Free shipping on all orders over $75🎄

It was a little past 4 p.m. and I had been laboring for a while. Despite the magnitude of the moment, the room felt calm.

I was the only pregnant mother admitted on a slow day on the labor and delivery floor. The lights were dim and there were moments that only the meditative sound of the beeping monitor could be heard. My sister and husband brought a familiar comfort to the air with their presence, and my nurse was a pillar of steadiness as she perfectly cared for me and my soon-to-be-born baby girl.

I was comfortable physically thanks to whoever invented the epidural, and even felt centered mentally and spiritually despite being on the brink of one of the biggest moments of my life.

Eventually, the doctor entered the room, and her words, “It’s time to push” suddenly sprang a leak in my haven of peacefulness, and the chaos of emotions came flooding in.

Fear. Nervousness. Uncertainty. Discomfort. Dizziness.

Sensing my anxiety, my husband immediately put his hand on my arm. I turned up to look at him, and in an instant, the emotion-tornado that had just entered the room left as quick as it came in.

As a nurse and doctor routinely moved things around and prepped the room for a new little life to enter it, he and I just kept looking at each other.

Tears in our eyes, we knew this was the last time we’d look at each other as “just” husband and wife. We were about to be parents. I saw the love in his eyes, and the calm in my heart told me that whatever was to come, I was going to be OK knowing he was at my side. 

I cry every time I see the image my sister captured of that moment. 

I fell in love with him the first time I saw him because he looked at me with this same kind of compassion, and I’ve stayed in love with him for all of the times he’s looked at me like that ever since.

His eyes are home to me.

Today, we are seven years and three kids away from that moment . . . and frankly, these look-in-the-eye-and-love-each-other moments aren’t as frequent as they should be.

Because while we’ve fallen deeper in love, we’ve also had to fight to get to know each other again. While we’ve celebrated each other’s greatest achievements, we’ve also struggled through each other’s low moments. While we’ve gone dancing for hours, we’ve also looked across the date night dinner table and wondered where the passion has gone. While we’ve exchanged “we’re so lucky” glances across a king bed with three little bodies snuggled between us, we’ve also fallen asleep with our backs to each other. While we’ve danced in the kitchen, we’ve also leaned against the counters in that room for hours sorting out an argument.

When we are at the core of who we are—looking at each other in the eyes and reminding the other one that we’ve got them—there’s a calm in the room.

When we let the flood gates to open and allow stress, work, exhaustion, distrust seep in—we allow chaos to overcome the steadiness of who we are.

And we simply forget that sometimes all it takes is to stop and SEE each other in order to keep those things at bay.

This week, we had a spat over the morning routine with the kids. We each gave our view of the situation, we got defensive and we got angry. When neither of us knew what else to say, we stared at each other in silence.

And I saw his eyes.

The same ones that looked over me right before I became a mom, and the same ones that I have neglected to connect with enough in the weeks prior. 

It was all I needed in that moment to remind me of who we are at our core, which is not a couple who fights over a schedule, but a couple who acts as a team and gives each other grace.

I think he felt it, too. His shoulders relaxed as my mood softened. We agreed to communicate better. We each shared what was “really” going on in our minds that caused this to become a more stressful situation than it needed to be.

Marriage is hard.

Even when you know you couldn’t be with someone more perfect than the one who wears your ring, there are so many moments when the dam breaks and your connection is rocked.

It’s why it’s so important to identify what stops the flood.

For us, it’s simply seeing each other. It’s not putting our head down as we pass in the hallway, or barely seeing each other’s faces as we go through the motions of taking care of the kids. 

It’s about looking each other in the eyes. It’s letting the other one see the compassion. It’s reminding each other that no matter what chaos is in the room, we are steady if we are both in it together.

You may also like:

To My Husband: Thank You For Being A Great Man

Dear Husband, When I Forget To See You

Marriage is Worth the Hard Parts

Husband, I Love You More

So God Made a Mother book by Leslie Means

If you liked this, you'll love our new book, SO GOD MADE A MOTHER available now!

Order Now

Brea Schmidt

Brea Schmidt is a writer, speaker and photographer who aims to generate authentic conversation about motherhood and daily life on her blog, The Thinking Branch. Through her work, she aims to empower people to overcome their fears and insecurities and live their truth. She and her husband raise their three children in Pittsburgh, PA.

Marriage Is Too Short to Fight over Trash Bags

In: Marriage
Man hugging woman in front of a window

It was a Sunday, and we had just returned from a hospital stay with our medically complex daughter. We needed a reset—one of those “all house chores get tackled in a day” type of resets. We needed a fresh start. Around mid-day, my husband Josh and I were both in full cleaning mode. The morning had been chaotic. Our daughter was struggling with seizures, and our son was still buzzing with excitement from two birthday parties he had attended the day before. As he begged for the banana bread in the oven to cook faster and for more episodes of...

Keep Reading

Your Husband Needs Friendship Too

In: Faith, Friendship, Marriage
3 men smiling outside

As the clock inches closer to 7:00 on a Monday evening, I pull out whatever dessert I had prepared that week and set it out on the kitchen counter. This particular week it’s a trifle, but other weeks it may be brownies, pound cake, or cookies of some kind. My eyes do one last sweep to make sure there isn’t a tripping hazard disguised as a dog toy on the floor and that the leftover dinner is put away. Then, my kids and I make ourselves scarce. Sometimes that involves library runs or gym visits, but it mostly looks like...

Keep Reading

Dear Husband, Some Days I Feel So Alone

In: Marriage, Motherhood
Woman holding toddler looking tired

Dear my love, I am sitting here at the table you built, back when time was plentiful, and money was sparse. Back when pre-drinks were always at our place, loving sleep-ins were abundant, and the days were our own. I wonder . . . back then, what we might have imagined our life would look like, 10 years later? Would we have pictured the white picket fence, the curly, fair-haired, sensitive little boy and cheeky little girl? We probably would have imagined that we would be hard working, but would we have pictured the deep-set exhaustion that is our day-to-day...

Keep Reading

I Never Thought I’d be Divorced…Twice

In: Living, Marriage
Woman walking away on boardwalk alone

Divorced. I never thought it’d be me. Especially twice divorced. Yet, here I am, single again after two failed marriages. I say failed because the marriages didn’t last. But were they really failures? Failure is defined as a “lack of success.” But by what yardstick is success measured? I know plenty of people in absolutely miserable marriages that I would not consider successful. So is it really fair to call my two marriages failures? I guess it depends on who you ask and what they see as a failure versus a success. Just because a marriage is legally intact doesn’t...

Keep Reading

Marriage Is So Much More than Love

In: Marriage
Husband and wife hugging, color photo

I met my husband when I was 19. I knew right away there was something there. I was intrigued by him—his looks, his smile, his big heart, his mysterious side. He was unapologetically himself. He listened to his music a little too loud, did his own thing, didn’t try to impress my parents, and lived his life on his own terms. With his hat backward, those big blue eyes, and that mischievous grin . . . I fell hook, line, and sinker. I loved the fact that he had his own house, his own boat, his own life. I was...

Keep Reading

Look for the Green Flags Too

In: Marriage
Couple hugs with twinkle lights in background

We all think we want that storybook romance. We want a partner to sweep into our lives, sing love songs outside of our bedroom window, buy huge bouquets of flowers for no particular reason, publicly declare their love for us every day, and when they’re wrong they should always apologize into a microphone in front of a large crowd. Besides the fact that most of the above are clues that Prince Charming is actually an undercover narcissist and you should probably run far away, this kind of romance sounds rather exhausting. Sure, it sounds fun for a while, but there’s...

Keep Reading

Dear Husband, I Remember It All

In: Marriage
Man and woman touch foreheads and smile

Dear husband,  I remember when we were dating in high school, all snuggled up sitting on the couch by the fire in your parents’ basement, talking about our hopes and dreams for our future. We both hoped to be in each other’s future. I remember going on so many adventures. All the laughs, the jokes, all the times we got into trouble and said, “This will make a great story afterward.” I remember when you asked me to marry you. We were so young, so naive with no idea of what the future would hold, but we couldn’t have been...

Keep Reading

What Happens When Your Perfect Life Explodes?

In: Grief, Living, Loss, Marriage, Motherhood
Sad woman by window with her head in hands

One day you’re living your best life, writing articles about how perfect your marriage is, and the next, BOOM, life as you know it completely changes. I was blindsided by information that my husband had been lying to me for three years about certain aspects of our lives. I felt like I had been hit in the gut by the biggest rock you could imagine. What has followed has been a snowball of events and new information that has changed the course of my and my kids’ lives. So what do you do when your perfect explodes? This is one...

Keep Reading

Dear Husband, In This Busy Season

In: Living, Marriage
Busy family in the kitchen, man walking into the door holding coffee

Dear husband,  I know this is a busy season for you. I see how hard you’re working. And I know you come home exhausted every night. I know you’d be here earlier—and more often—if you could. But you can’t. Because this is your busy season.  And there are a few things I need you to know.  This is hard for me too. Even on normal days, I’m on call 24/7 for the kids, but now, I don’t have you at home as backup. The needing never stops, and I no longer have you to share it with. I can’t say,...

Keep Reading

Attention Husbands, Your Wife Needs Your Touch

In: Marriage
Man kissing woman on forehead

Attention husbands, Your wife needs your touch. And I’m not just talking about sex, though she needs that too, I’m talking about intimacy beyond the bedroom. I’m talking about reaching for her hand while you’re driving. Holding her hand and walking closely in public. Cuddling on the couch while watching TV. Pulling her close and kissing her passionately when she least expects it. Wrapping your arms around her and holding her just for the sake of being close with no other expectations. Pushing the hair back out of her eyes just so you can touch her face.  RELATED: The Key to...

Keep Reading