Six years ago, I met this really cute, young, engineer guy out at a bar while my girlfriend and I played Jenga and Connect Four. Long story short – we fell in love, had a baby girl, moved, GOT MARRIED, bought a house, and had our baby boy. A little backwards, but nevertheless, we were the quintessential 30-something year old couple – living in the suburbs, with a fenced-in back yard and three dogs. We aren’t exactly “Pinterest-worthy”, but our life is good and we are happy.
Except, I almost forgot “us”.
With two kids in four years, Bryan and I have spent every single day being in stealth PARENTING mode. For those of you with kids you know how this translates. There were days that we didn’t know how we would ever function, let alone keep our children alive. We were exhausted. DRAINED. And living for our kids every need and desire.
We took trips; we went out on date nights occasionally, and most nights we had a glass of wine together as we surfed on our phones or tablets and we laughed a lot about our days and the family we had created. To be honest, we were on auto-pilot. At least I was. I found myself daydreaming about getting in a rental car (of course it had to be a convertible) and driving far, far away to sit on the sand and have the ocean and the sun keep me company for days on end.
I reached the end of my rope a few weeks ago when I told my husband that I needed a weekend alone. He was happy to oblige. While I was away visiting my mom and my sister for a “girls weekend” I realized how far away I had drifted from being a wife. A lover. A FUN person to be around. I had been slaving away for my kids, but what about for me? And for the man who I had vowed to always be there for?
When I returned home, I tearfully shared these thoughts with him. It wasn’t just me who had felt the distance. He admitted that he wanted us to reconnect, but that he never wanted to push me into giving more than I was already giving to the two tiny humans we were raising.
So we made a commitment to REMEMBER each other. We went away that following weekend to attend a wedding. We acted like complete teenagers. Drinking wine, staying up late, making out in random corners, and basically falling back in love with who we were as PEOPLE. NOT AS PARENTS. We talked about our daily communication and how stale it had gotten. Where had the fun photos and texts gone? Where was the urgent kiss upon returning to each other at the end of the day? What happened to focusing on “US”? Because to be honest, without an “US“… we wouldn’t have “THEM“.
Like most moms and dads we get in the habit of saying “Our kids are our world.” or “Our kids are everything.” While that is not an untrue or wrong sentiment to have, I need to remember why they are here. They were created out of love and I want them to be raised with the knowledge that after they leave the nest, their dad and I will still be lovebirds – just as I wish for them to have one day with their chosen loves.
And to MY chosen love – I am so sorry I almost forgot “us”. But in everything forgotten, there is something new-found. I know without a doubt that we will always keep finding new ways to love one another.
How do you keep your marriage or relationship a priority as parents?