Do you remember our life before we had children? The years of guilt-free spontaneity soon overcome by never-ending laundry and temper tantrums. It’s hard to draw our minds back to where it all began, but it was then, in our previous lives, where we actually wished for all of this.

As we begin our adult lives, venturing into careers and making plans to create a family of our own, we don’t foresee the future or gear up for the realities of everyday life. Instead we dream. We dream big.

We imagine what beginning our own little tribe will look like and we take comfort in the visions of manicured lawns, smiling children and the white picket fence.

We grow excited at the prospect of two becoming one and waking up next to each other every morning, doe-eyed and full of hope.

Dreams come from hope. Our hopes. The values embedded in our nature, somehow had brought two people together, at just the right time. Our small dreams became bigger. We supported, we encouraged, and we lifted each other to reach those dreams.

I recall sitting down, pregnant with baby number one, folding all the new clothes bought in preparation of his arrival. The warmth that overcame my heart was immeasurable. It was in this moment I could not wait to begin this new chapter. To start living our dream of having a family and, dare I say, I was even excited at the idea of washing teeny, tiny baby clothes on the regular.

Six years and two kids later, we are here. Living our dream. Wine nights have been replaced with drive-thru coffee on the busy school run and candlelit dinners made way for pots of “anything goes” pasta to make it through the week.

It may seem chaotic most days and I often look back and wish I could go back to the person I was before it all began. Motherhood and parenting takes patience, understanding and the willingness to head down the road less travelled, constantly learning and growing, as individuals and as a family.

In the early hours of a Sunday morning, the footsteps that come running into the bedroom to greet us with a good morning cuddle—this is what we wished for.

Cheering our son on during his soccer matches, even though its’ windy and far too early for a Saturday—this is what we wished for.

Our children revel in showing us how they can accomplish the little tasks. From learning to walk to finally figuring out how to whistle through lost baby teeth. Right now, our dream has developed into watching our babies develop and being there for all their firsts. We may cringe as they talk through every possible second of a movie, but we also laugh and admire at how their curiosity to learn about the world around them has encouraged us to keep on learning too.

We took the good, the bad and at times, the ugly, and we made our dream, our family, a reality.

Our house is noisy and although we go through stages where we resemble ships passing in the night, I know this is the life we longed for. Over sunset picnics, where we imagined what our babies would look like and painted pictures of the perfect family home.

We still dream now. We look on to the next chapter and prepare ourselves for what is yet to come. We discuss how we will manage to raise our boys into independent men and begin thinking about how to renovate our home to make room for their growing personalities. Our goals change, our visions become bigger, but our need remains the same. To enjoy the simple instances we have now.

I want us to enjoy all these special moments. The little circumstances that are overlooked as mundane living. These moments make our bigger dreams a possibility and as you sneak in for a little kiss as we pass each other in the hallway, I know there is beauty in living in the dream we have created now.

Mariel Hanna

I am a mama of two young boys with a thirst for writing and sharing my journey of motherhood, living with lupus and inspiring other women to own their dreams.