Luggage is filled with diapers, toys and milk organized for easy feeding. Silence at home is a luxury while voices of kids giggling and laughing becomes the norm. Television is always a battle between NBA games and Disney Junior. Dating my wife would normally entail waiting for our kids to fall asleep before going out. We align our schedules to our kids’ schedules.
A lot of the BEFORE THERE WERE KIDS scenario are no longer possible. A lot has changed: priorities, use of our time, our goals and the contents of refrigerator. Our marital life was never the same when the kids came. Our days and nights were never the same when the kids said hello to the world. Our love for each other though remains the same.
I love my wife next to God. I salute her for being a “super woman” by God’s help. She works inside and outside our home. She knows her priorities and always manages to strike a balance between the demands of her profession and motherly duties. Despite having three children, never did she neglect her role as a wife to me. Defying all neuro-science truths about the impossibility of multitasking, my wife even finds time to do her quiet time, to read good books and to disciple other women.
Eliakim in with Nemo and Dory!
Every time I reflect on the hardship of pregnancy , I am amazed at the strength that God gave women. While pregnant with our second child, my wife was being treated of an auto immune disease and her conception was one of the miracles that we experienced as a family. She continues to manage the symptoms of that illness with our third child. Her resilience is admirable. She is way stronger than how others perceive her to be.
Love is intentional… This means that notwithstanding the flaws of your spouse, you just have to set your mind on loving them. My wife may not be perfect but I have no difficulty loving her for whatever flaws she may have. Her traits that are praise worthy so overwhelms those flaws to the extent that she would seem perfect every time I look at her.
Before the kids, it was us. After the kids, it is still us. Our family have increased throughout the years but it does not mean that our love for each other was divided and thus diminished. Love in the family is multiplied. Now we have more reasons to love each other even more. The kids did not take away our affection for each other. Our kids helped us to further realize our God given roles in life.
“Her children arise and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praises her: “Many women do noble things, but you surpass them all.” Proverbs 31:28-29
Before the kids, I love my wife….
After the kids, I love her more….