Putting my marriage back in the front

I was sitting on my couch the other day, giving approximately 5 million soft, loving kisses to my almost two year old toddler who was snuggling up to me while watching Dora when I looked over at my husband, the one sitting about 5 feet away on his phone.  And I tried to remember the last time that I gave him needless kisses or snuggled up to him just ‘cuz.

Oh right, before Peanut was born, that’s when.

Our days are filled with so much “have to do’s” that we don’t seem to have any room to just “be” anymore.  The house needs constant work.  There is always something to clean, laundry to fold, dishes to wash, dishwasher to unload, meals to be prepared.  We wake up, do things to get ready for the day, wrangle the toddler into daycare appropriate clothing, wash her, brush her teeth, give her the breakfast shake and out the door we go.  We work 8-10 hour workdays and are so exhausted by the end of the day that the mere sight of the couch brings me to longing tears.  But we keep going – there is a toddler to entertain, meals to cook, kitchens to clean, dog to feed, laundry to put away.  By 7:30pm when we’ve kissed the toddler about a bagillion times, read her 3 books, gave her a bath, and put her to bed, we crash.  We get about 2 hours of either catching up on work, personal things, or just plain zoning out.  And I think everyone needs that time to themselves where you just sit back on the couch and zone out into your television set, not exactly sure what it is that you’re watching.  The weekends are worse at times as we attempt to catch up on the chores that we couldn’t get to during the week or find creative ways to entertain and educate the toddler.

So where does that leave our marriage?

Far, far behind, my friends.

Now don’t get me wrong.  I have what I would consider to be a very good marriage.  I love my husband and he loves me.  We make the perfect team when tag-teaming all our chores, baby things, etc.  I’m grateful for him and he for me.  We wouldn’t trade one another for the world and know that our marriage will last.

But what kind of marriage?  The kind where we spend these busy years dazed and busy, running from one thing to the next, constantly fighting against time?

No, no.  That simply won’t do.

Jon and I sat down on Sunday morning over coffee while the toddler was watching her Sunday morning cartoons and happily sipping Pediasure, and we talked about it.  Neither one of us wants our marriage to be left in the dust.  We made a pact to work on putting it back in the front, to dole out at least a third of those kisses to one another, and to spend less time doing all the things that need to be done and more time just being happy.

And since we’re so close to the end of the year (not that I’m waiting to start until January 1), that we’ve decided to make it our New Year’s resolution.   So, you know, I can hold myself accountable and all that other good stuff.

This….circa the month we decided to have Peanut


Comments

  1. I can completely relate to this post. We have a great marriage but we definitely need to make more time for each other. Go on dates, take short trips together. Sometimes I miss those carefree pre-baby days.

  2. Love this post, Kat. So so sooooooooooo true – and so glad you two sat down to talk about it and do something about it. I love that last pic of you two! Focusing on your relationship will be a great gift to Peanut and baby #2…even if it doesn’t seem like there’s time for it right now.

  3. I totally relate to this, too. For us it also took some time and we had to realize we can’t be the couple we were before because we’re not. With Nate, things are now fundamentally different forever. I have to say, out of parenting, the hardest part of it is being a spouse at the same time. I applaud your efforts and willingness to write about it, too.

  4. Yeah…understand too well…though…well, perhaps not as great here.

  5. We’ve been struggling with no longer being able to have a spontaneous date. I feel like my marriage is still doing well, but my house always looks like a bomb went off. It’s such a hard balance.

  6. We don’t have kids yet, but I actually worry about this all the time.

    After we bought and moved into house, housework/chores have doubled (wedding planning doesn’t help either), and we’ve had very similar conversations on how to keep “us” from being overtaken by our to-do list.

    • Any luck figuring that out?

      • It’s a slow process. We mainly set down ground rules, such as having daily dinner at the table, talking (instead of on the couch with the TV on). We also identified things each of us can work on – such as him cleaning more during the week (he goes to bed really late) so that I’m not fussing around with housework as much on the weekends. And for me, it means learning to let go of my cleaning and cooking ideals, and accepting that some chores will need to be pushed off by a week, or two, or even a month…

  7. What a great post! And so completely relative. We struggle with this all of the time in my marriage. I have the most amazing husband ever, but sometimes at the end of the day we almost feel like roomates. Such a difficult balance… :)

  8. Are you living my life? Seriously, I could of written this exact same post. I think its a good idea to be a little more aware of each other – not only is it healthy for our marriages, but also our children. Thanks for this!!

  9. We have friends that do couch time with their kids…when Mom and Dad get home, they sit on the couch and connect for 10 minutes or so while the kids play. No interruptions and the kids have to learn. It shows the kids that Mom and Dad value each other and gives Mom and Dad a few minutes to chat. The parents relationship continues to build, kids feel secure and it shows that Mom and Dad are important to each other and that the world doesnt just revolve around the kids! I have heard of so many couples who focus so much on the kids that they dont even know who their spouse is anymore. Continuing to date each other through the kiddos and making the parents relationship number one is SO important…now if we can just figure out how and when to do that, right!? ha! Love this post!

  10. Such a good point. There’s always so much to do and you’re always so concerned about showering bubba with love it’s soooo easy to forget the other love of your life!

  11. A wonderful post. We don’t have kiddos yet but I am flagging this for when we do ~ I am so scared of letting “us” fall apart, and not realizing it until the babies are out of the house and we don’t know each other anymore. I respect your honesty and wish you guys all the best!!!

  12. We don’t have kids yet but it’s definitely a real concern for when we do. Thanks for sharing – a good reminder for anyone!

  13. somehow I missed this post when you first posted it… I think this is one of your best =) In an interview that Kelly Ripa did years ago she said, “The more you do it, the more you do it.” It’s so true…. the more times we steal kisses as we work through the evenings “chores” the more we want to steal kisses. The more we hold hands as we walk through a parking lot, the more we want to hold hands. It’s hard work, being romantic while being parents with grown up responsibilities…. but it’s the best kind of work!

    PS. thanks for posting this, it solidified what I want one of my New Years Resolutions to be. =)

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  1. [...] marriage and my partner in crime.  We talked it over and both promised to make a bigger effort to put our marriage first again.  And although I can’t say that things are the same as they were before the baby (nor could [...]

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