I miss my husband.
I miss: spending the whole day just messing around in the kitchen cooking up a storm with him; drinking a bottle of wine each and staying up all night just because we could; fooling around, popping coke bottles with a BB gun; aimless drives in our panel van, Elvis singing effortlessly in the background.
I miss: the laughter and the banter; watching a movie together, with popcorn, and beer and no interruptions; dinner at strange restaurants watching him order the weirdest thing on the menu as I search for the chicken parmy.
I miss: watching him laugh with friends; spending the whole day in bed with him; sundowners and the goofy ballroom dancing we’d inevitably end up displaying at the night’s end.
I miss the holidays: discovering new worlds together; learning together; relaxing together…
I miss my husband.
A few weeks ago I asked you guys to tell me something you took for granted before having kids. I took for granted by time with my husband.
I wish we’d gone out more, travelled more, “lived” more. I wish we’d spent less time in front of the TV and more time out in the world. I wish we’d realised how much freedom and opportunity we had. I wish we’d fully appreciated the ability to do just about anything we wanted to do at the drop of a hat.
And now that we know all this and we are so grateful for even the smallest opportunity to be alone together – I wish we weren’t so damn tired!!
I know that these days don’t last forever and that with each day that passes the kids get more independent and the window of opportunity to hang out in another room and chat gets bigger. But right now, it’s hard. Really hard.
I also know that in those moments when the kids aren’t wrestling or head butting each other, when they’re not trying to stick cheese up their nose or tip yoghurt on their brother’s head… those moments when they’re just sitting together hugging like angels or giggling at how funny the word “butt” is... you look across the room at each other and know that together you made them, you gave them life. In those moments there’s a feeling that you share that you couldn’t manufacture and you wouldn’t trade for anything. But in between those moments, in between the sleepless nights, in between all the disciplining, food preparation, laundry and work…there’s little time to just be a couple. Not Mum and Dad. Just Kellie and Dino.
So, for those of us lucky enough to be sharing this journey with a partner, if you’ve not yet had your baby I urge you to go out and make the most of your time together. Even if you’re pregnant and tired and feeling like Shamu the Whale…get out there and watch a movie, eat at a fancy restaurant, take 15 trips to the shops together in one day just because you can. Sleep in together, laugh together, cook together. Go for a walk as the sun’s going down, talk, play a boardgame, go see a play. Stay up all night and sleep all day, ring each other on the phone and just chat for no reason at all – because telephone calls without the sound of cats dying in the background will soon be a thing of the past.
The times you have ahead will be the best but also some of the hardest years. The tiredness, the lack of time alone and the constant pressures of parenting will test your relationships tremendously. So do what you can to make sure the foundations are strong now.
For those of you already in the thick of it, I wish you all the best in working through it, finding time for each other and coming out the other side of the toddler years with your relationship still intact. I am so blessed to be sharing this journey with my husband. It’s so important to remind each other of that. To try and make the time to reconnect as a couple on a regular basis. To support each other’s needs and to be as understanding and as patient with each other as possible.
There is a light at the end of the tunnel and these times don’t last forever. In fact, in a couple of years I’m sure we’ll be looking back on these times and missing all the baby first moments and the way they used to say “Dah-dee and MaMaaa”. We’ll miss the times we nursed them at 2 in the morning, and the way they fought for our attention (one on each leg both screaming our name, refusing to be shook off). We’ll forget all the hard stuff, and we’ll look back together and think what a great job we did together bringing them up ;).
But in the meantime…try to keep perspective, nurture your patience and do your best to put each other first sometimes.