Friday, July 29, 2011

What happened to my marriage?

When we had Katie - Dave and I were ALWAYS able to find time to talk, hang out, play games and have mini dates after she was sleeping. We were even able to go out on REAL dates a lot because I have awesome parents who will watch her for us and who she loves being around. So, we had our fair share of nights away during her first 2 years also.

Our relationship is VERY strong. Stronger than I really thought possible. We are truly teammates in this game of parenting. We were so good at balancing being the parents of 1 and since Katie did so many things early and slept so well at night - we never really missed time with each other because there was always so much!

Then we had Ben. Everything changed. Now, part of it is because he still REFUSES bottles and is literally attached to me at the boob and dependent on my for feeding more often than a bottle fed baby. (although the last few days he's been spreading it out which makes me happy!!) Part of it is because Katie is a daddy's girl and only 2 and a half and needs attention from Dave when he gets home.

Our days go like this - Dave wakes up with the kids.(anywhere between 5 and 6:30) I sleep in until the noise gets unbearable or Ben decides he wants to eat. (between 7 and 8 on good days) Then, Dave has to get ready for work and I'm with the kids. Then Dave leaves for work until 5:15.

He comes home and it's dinner time - so I am either finishing up cooking or getting our dinners on the table and getting Ben's Cereal ready. One of us has to feed Ben his cereal, while the other is Katie's personal cheerleader to eat her dinner. (I'm convinced since eating is one of the only things she can control, she makes it VERY hard and takes her time and fights us - which is annoying but given all the changes in her life with moving and a baby, etc... I won't fault her for it yet)

Dinner conversation is limited to Katie's day as she is very obnoxious when we try to talk to each other because she figures since Dave is home - he should be talking to HER and not ME. I get it, she hasn't seen him all day and she wants some daddy time - so although it annoys me - I try not to get too upset - although yesterday I did have to put her in timeout because she kept yelling at us to stop talking and we REALLY needed to discuss a new muffler for a car - and she refused to stop interrupting - probably not my best parenting moment - but I was desperate.

After we clean up dinner and get the dishes sorted - we have about 45 minutes to an hour or so of playtime/nursing Ben time.

Then it's bath time - and we have to each take one kid and give them their baths. (Ben is too small for the bathtub so he gets his downstairs and she gets hers upstairs)

Then it's reading time for Katie and bedtime for Ben.

By the time there is radio silence on both their monitors - its after 8 - lately - closer to 9.
(Katie is getting bigger and thus staying up later since she still naps most days)

Then it's time for Dave to go run at the gym and me to shower - de-stress and try to get sleepy.
(I have sleeping issues and it's taking me forever to fall asleep and since Ben is still so unpredictable and I'm the only one - or correction, my boobs are the only ones that can comfort him - I usually don't get more than 2 - 4 hours MAX at a time at night.
So I try to get in bed by 9:30 so that I can maximize his first long stretch of sleep at night and not feel quite so zombieish when I wake up and start all over again.

No romance, no catching up - barely even a hello at the door even and our day is over and it's bed time.
I wasn't expecting this however, I realize it's because the kids are so little so I accept it and we are doing the best we can to stay connected as a couple as well as parents. We ROCK the parenting thing - but the couple thing is getting harder and harder. I realized the other day that we got his health insurance changes information over a week ago and haven't even had time to sit and talk about that yet.

We try to get movies every once in awhile and will set up the Wii to play when they are sleeping again soon -(who doesn't love Mario right?) and I know that as Ben starts to sleep more and I get to sleep more - I won't be so dependent on sleeping every chance we get so we will be able to talk and watch movies, etc when the kids are sleeping again.

But as someone said in their blog posting which prompted this idea for me - for now, it's like we are roommates living in the same house, who see each other in passing on opposite schedules.

We moved to NJ to be 5 minutes away from Dave's job - I stay home FT - so I would imagine that we have WAY MORE time together than most couples with multiple children do and I feel like I'm drowning cause I miss him even though we are here so much of the time together.
How do you all do it? Do you sacrifice sleep more often than I am able to at the moment? Do you have phone dates like you're in HS during the work day? Especially if you both work - do you EVER see each other?

Tell me, tell me:) I want to know!
I know it will get better and it's already starting to look up as Ben sleeps more at night and I know that we will go back to being as strong and fun as ever - but I'm afraid some people never get there again and that makes me sad:(

Comment away and share your experiences:)
Thanks for reading!

1 comment:

  1. First as always I am praying for you Annie.
    Next know that even though we only have 1 kid you are not alone. From the moment I walk in the door at 5pm and Gene at 6pm we are the entertainers, chef, bathers, and everything else being a parent involves all while trying to play catch up for the hours we missed during the day with our kid and getting things done around the house...laundry, prep for the following day, dinner, etc by the time JC goes down at 8:45 and I finish getting things ready for work the following day Gene and I have barely said 4 words to each other.
    Sure we try for at home date night but that is usually a movie and sushi...which doesn't require us to actually talk. Paying a babysitter while we go out can be as expensive as the electric bill.
    Then there is the fact that we are busy with things we enjoy. Originally when I read your post I was thinking well maybe if Dave didn't go running you two would have time to chat but then I was like when Gene has the fire department and I have my church activities. We all need some sort of personal outlet.
    I know right now that it is extreamly rough to not be able to pass Ben off for a feeding to someone else but the best thing you can do is keep trying he'll figure it out and if not you can always use this against him when he is older.
    Not sure if Gene and I will ever get back to the fun couple we were before JC but right now I figure it's more important to have him as my team playing parent.
    Lots of love girl.