Thursday, December 24, 2009

survive weekly and escape as much as possible

Our pastor often speaks about things married couples should do to help keep their relationship intimate and alive. He has this little saying that goes something like "date weekly and depart quarterly."

I always thought that was brilliant. In our home it lasted maybe two months.

At first, I used to think that my husband didn't care enough about me if we didn't do our weekly date night.

I really would get upset about it and it reflected on our relationship. I thought, I 'deserved' better than that. I deserved to be loved and romanced, and taken on a date once a week. In fact, I recall a verse in the bible that speaks about husband to court their wives MORE than when you did while dating them.

That is how I envisioned my perfect marriage. A romantic husband that came up with all these romantic ideas and dates, courting me more during our marriage than when we were dating.

I quickly learned as anything else, all of that sounded so great in theory, but just isn't reality.

In reality its another story.

The dating your wife more during your marriage may be possible, um, the first months or years you do not have children.

Once children come into the picture everything about your marriage changes. Some really great things and some sort of sad things, but not anything that you just cant live without. And surely nothing bad enough that makes getting married or having children all not worth it.

Its just that.... different.

Change in other words.

First of all, it takes a village (in reality) to raise children. If you do not live near family, you don't have that village to help you and therefore, it can be really exhausting and really expensive to try and keep that "dating" lifestyle going.

I have found myself miserable on the very few date nights that my husband and have gone on over the last two years of our marriage since having little butterfly in our lives. I'm exhausted at the end of my days, and so the last thing I want to do is get dressed up for anything. Its expensive to hire sitters as is, so who can afford to hire a sitter a couple of hours earlier before the date, just so mom and dad can actually get showered and dressed in peace? Not us anyways.

Its almost as if the kids know we have plans and they instantly turn on this terror act. Morgan getting into anything and everything that is less than three feet tall. While I am sitting in the bathroom trying to apply mascara, I have a toddler fussing at me and yanking on my arm. Trust me, its not easy to apply mascara with a toddler pulling on your arm.

Then the next thing... she starts pulling and stretching out mommies thong. Pulling and pulling while taking a step back as if I'm her personal sling shot.

I am so over trying to entertain a toddler and trying to get myself ready at this point. As if that wasn't enough, I hate everything in my closet. To top it off, I thought I would curl my hair that was already straight, just so I could feel a little different. Who knows, maybe even feel a little sexy for once. I begin to curl my hair. I get half of it curled, to realize that I have no hair spray or styling spray. There is no way my curls are going to hold without any type of support spray.

At this point, I just wanted to cry, crawl in bed and dream of my younger single days for a moment when things were easy. The days where you could sleep, or take all afternoon deciding on your outfit for the evening. The days where you could leisurely take your time getting ready while talking on the phone with your girlfriends or jamming out to No Doubt. While possibly even admiring your own youthful figure. Those days that when you walked out of your place if on a date or out with the girls, you just had that attitude of "I look and feel good."

Then I wake back up to my reality of a screaming toddler that apparently really was just feeling crabby because she was sick with an ear infection and sinus infection, that I would later learn the next Monday at her doctors appointment.

I re-straighten the hair I just curled. However, lessoned learned. It is much harder to straighten hair you curled, than to curl the hair you just straightened? Go figure.

I am dressed.

The sitter is on her way.

Hubby then decided that since this was our first date since LAST February for our wedding anniversary, and we are all dressed up.... "lets get some pictures by the tree."

Um, okay...... make your choice will we have the nine year old or the 20 month old take the picture for us honey?

We went with the nine year old.

I could only force myself to try to get a nice photo twice.

The first one, as you can see, I look like a deer looking into an on coming car.

But hey its in focus.

The second one, as you can see, I actually forced on a smile. While having my fussy toddler reaching out at me to be held as it has gone the entire evening.

That picture is not in focus.

We may look dressed and ready to go out on our date for my birthday, but underneath it all, I just wanted to run away for the rest of the night.

I made it to the car and to our dinner reservation. It was a nice place. Great food. Mark and I actually had some great conversation, with very little talk of the kids. It was a nice date.

However, it ended up being an expensive dinner for two. About a hundred dollars more than a dinner for four (our family) the night before. On top of that you have the sitter cost.

After dinner it was so cold outside and the dress I was wearing just wasn't going to keep me warm, so we passed on our movie and called it a night. Sent the sitter home, got the kids in bed. I got on my computer for a bit, while hubby played video games online with his buddy.

Well, hubby and I did get reacquainted before all that, but I didn't think you cared for that info. Or the fact that our nine-year old interrupted us. We called it an intermission, while scrambling around to get dressed so I could answer his two minute knock at the door.

I thought I would leave that part out for you.

Although, there is a huge part of me that misses all those romantic dating years.

I also realize I am just as happy sitting at home with our little family saving that $300 date night, putting it aside for a get away with just the hubby and I every once in awhile instead.

Wouldn't you considered that a fair trade men?

Instead of having to come up with a "date" idea each week. Save that money and actually take your wife on a weekend getaway every 3 to 4 months.

Mark and I have decided we may be heading to Colorado with two other couples on a ski trip for about five nights in February. Now that is a date I look forward to. We have a friend that has a home we can stay in, we found some pretty reasonable flights. Hunter will go with his dad. We will connect in Dallas TX and drop Morgan off with my parents, so there is no extra childcare cost.

It will be so worth it and such a better way for hubby and I to really get away from all the stress of work, bills, child raising and really just connect as a husband and wife again.

I have changed that 'date weekly - depart quarterly' to 'survive weekly and escape as much as possible.'

I look forward to posting pictures from that trip that will replace these pictures from this night.

Happy Merry Christmas Eve everyone!
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