We talk a lot on here about making our kids happy, making ourselves happy, schedules & priorities. But what about making those working dads happy too? Brandy talked about how we appreciate them so much, having that right hand man is so integral to making my day work. But somehow I doubt that a glass of wine and a foot rub is the right type of “thank you, now here let’s spend time together” that my husband is looking for.
So with all.the.things that I have packed into my day, what about the romance? Where does that fit in? Brandee talked about ::giggle:: sex already, I’m talking about all the stuff before the sex.
Truthfully, I’m a lucky lady. My husband is incredibly involved as a dad, arranges his flexible work schedules to fit around mine, encourages me to write because he knows I enjoy it, and still tries to woo me after almost a decade of being together. With three young daughters, our date nights are few and far between. So how do we make sure it’s not just the dates that get the credit for keeping the romance? How do I make time with my husband as part of my schedule…without scheduling it? (gulp)
I want to pat ourselves on the back a little here, if I may. Ryan and I could have put our marriage needs on the back burner in favour of the more pressing concerns of life with three littles. Everyone would nod and say “Oh, they’re so busy. They are such involved parents. They’ll make up for it later.” But I don’t want to do that. I don’t want to look at my husband ten years down the road when our girls don’t require us to get them juice and apples every 30 seconds and say to myself, “…now what did he like to talk about again??…” It’s true that I don’t have a lot of time left over in my day. Once I’m walking through the door after work I’ve got a list of no less than 12 things that need accomplishing before I convince myself to hit the pillow and go to sleep so I can hit restart the next morning. But lucky number 13 on my list is always: Go Sit on the Couch with Ryan.
He watches hockey, I don’t. I write; he doesn’t. Lucky that we live in the time of laptops & Wi-Fi, and that he’s not put off by my ability to type and talk and listen at the same time. I will often hit “save draft” six times in three minutes because while I’m writing, we’ve been chatting about the budget, or Bella’s fieldtrip, our broken furnace, or his employees. During our work days, we text our most random thoughts, our most heated complaints, our lamest jokes. Since we’ve likely spent most of dinner refilling water glasses and reminding Maëlle to please for the love of grilled cheesus SIT DOWN, we use what time we have after the girls have gone to bed to reconnect.
We’re not talking ground-breaking stuff here. I’m not exactly inventing a new way to do marriage-with-kids. But I’m making every effort I can to prove that my marriage, my relationship with my husband, my romantic self is not pushed so far into the background that it goes dark. I’m not making big commitments, not carving out huge chunks of my precious alone time to sit across from my husband and debate the state of world affairs. What I do instead is do my own thing…beside him. Eventually, because we’re compatible, we will connect on something. The scene usually goes a little like this:
Me: ::tee hee, bwahahahaha, oh my::
Him: What’s so funny?
Me: Read this!
…and then we spend the next 10 minutes verbally sparring about a joke or a dumb fact.
Him: (yelling) That wasn’t even a call! What are you, blind?!! He hardly even touched him! Did you see that, hun?
…ok, so that one is kind of a lost cause. I mean, really. REALLY?!
Him: Do they really think that looks good? Wearing their pants hanging halfway off their ass?
Me: Stop judging them, YOU HAD A MOHAWK.
Him: Different story. I looked good.
Me: ::insert maniacal laughter here::
My point is that he doesn’t love all the things I love, but we find things to laugh about, things to debate, and things to discuss, and we don’t put too much pressure on the details. That’s how our romance works. Ryan and I are always talking; it’s where our romance is built. This is where we remember what it was like to date. This is where we reconnect. For us, intimacy goes hand-in-hand with romance. I need to feel like we’re connected, he needs to feel like he’s important. We are and he is, and this is how we prove it. We are both tired, we could have a million excuses for why we couldn’t make the time. No one would blame us. Except us.