Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Marriage & Kids

Kids literally suck out all of your energy. Energy for doing anything for yourself like reading, watching a TV show, going out with friends, having an enjoyable dinner...

I'm finding more and more that kids are sucking the life out of my marriage. Not that we are having issues, because we're totally fine. In fact, I'm not sure there is a soul on this planet who would understand me after losing Andrew quite like he does. Because he lost Andrew too. We both lost our son. We have a great time in the snippets we do converse with one another, but they're just snippets these days.

As soon as the husband gets home at night, it's like a shift change. I pass him off some of the duties as I tend to others or tend to neglected ones. He grabs a kid-- usually Benjamin-- and takes him to the park, plays with him, heads outside to work on yardwork with him, etc. I care for Claire and/or tend to the house or dinner.

Then it's bath, bed for the kids and bed for us me. He usually stays up a bit longer reading a magazine or something. I just can't afford to forfeit the sleep since it's so sparse these days. The first stretch of the night is the longest for Claire, so I must get some rest myself so I can have enough energy for the littles to suck it out of me the next day.

I miss date nights and romantic walks on the beach. I miss the beach, but that's a whole other blog post. I miss thinking of creative ways to surprise one another and leisurely eating dinner with a few glasses of wine. I miss holding hands and going for bike rides and cuddling on the couch.

With the kids, there's just no time for one another. I could be making a huge generalization here, but it seems that families who live close to involved (as there is a difference) grandparents tend to be a little more carefree, a little less stressed, and have a little more romance in their relationships. I'm not talking anything sexual over here (but go ahead and assume that there's little time for any of that either), just connecting. Having time just to be with one another and enjoy being in love. Surely it's not like the butterfly fluttery days of our dating, engagement and first few years of marriage, but to make new memories and bring us back to when things were simpler and just about the two of us. Before grief.

I know these years are fleeting and I'm not wishing them away. I'm merely writing about the hectic life of families from the inside out. Before kids, this just wasn't something I ever thought about. There is a season for everything. We left a season of just-the-two-of-us and now we're in the season of small children. Soon they will both sleep fully through the night and be weaned from breastmilk and the freedom to be up past 8:30 at night drinking that wine and cuddling on the couch and watching that TV show will be the present season. And then I'll miss those moments when they pass, too. Interesting, this life.

But for now, I miss my husband and know it's okay to miss the past while being excited about the present and the future. Ebb and flow. Ebb and flow.


LookItsJessica said... [Reply to comment]

I feel ya! For us, we are just now getting back to having "us" time and while that is one of the smallest reasons, it does contribute to us delaying having another child. I hope that doesn't sound awful and you know that pregnancy-related fears are the main reason. I'll stop rambling... but I do know how you feel. This season of life is wonderful but there are times that it is comforting to look back to those carefree and romantic weekends before getting up at 5am to microwave an egg for a child on Saturday morning.. :) Hope the week passes quick and hubby is home soon!

Laura Jane said... [Reply to comment]

Yup. It's hard not to be flustered or frustrated or even generally annoyed by the way things are in the here and now. I love having these two living children in my life (and their big brother in heaven) but they are

I kinda miss the days where my boobs weren't being touched by one of the McCannell girls, and yet I would never wish that away either. It's just tricky.

After eleven years together, I'm uncertain how much romance comes in the form of flowers or candlelit dinner. I'm of the impression (or the experience) it's about starring at each other without blinking while the toddler tantrums for Backyardigans viewing, and being able to laugh about it when she's asleep. It's about guzzling that glass of wine while the baby swings away next to us so we can watch a movie and talk. It's picking out the specific pizza you know he would like, rather than the one you would…

Wish we were neighbours. ;)

Brooke said... [Reply to comment]

I love what you said about missing what you had in the past while still enjoying the present and being excited about the future. I feel lucky that we see my parents often enough that David and I can sometimes have "date nights" when they are in town (even if that date takes place at Lowes). It would definitely be easier if we had family in town! These days being close as a couple looks so different--I definitely miss wine with dinner and couch snuggles. But someday we'll miss these days too!

Caroline said... [Reply to comment]

I don't think you're off base at all with the grandparents comment, but like you we don't have the luxury of living near our parents to pawn off the kiddos! I do enjoy the present now, but look forward to the future.

Also, my parents are coming in town next week and my mom specifically said she wants us to plan two date nights while they watch the kids. Thanks to M's work schedule we will be lucky if we get one in, but damn Nana, thanks for the offer - wish ya lived closer!

Amelia said... [Reply to comment]

I remember when G was at some age over 1 and I lamented on Facebook about the fact that if she's awake she Needs One of Us to Attend to Her and if she's asleep life in general takes that time and my husband and I will NEVER EVER WATCH AN ENTIRE MOVIE TOGETHER AGAIN. Another mom who's first born was maybe 18 months older than G agreed, in fact her husband was keeping her son busy just so she could Facebook for a minute. And I was like.... Beyond desolate. Even 18 months out we're still going to be here. Luckily it passes. G can do all kinds of stuff without me now. However I still feel like a jerk washing the tub instead of reading her books. But then I remember it's her own fault for giving up naps because that's when I used to do that stuff. Way to jack with my mental issues kid.

Brie said... [Reply to comment]

You just wrote what I've been feeling but been too afraid to admit. Out here it is just us. And the kids. No family. No outside help. And we too romanticize the thought of having family near to give us nights out together...but in all honesty, we would probably take that opportunity (if provided) to walk the aisles of target aimlessly. Okay, I would walk husband....he'd be off surfing. Anyways, you are not alone. I am not alone...I thank you for your honesty and as you say, this is a season, and it will pass and we will miss it to.

Melissa said... [Reply to comment]

Yes! Yes! Yes! Yes!

This is exactly what I have been feeling lately. I applaud your honesty and the raw truthfulness of this entry. We married our husbands because we love them. We enjoy spending time together. We are a team and a partnership, that means we work well together in running our life...but that also means we miss each other so much. I miss Matt a lot too. This time is fleeting but does leave a mark on our marriages and that is worth noting too.

Nick & Jenny said... [Reply to comment]

Sounds like you both need a responsible teen or college student to wear that toddler out at the park for an earlier bedtime... and who can 'couch' babysit for 1-2h while the kids are sleeping. Here's praying for one on your block!

Nicole said... [Reply to comment]

Your evenings sound so much like what Arthur and I had when Abigail was very young. It was almost like we didn't even see each other, we each just saw the kids, and then passed out for the night (or 2 hours, for me). While the sleep has, very thankfully, gotten better, our relationship is still in a new space. I miss him. I miss us.

Our families each live an hour and a half away from us. In opposite directions. Our parents are great to come and visit, which allows us to go out occasionally. But we are pulled in each direction many weekends. We're close enough that they expect us to come spend the weekend at their houses anytime we're not doing something else. Most weekends, we're not home. And that is becoming exhausting. Am I just being whiney? Maybe, but I'm tired. Like wayyy tired.