Tuesday, February 17, 2009
Momversation Monday, or...er....Tuesday - Marriage
How do you keep the romance alive in your marriage with children? (especially if you homeschool)?
Brian and I aren't really romantic people in the traditional flowers, candy, and sappy words way. I pretty much count oil changes as romantic gestures. In his own way, he spoils me rotten. What we do share is a third grade sense of humor (this totally includes bathroom humor, we laugh hysterically at sponge bob square pants), the same taste in books, the same hobbies, the same interests, and we have the same ideas of a relationship. If we weren't married, we would so totally be best friends. All of that feels more solid to me than the romantic gestures.
Brian and I went through a huge adjustment period right after we had Chloe: a month later found out we were pregnant with John, had John, and then sank into life with three kids in diapers, who couldn't feed themselves, and needed all of our time. Wow, it was intense. While we still knew we loved each other, we felt distant, not so much in our hearts, but we had no time to just be around each other. We were constantly rushing trying to complete all our tasks until we finally dropped in utter exhaustion. We were really used to everything coming naturally and spontaneously, and it just didn't anymore.
I am really happy with where we are now, but in order to get here we had to make some very conscious choices. First, I had to start with me. I had to make the decision to put Brian first and to make him just as relevant in the parenting relationship as I was. It was challenging mostly because of his job, it doesn't give him as much time at home. But I had to make changes to make sure he had the same connection I did. So I had to get creative, we use technology, and really the blog is a huge part of this. He gets to see the pictures and the stories from the day.
I don't believe it is the ideal, or natural to put your children ahead of your marriage. I have a really good example for this though in my parents. They always made time for each other and to be honest, it provided a whole lot of security for us kids.
The second part of it was a bit more awkward. It was awkward because it felt weird planning for something that we kinda thought should be natural We had to be intentional about planning for time for each other. Not just like an evening for each other, but we make a point to hold hands when we are in the same space, to sit beside each other on the couch, to kiss often throughout the day. We try to stay in physical contact which has made a HUGE difference. We don't feel as distant anymore and it makes it much easier to move into a more intimate conversation or time together once the kids are asleep. It makes everything more natural in the bedroom as well.
For us, it has kept us deeply in like, and in love with each other. We both have the same gripes anyone who is married to the opposite gender does. We still have the same differences of opinions, but it has kept us connected and happy through all of it.