Remember back in the summer when we were on vacation and I was spending all my time with my family and my husband wasn’t working and we were in a really good place?
September definitely brings everything back to reality, doesn’t it?
Tonight I looked at the clock and realized that I had been managing children for 13 and a half hours without stopping.
And of course, that doesn’t include the four times I was up with the baby during the night before those 13 waking hours began ticking. I got a child to and from school, a husband to and from the bus, I went to the grocery store with two crazy kids and a baby on my hip, I got a child ready for swimming lessons, brought him to swimming lessons, and quite literally held his hand through it (I was wearing jeans.) Then, we came home for dinner, I put the baby to bed (twice) and the big kids to bed (more than once). I debriefed with the husband about his day and then he went to bed and I came here, to my keyboard and my glass of wine.
September is hard, yo. (That turn of phrase might be the wine talking).
I miss the freedom to just enjoy my family. I miss having more control over my time and I miss downtime. I miss long road trips where we have nothing but each other and podcasts and audiobooks to keep us entertained. I miss always having my husband in arm’s reach. I miss going to bed at the same time as him.
I never understood the point of a vacation when you’re a stay-at-home mom. Doesn’t it just mean shifting your resposibilities somewhere else? But I get it now. A vacation is about a changing pace and focusing on relationships. If you can make that happen while still caring for kids, then you’ve figured it out.
If vacation is about slowing down and family time, September has us speeding up and barely finding time for one another.
So the trick, I suppose, is about making time. Except sometimes it feels like you really need some sort of trick to make it work. Is there a magical abracadabra word to make the time, money, and will appear for a time-out together?
In September we managed to have a home movie date. Well, half of one. And it might have been a bit tense because my husband and I cannot choose a movie we both want to see to save our lives. When we were dating he told me that movie dates were cheating because you didn’t need to talk during it. And apparently that was just as well because now we know how hard it is to choose movies we both like. I’m glad we didn’t base our dating life off of movies because we are not movie compatible. He chooses movies based on ratings only, and rarely pays attention to what the movie is even about. I just want to laugh, because life is hard enough as it is and if I’m going to dedicate two hours of my life to only entertainment (totally unproductive), I at least want to feel good coming out of it. The last time I tried to mix both of our movie-priorities, we went to see the well-rated Trainwreck with Amy Schumer. Dan thought it was aptly named…
Still! Sometimes I need to remember that being productive or insisting on the movie I want to watch isn’t the most important thing.
Ok. Sometimes it is the most important thing. But sometimes… it’s about the time we spend together, regardless of what we are doing or watching. Even if we’re watching a Superhero movie. Even if it is a sequel and my husband is totally shocked that I haven’t seen the first one. Even if our Internet fails us and we only get to watch half of it…
So yes. The date was a bit of a bust. Or maybe it wasn’t. Because it wasn’t really about the movie at all. Right?
I think one of the ways to really make home-dating work is to make it a bit special. Put it in the calendar so you can’t ignore it. Throw candles on the table if you’re sharing dessert together after the kids are in bed. Air pop corn kernels and laugh together as popcorn flies around your kitchen right before a movie date. Spice up your popcorn with real melted butter and your favourite seasoning, even if your husband hates Dill Pickle (he can have his own popcorn bowl). Drink wine. Whatever you do, be close to one another. Sit within arm’s reach.
And then, even if you can’t believe he turned on a movie that you haven’t seen the prequel to and you know you’d never hear the end of if you had done that to him!… make that reach. Put your hand on his knee or his arm and just let yourself connect.
I am a member of Netflix’s Stream Team and as such I have been compensated with a complementary Netflix subscription and a few other perks and goodies. Like the treats we ate during our movie date. The stories and opinions are all my own and have not been influenced.