Status Quo by definition means “the current situation : the way things are now.” In many areas of our day to day life “status quo” is comforting, familiar. It’s easy.
I believe this is especially true in marriage, and even more so for couples that have children and experienced first hand the changes that children bring to their lives.
After a new baby arrives there is a new status quo that couples often fall into. My husband and I certainly did. It’s the status quo of “kids come first” and we quickly forget who we were as a couple before we became a family.
Add to this massive life change the twin pillars of sleep deprivation and financial stress – not to mention the fact that you are now responsible for the survival of another human being! – and it’s easy to fall into a routine where our needs as individuals become secondary.
Instead of Kelly I became Mummy. And the truth is I loved my new role. I picked up that motherhood mantle with both hands and freakin’ ran with it. Ran so fast I kind of forgot that there was another adult living this life with me…the man now known as Daddy.
As we navigated through the first few months of parenthood it became hard for both of us to see the people we were in our relationship before we had kids. There were attempts at reclaiming the “couple” we were before we were a “family”. Trips and date nights and the like but everything was just a little different.
We both became comfortable with the ‘status quo’ and it almost led to disaster.
The problems in our marriage and our relationship are so clear to me now – with the advantage of 20-20 hindsight – but we were both blind to them at the time. And the problems we were aware often felt so overwhelming that it was much easier to pretend they weren’t there and carry on with life as if nothing were amiss.
As we found out – you can only avoid these problems for so long. Until they literally burst out of the box you are trying to shove them in and demand your attention.
The past 3 years have taught me a lot about how I got to this place in my life. In the process I have been forced to face a lot of not so great truths about myself. And while that has been a very difficult and sobering process it has also allowed me to find a side of myself I didn’t even know was there. A strong, determined, creative self that was dying to get out.
Letting that side of me out has done so much good for me and – by extension – those around me. And it has also made me more determined to never settle for status quo again.
I made get a little comfy once in a while and let myself relax into some familiar patterns and roles but I now know that there is much more in my life than that.
And even if Mummy might be the most important title I will ever wear – I also know there is much more to me than just that.