Time for Us? You’re kidding, right?

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Whew! When my husband and I married many years ago and combined our families, I knew the road ahead would be filled with lots of challenges. At one time, we had the youngest starting kindergarten and the oldest beginning her college career. My father laughingly refers to our brood as the fabulous five! You heard me, five children and a second marriage for the both of us. Many years later, the nest has thinned. Our oldest daughter is now happily married with a child of her own; yes, hard to believe myself but I am now a grandmother. Our next to oldest child is an R.N. at our local hospital and we are planning her wedding for next spring. The last daughter in line is our child who began classes today at AU as a junior. Our boys follow and started high school last week as a sophomore and junior. Our baby, unbelievably, will be sixteen in March.

Time has a way of slipping by and in the midst of trying to raise five children, all with very demanding extracurricular activities, and working demanding jobs, my husband and I have had to be very creative about making time to spend on us. You would think that as kids get older they become more independent and require less time. Not so! Between motivating two teenagers into getting up in the morning, much less, attending class with a willingness to learn, and moving the traveling junior from duplex to duplex every two semesters, planning a second wedding, not to mention travel soccer; my husband and I “date” to and from various destinations. Pitiful, really but as a team we have found ways to manage.

Stresses such as these put a strain on the healthiest of relationships and we have found that laughter really is the best medicine. Laughter has saved us on many occasions from mortally wounding ☺a rebellious child and has kept us from seriously losing our minds. Our children have been raised wearing clothes directly from the dryer and have been ten minutes late to every event all their lives but have always arrived with positive attitudes and a smile that says, mom and dad were playing again or I would have been here on time.

Research shows that healthy marriages make for healthy children. Time IS fleeting so use it wisely and MAKE the commitment to spend quality experiences with your significant other. Kids listen and learn from your reactions so employ positive techniques to deal with the day to day stresses of your marriage.

Be sure and take advantage of the many resources found on our website, www.alabamamarriage.org. Download a copy of the Alabama Marriage handbook. It is a wonderful tool and one that I wish I had when I began the joyous journey of my blended family. Until next time, laugh long and love always.

Sandy Williams

State Public Awareness Coordinator

Alabama Community Healthy Marriage Initiative

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