Moms, do you make your partner a priority?

If you’re struggling to connect to each other between feedings and diapers, homework and sports take a minute and figure out why you started dating in the first place and get back there. Figure out how and get back there.

After 15 years of dating and almost 9 years into this parenting thing I feel like this is where I feel the most passionate when people say this raising kids thing is hard and its breaking their relationship.

We were a fresh 24 years old when we had Tracen, 23 when we found out we were pregnant. We had just graduated college, and were working internships and each at multiple jobs, trying to navigate this great thing called “post college graduation life” that everyone said would be fucking amazing.

Tracen was born a month early and was in the NICU for 10 days. We hadn’t saved any money up for when I was off work on unpaid maternity leave. In true Chelsea form I just thought we’d figure it out as we went. And we did, but…

That shit can break you.

We brought Trace home and hadn’t taken any parenting classes that they said you should take. I was pumping around the clock and to top it off I got fired from my job 6 weeks after having him.

That shit can break you.

I remember not paying my car payment for a few months because we had other bills to pay. We had some government assistance with food and health care even though we each worked multiple jobs, but it just wasn’t enough.

That shit can break you.

Jerek worked at a bank during the day and also at a pizza place at night, 6 sometimes 7 days a week. At night I brought Tracen to the tanning salon I worked at, or dropped him off at my moms so I could make some money. We were fucking stressed; financially, emotionally and some days like two ships passing in the night. None of our friends had kids. They didn’t understand the struggles we were going through, and I personally felt completely alone and alienated from all my friends.

That shit can break you.

But deep down, we were really happy. We sunbathed in our backyard, cooked meals together, walked the neighborhood pointing out houses we’d wish our first home to look like, had picnics at the park, watched movies, we spent any time we were awake and not working, TOGETHER.

This, this is what didn’t break us.

With little amounts of money and a whole lot of love we got through those hard times as younger parents. We now have solid jobs, are able to pay bills on time, bought a house we’re renovating and can travel with the boys. We are experiencing different struggles in our life but they are different than we did 9 years ago. We are still together because of one thing.

We stayed connected to each other and strive to do so every fucking day.

Having 1 or 5 kids, special needs or not, you MUST find time to connect to each other. For us this is at night. If you watch my Instagram stories you’ll know we end up on the couch almost every night together, usually taking pictures of who passes out first, lately its me. We get set up on the couch and watch a show (or 3!) TOGETHER. I usually work on my computer and we run business ideas by each other. Jerek tells me about amazing flights he found to countries we want to visit and we talk about the plans we’re looking forward to that week. We bullshit about the show we’re watching, things we heard at work or what we should do this summer.

We connect, we dream and we love the shit out of each other.

We purposefully make time for each other not because we have to for the kids but because we want to for us. I really think that’s why we’re still so connected through those beginning years of raising kids, working, running businesses and renovating a house. Our priority is each other so we can be better parents together, always has, always will.