Things have been busy around these parts lately. Mostly it is my fault. First, I took off to MEET my internet BiFF Alicia for her 30th birthday, which entailed me hopping a flight at 6am (after coming home at 2am from a concert…dumb), and flying 4000km EACH way for a 24 hour stay in her hometown. It was amazing and wonderful and all of those things which make you go squee, but it was also time away from my famiy. Then just 2 short weeks later, I hopped another plane and went just about as far away to attend this little thing, I don’t know if you’ve heard about it – BlogHer? That had me out of town and away from my people for a good 6 days. Fun yes, but all this time away has made me realize 2 things – I absolutely love the family I’ve created, and even when I’m home with my husband I often miss him.
Sure, we share a bed. Sure we share the chores, and pass off who has to deal with what toddler antics today. We often drive to work together, we do the bath time routine together, we eat dinner together. We do a lot of things together, but sometimes the quality of those things is low. It’s not because we lack love, it’s because we can only do so much.
We both work. We work hard. Him even more so than me. He has one of those jobs which technically runs 24/7. Not that he’s expected to attend to it constantly but even when he’s not actively managing it, it’s happening around him. That means he’s thinking about it. And talking about it. And probably dreaming about it. It means he has to check on it frequently, and there is always the potential for something to need his attention. Something that isn’t me.
If work isn’t enough to keep us both distracted, we have the toddler. She’s amazing and wonderful and the light of our lives, but she’s also demanding. She wants ALL the attention ALL the time, and we’re hard pressed not to give it to her. When we all get home from work and school it’s extremely hard to sit back and say, “Sorry hunny, not now, daddy and I are talking.” It’s hard both because we WANT to give her the attention she’s missed from us all day, and because if you’re NOT attending to her, she is shushing you and climbing you and otherwise making any actual conversation between you impossible. I can’t fault her for it, she’s just doing what she does. She wants time with us just as much as we want it with each other, and she’s a kid and her needs, for the most part, rule.
Sometimes I’m jealous of her, of how she’s able to attract all the attention in the house. Not in some sick sort of way, just in the simple fact that I would ALSO like to crawl into my husbands lap and watch my chosen TV show while he stroked my hair. It just can’t happen, not when she’s around anyway. I suppose I could try to throw myself into a heap of tears on the floor until I get my way but I suspect my only reward would be a side eye from the hubs and perhaps a glass of wine (bonus!).
On top of all the working and toddler wrangling (and bathing, feeding, lulling to sleep etc.) there is the house. I’m not even going to talk more about that because we ALL know what that means. Dishes, dusting, lawns to be mowed. These are often things done in tandem for efficiency, which doesn’t lend time to actual adult conversation above “where are the paper towels?” and “what do you think THIS was?”
For shits and giggles, let’s add in social lives. You know, the thing which isn’t work or parenting, which is actually necessary for sanity sake? The hubs is in a band, I have girls nights, 2 of my BFFs live in my computer which also means FaceTime dates and texting marathons. There is just so much going on, it’s hard to find the time to do much more.
So at the end of the day, when we finally sit down to eat together and watch 1 or 2 things on TV, we are both beat. I’m talked out (I’ll pause while you guffaw at the thought I could ever be), and he’s either got work to do or work he should be doing. I am beyond proud of that man for being so important to his company, but to say I’m not a little jealous of the attention it gets would also be a lie. He does what he needs to for our family, and I in no way fault him for that. I just sometimes wish we could put the work talk and wheel turning aside, and just be.
Reality is, you often can’t. Yes we need more date nights (anyone want to babysit?), and yes we take the time to connect as often as we can. The relationship is important to us both, and we do work on it, diligently. When push comes to shove though, that is just MORE work we need to do, and even if we’re both craving it sometimes we just don’t have it in us.
So at home with him at night I perform my usual “I WILL SUFFOCATE YOU WITH MY BODY WHILE YOU SLEEP” routine of wrapping myself around him (solo sleepers BE DAMNED, give me snuggles or give me death!), and I just lay there and think to myself “how is it that we’re here together but I still miss you so much?” And then we get up in the morning, and start all over again.
Photo Credit (homepage): Phoney Nickle via Flickr