Pre-kids, my husband and I would:
---Sleep in on Saturday mornings.
---Eat at a restaurant at a leisurely pace.
---Travel. A lot. We almost always drove, even it was to the East Coast (16 hours away).
---Go for drives. (Yep, that's before gas was $4.09 a gallon).
---Read a lot of books.
---Sit through an entire church service.
---Go on double-dates with friends.
---Visit our families often.
---Spend hours cuddled up on the couch watching TV and eating snacks.
---Go for long walks.
Ahh. Don't you feel relaxed just reading that? :)
Our life now involves:
---Sleeping in maybe once a month, if that. And it's pretty much a miracle.
---Eating in at home 99.9% of the time because taking the kids to a restaurant is disruptive, stressful, and expensive.
---Traveling long distances only by airplane, as I refuse to take two young kids on a 16-hour journey to the East Coast. And even if you broke that into two days, 8-hours a day, listening to Dora or that annoying conductor on Dinosaur Train, or worse, Thomas and Friends---no way ever. Traveling by plane costs so much more between plane tickets, baggage fees, and a rental car. It's worth it.
---Baby E hates when the car stops for any reason. Drives aren't pleasant.
---I read, when I can, but sadly, it's so rare to get more than a few pages in.
---I haven't sat through an entire church service without getting up with one of my kids, worrying about one of my kids, or cleaning up after one of my kids since Miss E's birth. The first question I ask my husband after church: "What was the sermon about?" (Even if I was the one who got to sit through it).
---A double-date involves paying a sitter and paying for dinner. $$$ And about ten texts to and from the sitter.
---Visiting our family involves packing the entire car to the brim, praying everyone is happy and healthy, having a fab time visiting, and then coming home to recover for two days.
---We do spend a few hours on the couch every week watching TV and having dessert, but I usually get up a few times to do chores (switch laundry over, put dishes in sink to soak, or fold towels). Most of the time we have plans to watch a movie, but by the time the kids are in bed and we've done a few odd-and-end tasks, we are too tired. Plus, most movies suck, it seems, and are total time-wasters.
---Long walks? Nope. Short walks involve thirty minutes to get them in the stroller (including packing snacks, diabetes supplies for me, water for all, airing up the stroller tires, forgetting three things...you get the picture).
I love being a mother. Nothing is more rewarding right now than having my two girls climbing all over me, demanding my attention so they can share a silly dance move or say (gasp!) a naughty word like "poop" which makes us all giggle, and putting their sweet, tiny hands on my cheeks.
But, my poor husband. Where does he fit in? Where do I fit in? We are supposed to be this fab husband-wife team who are crazy in love, passionate about Jesus, awesome parents, loyal friends, dutiful family members, stellar employees. We are supposed to put Jesus first, our spouse second, and our kids third, followed by everything else.
Um. Ok. Sure.
The other night after the kids went to bed (get your mind out of the gutter, readers, this isn't going to be a sexy-time story...hehe), we went outside to load a rug into my husband's car so he could make a Kohl's run to return the rug. We were laughing about how it appeared we were carrying a dead body to his car. Then we hugged. The weather was incredible---warm, balmy, and clear. It was just us, outside. It was the simplest moment. But it was so refreshing.
I hate that my priorities are constantly backward. I hate that I can't ever seem to get it right for more than a few days at a time. (Though I am reminded that, hello, I'm not perfect and I will forever be screwing up and that's where God comes in).
I am reading, when I have time, two books that I'd like to share with you. Consider ordering a copying or requesting one from your library. I have found them to be insightful and interesting.
Love and Respect (Dr. Emerson Eggerichs): The book is redundant at times, and I haven't read every page because I got a little bored. But the overall message is that men need respect and women need love, and when one meets the need of the other, a cycle of love and respect creates a healthier, happier marriage.
Real Marriage: The Truth About Sex, Friendship, and Life Together (Mark and Grace Driscoll): I saw the authors on The View one morning (which yep, they got grilled by those liberal ladies---but still fascinating). The book is intriguing. The authors talk about the subjects outlined in the subtitle, and thankfully, they don't use euphemisms for sex that have me rolling my eyes. (My favorite: "petting" and "necking"---what is it, 1950?)
I'd love to be THAT couple----the one everyone is madly jealous of. We walk into a room and people see us as passionate and energetic and soooo in-love. Instead, we are really just so ordinary. I hate ordinary. I think these books are helping me learn more about how to be a better wife.
Now, hopefully I can commit to these changes beyond a day or two. ;)