I just read an article online entitled “When You’re In The Trenches of Parenting, Sometimes Marriage Feels Like Being Roommates” and wow, is that true or what? The article was written by a man who has 3 kids and has been married for 13 years, and while I have only been married for 4 with one, albeit difficult, child under my belt, I can totally relate. This isn’t a dig at my husband either because I am 99.9% positive he can relate to this too. I think this is just the reality of parenting. Everyone says to go out for date nights and keep the romance alive and make your spouse a priority, but how much easier said than done are these tips?
Eric and I met each other 8 years ago today. I was 21 and he was 27 and we were both way more rested than we are now. I don’t think either one of us was looking to start something serious or even envisioned being a family one day, but eventually that’s where we ended up. There were lots of dates and flowers and fancy gourmet meals along the way. Lots of nights out drinking and dancing. Broadway plays, movies, vacations. Life and love were good.
And now, 2 years into this phase of our life as parents, the gourmet meals are gone and replaced by what he likes to call my dry chicken in a crock pot. Late nights are a thing of the past since we have a kid who wakes up whenever she feels like it, and always before 6:30. Drinking is done more to survive a temper tantrum and less to actually have fun. We don’t go to the movies often because we usually decide we can’t stay awake for them. And if we do go to the movies I usually pick a bad one, like La La Land, and he doesn’t let me forget how much he hates it. “WHY DOES ANYONE HIRE RYAN GOSLING? HE SOUNDS LIKE HE HAS A CONSTANT SINUS INFECTION!” Cute text messages are replaced with things that say, “we’re out of diapers and we need more butt cream.” Or my personal favorite, “can you pick me up some Gatorade?” We have a routine, and this routine can often feel like two roommates doing what they have to do to keep the house in working order and their kid alive.
But I think that anyone with kids, especially young kids, can appreciate that this is just a season of love. FIVE HUNDRED TWENTY FIVE THOUSAND SIX HUNDRED MINUTESSSSS. (Sorry, I had to.) Dealing with little ones is hard and it’s even harder to remember the romance with your spouse when you’re trying to potty train and are saying things like “we don’t lick the walls” on a daily basis. Romance now is when Eric empties the dishwasher for me when I am sure he has forgotten. Or when he picks up extra milk when I forgot we were running low. Or even when he just lays in bed next to me when Charlotte is screaming her fucking head off because she doesn’t want to go to bed and says to me, “why do we have the worst kid?” Because he gets me. We are in this together. And while we don’t always have the time or energy for weekly date nights or even staying up past 8:30 PM on a Sunday to even talk to each other, we still say I love you every night before we go to bed. Even if some nights we are saying it muffled into our pillow, because we are too exhausted to lift our heads up, because our kid is kicking our ass.
So maybe we’ll feel like roommates for a while longer. But it’s comforting to know that is isn’t just us. And eventually the seasons will change.
Happy 8 years of knowing me, Eric. Hope it isn’t too painful. 😉