Friday, Oct. 28th.
I was supposed to be leaving for Charleston in a few hours to enjoy some alone time with my husband and some much needed girl time with my favorites from college. Instead I have a husband who has to work and a sick child. I'm bummed, obviously. Sometimes it's hard to focus my feelings. My head gets so full of the everyday that I forget to take a quiet minute to sort through my own thoughts. This morning I need to do that.
Either Tagg or Matthew has been sick literally every single time we've scheduled a weekend together without the kids for the past year. It happened occasionally before that but now it's almost getting comical because it's literally EVERY.SINGLE.TIME. Only it's not funny. I miss my husband.
When they were babies I felt like we learned to dance around them. Conversations started and stopped and restarted over diaper changes and stroller walks and shared eye rolls over dragged out bedtime routines. Dinners together on the couch after we finally broke free of our parenthood for a few hours. We were surrounded by our children almost constantly but still found ways to connect amidst the chaos.
In many ways the long crazy days are growing shorter as our children grow taller. But rather than feel like we're squished into one big family sandwich I feel like we're both standing on opposite sides of the kitchen watching a whirlwind swirl around in between us promising to hang out tomorrow. Arms stretched out toward each other trying to find a way to cross the storm.
I don't mean for that analogy to sound so depressing. But in a way it feels depressing. There is no big elephant in the room or big issue we're struggling to overcome, we're just in this new phase of children not babies and it's hard to navigate. I thought it was hard to hold an adult conversation with a baby crying (and it was, it really and truly was) but like all couples we had a sort of side-step we created; talk (request for more water) talk (she won't play with me) talk (I need to GO POOP!!!! NOW!!!!) talk (that's MINE no its MINE no its MINE....MOOOOMMMY).
I'm finding it even harder when the betimes are getting later and the couch time is getting shorter. Because we're tired. Those interruptions come in the form of sleepover requests from a kindergartner who misses her mommy. She really hasn't seen me all day, how do I turn down that request? My husband hasn't either but he's the adult so he gets told to wait. And it's hard to unload and decompress from your work day when you're constantly interrupted by questions from two small people curiously listening in to ask if that means Daddy is quitting his job or why doesn't his boss like that? Who is Jim? Why did he say that? Why is that bullshit? Om, Mommy what is bullshit? Why does Mommy get to go? I want to go? And on and on and on. It's not that I don't love the smart and inquisitive children I'm raising. And it's not that I don't want to include them in adult conversation. Because I do. I really really really do. I just miss my husband.
And the crazy thing is, on a scale of 1-10, I'd say our relationship is hovering close to 10 status, *for parents, anyway. We're connected and committed and respectful and happy and in love. And yet it's still freaking hard. And I just think it's important to share that. Not every day is a love your spouse challenge and that's okay. Actually it is. Every day is absolutely a love your spouse challenge. Just not the way it appears on Facebook. Every day isn't about celebrating that AH-mazing and fantastic spouse of yours. Wait, you mean your husband doesn't surprise you with spa weekend getaways and massages and flowers on the regular? Dang, I thought I was the only one. Mine takes the trash cans out to the curb every single Monday night. Even when it's raining. That may not be instagram worthy, but it impresses me every week.
So am I worried (okay, and slightly annoyed and stressed) that my kid is sick again? Yes, ma'am. Am I really sad and disappointed I don't get a guaranteed belly-laugh night out with my best girls? Of course. Do I miss my husband? The one who lives with me? Yup.
But I think the real bottom line is that just when I thought I had figured out how to balance being a good wife and a good mother the arena changed and I'm having to work at it again.