Tuesday, September 27, 2011

what's on my mind: where is the love?

I've actually decided to start writing more on my blog.  I did fairly regularly while I was pregnant with Preston, but as my time became limited I slowly but surely have stopped documenting my feelings on here.

Not only do I want to write about and document this time in my life with my sweet family, I find that writing and actually typing the words on the screen help me capture that true emotion I feel right then and there.  So I'm starting a series entitled what's on my mind
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That being said, here goes.  Here's what's on my mind currently:

I'm struggling. I'm struggling with how to balance being a career woman, mommy, and wife at the same time. Here's the problem.  Being a career woman is easy simply because it's not really an option right now.  Bills have to be paid and my son and I need health coverage so a working mom I am.  Being a mommy, well it isn't easy, but it's new and fun and exciting.  Being a wife, well, it seems that has been put on the back burner.  Not intentionally,  but it's not as new, and sometimes especially when trash cans aren't rolled out for pick up it's not near as fun.  Don't get me wrong I adore my husband, but in the process of trying to figure out how to juggle all three roles now it seems that I'm always dropping the ball on my marriage.

I don't like it.  It's important to me to have a solid and secure marriage.  In fact, next to my relationship with my Lord, I think my relationship with my spouse should be the next most important thing in my life followed then by my relationship with my kids.  I want my kids to grow up in a home seeing that their mommy and daddy really love each other not because they just hear us saying that to each other but because they can see that love through our actions.

I knew that maintaining what I feel like is a well-established relationship with my hubby would be a challenge after a baby.  Others have warned me about this, but I thought I had it all figured out. I envisioned routine date nights and heck I even thought we would be planning our first trip sans baby by now (what was I thinking, right?)  Turns out, though, it just isn't as easy as I thought it would be.


Turns out routine date nights cost money since our family members who volunteer to watch Preston live a minimum of a couple hours away.  And about that trip... turns out that I can't imagine leaving Preston overnight yet.  The mere thought of being in a different city than P gives me anxiety.

Preston is the best thing that's ever happened to us as husband and wife and I love him so, but I realize that Mr. Gherkin and I must make time for ourselves as a couple.

So, umm, I get it... a beach trip might now be very realistic right now, but I've got some other ideas in mind.  I've got some date nights in the works (like dinner for my birthday next month and a couple of board game nights planned which we can do after the baby goes to sleep so we don't have to pay a sitter).

What about you?  Do you and your spouse have any special rituals you guys follow to keep the spark alive, the lines of communication open, and to help ensure that your marriage remains a top priority?





23 comments:

Missy said...

So glad you posted this. I am right there with you. We never have a babysitter being so far away from all of our family. Not having those date nights and time alone together definately puts a little strain on the relationship. Definately something we have been trying to work on.
Loves.

Megan {Honey We're Home} said...

I completely understand how you feel. Our son is 18 months old now and I only recently feel that my hubby and I have started reconnecting after "baby". Now that James is a little older, it's easier to leave him to spend some time alone and it's not as exhausting being responsible for him all the time. It's really hard balancing work/baby/hubby/your life. It's hard to give your energy to so many areas. You're going good! Just remember that!

Jillian Vanover said...

My husband and I totally feel the same way. Our kids are 23 months and 9 months, and it definitely takes much more effort to make time "couple time" than it once did. We try to make a point to have a post-bedtime date once a week. We usually end up throwing something on the grill and chatting away on the back patio while the kids are inside snoozing away. As our families live 3 hours away, it's also difficult for us to have a "real" date night, but we try to do that too, as visitation allows (usually every 6-8 weeks or so!). Good luck! :)

Danielle said...

We have the same feelings! I asked around and found a friend of the family to keep as a babysitter even if we just want to go catch a quick dinner. Aside from that, we plan out in home date nights every other weekend, and the most important thing is to have them on our calendar so we don't just say oh we can do this next week. Another little thing we do is turn down the technology, where after 9 pm no phones, Ipads, or computers and if we aren't watching something together we are talking, I think it helps!

Jules said...

Oh my word, it's like you're reading my mind! I feel so sad about the little time I get to spend with Ryan, but honestly don't know when to! We do go on date nights, which is nice, but I even feel like those can be rushed. If you and T ever need a free babysitter, Ryan and I would love to watch Preston! I think he and Bennett would be great buds :)

Cheryl E. said...

Great post. I struggle with the balance every day. It is so hard and I wish you tons of luck. I know I need all the help I can get. Hopefully we both too shall find our balance.

I must say I have let a lot of things go. Like household chores. It was super hard at first but now I love having the extra time with my fam and my own relaxing time. Dishes and vacuuming can wait.

As for my husband and I we are lucky to have grandparents close by so we try and go out at every chance we can. It does make us have a stronger marriage I think instead of getting stuck in a rut. But over all this whole baby and marriage thing is so hard but oh so fun at the same time :)

kristyo15 said...

Amen! Right there with y'all! Football season & Fall picture season doesn't make it any easier, in case you were wondering. :)

Joe's parents are moving here from Dallas next month, maybe we can throw some double dates in! :)

In this wonderful life... said...

I'm glad you are writing what is on your mind! The blog is a good place for it.

I think you are doing an awesome job! I can imagine it is quite a balancing act, but you are doing what is best for you guys and learning as you go! I'm sure Preston and Mr.G agree. I'm guessing the first baby year is all about figuring out how everything works together, how and WHEN. Brent and I want every second with these kids right now, but here in six months I can see us thinking...what about us. So, I'm trying to think about us now...and the babes. Soon, we will be chasing them all over the place and then really worn out...more so than now..somehow, ha.

Happiness Is... said...

I am right there with you. We don't have answers but are working on it. I guess what I am struggling with is that it takes planning. Like, if I want to cook a nice meal, I have to plan that ahead of time - not so easy to make sporadic trips to the store for last minute groceries. Have you read the Five Love Languages? Love that book. I do think it helps to know how your spouse receives love (so there are 5 different ways to give it, if you haven't read it) - at least helps you customize your love. Like if your hubby is a "words of affirmation" kind of guy, you can make a goal of saying one nice thing a day. If he's a "physical touch" guy, one hug/cuddle a day. Etc.

Fast read if you haven't read it and gives you ideas as to how to express love. I think date nights after bedtime are a good idea. For us technology is a pitfall so I think we need to institute hours without computers where we can just talk...all I got for now!

But thank you for being honest. You are not alone. Hard to find your identity as a working mom.

Andrea @ Decorating Cents said...

Life is truly a balancing act right now. Being a good mom, a good wife, and working full time puts a strain on things. Not to mention, I'm trying to add in blogging which takes up time that I really don't have. Put what's important first, your marriage but that's what God created. Your kids will still love you the same. If the kids don't see mommy and daddy love each other, that can ruin everything. Much love to you and yours.

A Big Little Life said...

I'm not married but I just finished writing about my relationship on my blog too. Relationships are hard work. I think as long as you are constantly working on it and trying to make the time for each other--everything will be fine! Game nights sound like such a fun way to have a mini date night. And wine can also be good too ; )

Mom to One said...

Hubby & I work almost opposite schedules, so I definitely understand your challenges.

I'd love to say it gets easier & in some regards it does, but even with a 10 year old I don't want to take a weekend away. As crazy as it sounds, I think we had more time when he was smaller -- he went to bed early (730p or 8p) and we had at least an hour or so before one of us crashed. :)

We've tried to commit to one date night a month - nothing big & fancy - just time together. The key is not overscheduling and making that a priority which means saying "no" to other invitations.

Hubby helps out with chores around the house too at one time I would have felt guilty if he was doing "my" chore - but now I simply APPRECIATE that he sees it needs to be done. Who cares if he doesn't load the dishwasher the same way or sort clothes the way I do?

I agree with Danielle's advice, find technology downtime -- pick a time in the evening were computers/cell phones/TV are off-limits.

Daphne Hope said...

Crazy that you just posted this. I feel like the hubby and I are going through the same thing even though our little E is just now a year. It's been hard, especially since I started working these past few weeks. We are just trying to do what you are thinking...cheap, fun date nights! AND making the most of the time you do have...so no cell phones or interruptions are a must! Good luck!

Perfectly Imperfect said...

We struggle with this big time. In fact, I couldn't even tell you the last "date" we've been on. Sad, but reality. We also don't have family here so we'd have to find a sitter and all and ugh. But I know its important to make the time.

Karinny said...

I'm going through the same thing! Our baby daughter is 8 weeks old and all our time is only dedicated to her. It is so hard to be a super woman. Praying for all of us and our marriages.

Mommyblogger said...

Find a balance is so hard. I think your definitely on the right track though. Even if you can't have date nights out, at least have date nights in. Just schedule time to talk, communication is key.

LAURA@laurasblondemoments said...

LOVE this post and LOVE the part about marriage :) I needed this because lately I have struggled with finding balance as a new mom to a newborn AND toddler and as my husband has already found his "normal" back, I am still struggling to balance my "new" life and give my 2 year old son Ryder attention, while tending to the needs of my 2 week old daughter. There have been days I cry because I haven't spent time with God and there are days I have cried because I'm not back to my "normal" like my husband.

I know in time it all works itself out. I was a working mom with my son, and it was very hard to find balance then too. I have only been a SAHM for the past 3 weeks so it is all new to me too, so again, finding balance is SO.HARD!

Thanks again for being real and love this post :)

Laura
laurasblondemoments.blogspot.com

Lil' K said...

Hi,

I've been reading your blog since my sweet friend Jules (see above comment :) from her) put a prayer request for Sweet P. And I connected to your post today because I feel it too. Our son is almost 3, and I'd say since he was 2, it gets easier to leave him with a sitter. One of our favorite things to do (to feel like real live people again) is to have other couples over and let the kids run and play while we visit. Of course we have to keep an eye on the kids, but it's nice to visit with others and get those toddler legs tired :) But, I do like the idea of movie/games nights after the little one goes to sleep. It's free, intimate, and helps you reconnect!

Thanks for the comfort today :)

emily said...

I can only partially relate since we don't have children, but just wanted to let you know I'm thinking of you!

Paige said...

This is such a wonderful post and I thank you for writing it. I can very much so relate from working odd hours as well as my husbands odd hours as a police officer, things get tough. But even more now that I am on bed rest and I am completely fussy from being house burnt, whenever I read the sign that you posted it just made me smile and remember the wonderful things!

bethxlove said...

We try and have a "movie night" once a week, where we just stay home, cook & well, watch a movie. No Xbox, no laptop, just quality time :) It's stupidly easy, & sounds sily as we're together watching TV every night, but it just seems more special with no distractions! & if you're lucky, an early night too! :) xxx

Kelli said...

Mr. H and I have a special kind of marriage b/c he works in law enforcement, which means nights, weekends & about 70 hrs a week. We tried the whole date night thing until we realized how pricey it can get, the sitter, food for the kids, our food and a movie. It adds up! Now we do our dates at the gym. We drop the kids off at the childcare area and spend two hours talking, encouraging one another and breaking a sweat ;). Another thing is that we can't go to church together so we try to sit down and pray with each other as often as we can.

Keke said...

Can I give all you ladies encouragement...I have been married to my husband 26 yrs, and I too am right were you all are, almost... what do I mean? I was where you are when my children were born, 6mo, 2yrs, 8yrs, 15 yrs, 24 yrs and 25 yrs. Yes it's true, even now that my children are 24 and 25 yrs old our plans are often interupted, sometimes it seems we don't get a minute alone, it's actually harder being a parent of adult children than when they were little believe it or not... yes they are out on their own, both own their own houses, my oldest just had his first child, and actually lives an hr away...but the phone starts ringing at 8 am and often through out the day, recipes, advice or just to unload or to chat, a mom is always a mom and no matter where life takes them they'll always need mom and dad... life is messy, busy, and always crazy, the secret to a long and successful marriage I have learned over the years is making the most of the minutes in btw. The little winks and pecks and pinches. I too did not have the luxery of family to keep the kids, and like most of you couldn't imagine over nighters any way...it all works out, and I know it's so cliche and you've all probably heard it a thousand times but it goes by in a blink. I sigh, just one more squeeze when they were at my knees, one more goodnight prayer, one more tuck in to bed, what I wouldn't give for just one more... the second thing is to have a sense of humor, of course the sense of humor seems to come more easily with age, I think mainly because I don't take things or myself too seriously any more, I've lived long enough to have lived through enough that most everything is ridiculous or funny, so laugh, laugh hard, when your at your wits end and the pressure is too great just let yourself laugh, laugh loud and long and I promise when your done the stressor will have an entirely different perspective. And last the secret is that let neither you nor your husbands give up at the same time...there have been times when I wanted to give up or in or wave the flag, and for my husband the same, but the secret is we both never wanted to at the same time... And you know what? Life is short, it is beautiful, hang on to those you love with all your might, and the next time ten loads of laundry are piling up, the dogs barking, the kids are cranky and your husband just walked in the door, turn on the radio and just dance, because in the end, that's all life is, just a dance... <3