May 7, 2010Until Kids Do Us Part
Until Kids Do Us Part
By Cheryl Gochnauer
"I love being an at-home Mom," says Lee, a 30-something with a couple of boys, ages 2 and 5. "I love the rewards of children. But I feel like it will be an eternity before I get my husband back, all to myself.
"We have a very wonderful and solid marriage, but with little ones around, all our conversations are hurried and interrupted." Lee misses quiet walks and spur-of-the-moment getaways, and when she heard some friends were going on an exotic vacation - again - her heart sank. "What I wouldn't give to spend a week all alone with my husband, to savor the joy of being married. I would revel in the opportunity to lay on a beachsomewhere and watch the sun go down, momentarily leaving the cares and worries of life behind."
But she's a stay-at-home Mom. There's no money for exotic vacations. There's hardly enough money for a movie! "People tell me that this time passes quickly, but right now it feels like a life sentence," Lee admits. "I strive to find the joy in the little things that I do to serve my family. And most days I am successful." She still misses quality time with her husband, though.
I'm sure there are lots of women nodding their heads as they read Lee's words. It's easy for our relationships to get off-balance, especially when children are very young. Babies and toddlers are so high maintenance! The good news is, it does get easier as they get older. Preschoolers are easier than toddlers; 6-year-olds are easier than 4-year-olds. The bad news is, it may be MONTHS before the current stage eases.
So what to do? If I can't head to the islands with my lover, what's Plan B?
"Bump time with your husband up on the priority list," suggests Nina, a Canadian stay-at-home Mom. "Keep him in mind as you survey the different areas of your life. Some things about having a busy, young family you can't change, but others you can.
"It's said so much that now it's a clicheacute;, but PLAN IT IN! If you get too caught up in the day to day, you'll never have time to relax, grow, have fun, etc. You know in your heart that if you neglect yourself, you and your family will suffer for it."
"Make sure the kids are getting to bed at a decent hour so that you and your husband have some time together in the evenings." Note Nina's key phrase "decent hour". Wait until you're exhausted, and you slip into a coma instead of into something comfortable.
"Write notes to each other. I tape little notes inside my husband's lunch pail."
Get out of the house and away from the kids. "When you visit relatives, take advantage of it," Nina advises. Let them enjoy the youngsters while you and your spouse go spend some time together.
"Brainstorm with your husband about other ideas such as these that you can incorporate into your life to ease some of the struggles."
Where there's a will, there's a way. Stand still in the swirling storm of diapers, tricycles and Beanie Babies. Look your husband in the eye, tell him you love him, and join forces. You'd be surprised how many creative ideas a motivated couple can develop in carving out time together. And the kids will ultimately benefit, too, as that primary relationship in the home - between husband and wife - is given the nourishment it needs to grow and shine.
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Posted by Staff at 1:56 AM