Marriage, relationships, families – funny, strange things. You meet someone, fall in love, get to know each other and build a relationship. You get married and the world is just the two of you. Your life revolves around each other. Then you decide to have a family. A spanner is thrown into the relationship works.
When Lil-lil was born, I remember feeling very lonely. I missed Skip terribly, even though we were in the same house. The closeness and the quantity and quality of time we spent together was sapped away by this little being. So much time was spent trying to settle her. We barely even had a moment to have a meal or just sit and watch TV together. Things plod along, kids take up so much time and quality time is replaced with nods and a quick hug as you pass in the hallway. You think: "Once we get through this, we'll spend lots of time together. Once we get through these early days, we'll be romantic again."
Unfortunately, when life gets busy with a new family, often quality time and attention for your partner gets put to the bottom of the list. You've got such a solid relationship that you often take your partner for granted. Sleep and child rearing takes precedence over everything else. This is hard for new mums, I think sometimes it's even harder for new dads. I often feel that people who have kids to save their relationship are mad, the pressure is far too great. I think even the most solid relationships get rocked by the arrival of new baby.
Before you know it another bub has arrived, there's even less time and even more pressure. Then there's the juggle of making sure you spend time together as family, one-on-one time with each kid, spend time with friends and somewhere fit time in as a couple. Trying to be parent and friend as well as a spouse can take up a lot of time. It's so important though, that relationship with your partner is the bedrock of the whole catastrophe. Sometimes it's necessary to push the tiredness to side, the daily aggravations to the back and just be together and laugh. Not let that person become a stranger. Remember why you did all this crazy family stuff in the first place. The reasons often get lost in the chaos of the grind.
Tonight, Skip and I are going out for a fancy meal. I can't wait. It's so nice to spend time together and chat. Not get interrupted by "muuuuuuuuum" or "daaaaaaaaad". Bring a touch of the 'before' back. Laugh, reflect and just enjoy being together. Fall in love all over again. Discover you actually love them even more than you did before. Bliss.