Tigerlilly Quinn: four years

Thursday, 6 December 2012

four years


Yesterday was mine and Tom's fourth anniversary (of getting together, we are not married). This past year has been intense, actually the year before was pretty intense too! We have been through a fair bit over the past couple of years and although this last one has thrown a lot at us I like to think it has made us stronger as a couple. Certainly there have been the bad times, I'm not about to sugar coat this being a parent/relationship thing but there have been some amazing times too.
In the first three months of Wilf's life I pretty much would have fallen apart without Tom's support. When I struggled with breastfeeding, weeping every day, utter exhaustion and everything else that may (or may not!) come with being a new mum..well I just could not have gotten through it without Tom.
I see Tom being the incredible father he is, and know that whatever life throws at us that will always be a constant. It's a pretty incredible feeling watching the love between your child and your partner. The feeling of 'family' is a special one and one that I constant remind myself how lucky I am to experience. 

Whilst this year has seen a big shift in our relationship (no more spontaneous nights out, lie ins, lunch dates and the rest of the things you really didn't appreciate when you had the freedom to do them). We have learnt that the smaller things can make such a big difference. Getting to watch a movie together (at home) or walks out in the park (with wine and cheese!) or just listening to records on a Saturday morning. 

Something I have learnt since navigating a relationship plus a kiddo if that you have to work at it sometimes. I used to think in my naivety that if you loved someone it just came easy all the time, you loved and laughed all the time. I have since discovered this is not the case. Tom can sometimes drive me utterly mad (and I him) but that doesn't mean we love each other any less just because we are not skipping around in fields of daisies all the time and I'm cross at him for leaving the plates on top of the dishwasher and not in the dishwasher for the millionth time ;)
Sleep deprivation does not help ones patience and so in times when I know we are just bickering for the sake of bickering and not much else I try to keep in mind that half an hour later we will just as likely be laughing over something funny Wilf did. 

Here are a few things I try (not always successfully) to maintain and consider when it comes to keeping our relationship a happy one.

The biggest and hardest thing for me is keeping score. I've spoken about this a few times before in regards to sleep competitions (who's tireder? me! no me!). It's one I am so aware of but find the hardest not to fall into that old trap. I try to remember that both are feelings are true and valid, sometimes this works, sometimes not so much ;)

Being each others biggest fan. Remembering what it is you first fell in love with about your partner is a good way to refresh those feelings. Tom is incredibly supportive over my passions (illustration/blogging) he gives me ideas and is always willing to help me do something that probably is a bit silly (for example always taking my picture for my 'what mama wore' posts). Tom enjoys cooking and food programs (a passion I cant share as for a veggie they are rarely inspiring!) but I know that that is his thing and I love that he can get excited over cooking (and that he likes making dinner!).

Being appreciative and not taking things for granted. Tom without fail makes me a cup of tea in bed every morning (sometimes with toast too!) I aways make sure to thank him for it and say it like a really mean it (which I do!). It would be easy just to accept that he does this every day but I want him to know how much it means to me. I also try and thank him for the little things he does that could also be taken for granted (usually just boring old chores) sure they need to be done but its nice to show that you are not being complacent about it.

Sometimes it just helps to look at the bigger picture. As long as you know the love is there then anything else can be worked out. 

A relationship will undoubtedly change once you have had children. My dad once told me 'if you are arguing before you have kids? Then you have no chance!' whilst of course we did argue here and there before we became parents the reality of the emotions (and tiredness) becoming a parent brings it something you cannot be prepared for. Tom has seen me at my absolute worse, both physically and mentally! And me him. When you can show someone that side of you and still be loved and love back then I think you have a good thing going.

Here's to another great year, I love you xxx

13 comments:

CheCiara said...

Happy Anniversary :) Lovely honest post. Wishing you many more happy years together.

Penny'sMamma said...

Wonderful post. I need to stop keeping score. X happy anniversary xxx

sittinginthekitchensink said...

Happy anniversary! Lovely words and so true. I think the trying not to take each other for granted is so key. Our little one had a sick bug recently and it really showed me how much of a team we are. That positive thought will keep me positive during our own sleep deprived bickerings!

Anonymous said...

Happy anniversary and thank you for posting this, I have Ben with my guy coming on 10yrs we have two children 6 and 1 and are currently do the whole "keeping score thing " and I must say I have been guilty of not appreciating the little things and of forgetting why I fell in love with him

This beautiful post has made me stop and think and has prevented a potential argument this evening

Thank u and may u have many more years together

Kyla said...

Awww, this is the sweetest, happy anniversary! These are great tips, for any relationship.

The Sketchbook Artist said...

Happy Anniversary :)! Such a lovely, honest post. I completely agree about how hard it is not to keep score and that it's alot easier to bicker once there's a little one involved. The fact that your relationship has changed but you still love each other is such a great sign as many struggle to see the good when there's so much bickering. You and Tom seem perfect for each other and I have a strong feeling there will be many more anniversary posts to come :).

Honestly Tay said...

Happy Anniversary ! I love your realism and ability to be down to earth. You are a lovely couple and Wilf is amazing! Best wishes :) xxx

fritha strickland said...

@sittinginthekitchensink that is SO true. When ever we have to deal with a real issue like illness or one of us admitting we are not coping we forget all the silliness and just get on with it as a team! x

fritha strickland said...

@anon thanks so much for your message! I'm glad your evening changed to be argument free :) xx

fritha strickland said...

@honestlytay thanks for such a sweet message! xx

fritha strickland said...

@kyla yes! true for all relationships I guess! xx

fritha strickland said...

aww thanks Kim what a lovely thing to say. Glad I'm not the only one re: keeping score! x

Benlovesting said...

Happy 4 years to you two! <3

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