Dating with 8 under foot
When I was out last week someone asked how we do it, assuming she meant parenting I responded with "Somehow it all happens, I use a lot of labels." She laughed but went on to ask about the relationship side of things. Ahhh, that side of things.
Who we marry is not the same person that stands before us 5, 10, 20 years down the road. One of the tricks seems to be getting to know, honestly and openly, the person in front of you now. It doesn't need to be upsetting, it can be a lot of fun. Some subjects are old news, try new subjects, new places. I am no expert yet but I really, really like my husband and look forward to getting to know him more in the next decades to come. As long as he doesn't offer me beer at Oktoberfest.
The reality of busy parents at this phase in life is it is really, really hard to make time for being a couple. Before we had Lucy we met with a spiritual leader we respect. The mother of our babysitter has heard this story many times. Because after meeting with counsel we had a prescription to get out once a week and that required a babysitter!
Part of seeking guidance when 8 was on the way was figuring out how to honestly prioritize time. There simply are not enough hours in the day to accomplish everything so we had to make a game plan and do our best to follow it. Part of that plan was letting go of our worries both job and home and spending time as a couple.
Sheff and I re charge in different ways. Perfect date night for him would be dinner & a sports game. Perfect date night for me would be a game night with close friends or dancing, weddings are the best! So we meet in the middle and try to balance it out. He needs down time and I need to talk things out. We both need to exercise and see this is something we would love to do more of, but with the kids we end up taking turns. Our best dates have been long walks and inexpensive coffee. This is still a work in progress, but a wonderful one!
He has gotten over the fact I don't drink beer (I really, really tried!) And he has accepted the fact that once in a while he has to sit through a very loud night at a bar so I can kick up my heals. I am not a big drinker at all but I love music and dancing, which has been hard as a mother to find places to dance. We both love a little Japanese restaurant in the St Paul wear-house district and anything that involves a new food we have never tried, the spicier the better. I really don't want to talk about building houses and if I share potty training triumphs he will zone out, and that's OK! We also turn to friends, guys nights, girls nights, couples nights. Church events we both love, and it is a wonderful way to be in community and re charge. Time on quiet long walks to pray, go over the week and share a laugh can be a connection to hold us together when stress enters the week. Friends can be the best excuse to try something new & get out of ruts. It is also wonderful to get nights on the books with friends because it makes us get out and we are always so glad we did!