Marriage and raising children are hard work, especially when you're trying to do both. I firmly feel that all relationships (especially spousal) go through highs and lows.
I usually peruse the msn homepage looking for interesting articles and news stories in a way to keep current on events and, okay, celebrity happenings. Today I read an article entitled, "How Drinking Saved this Couple's Marriage". It was an interesting enough read, but not very practical in my situation, as the couple's love for wine lead them to start touring wineries and festivals every weekend for a month [as an assignment for the wife's article]. Married couples [with children] can't spend every weekend pursuing adult interests while dragging a kid along.
At the bottom of the page was a related article, Five Simple Hobbies that Help Couples Reconnect . That one was equally unhelpful. Some of the suggestions like, take a dance class together - um, no. Another suggestion, read a book together - I so wish we had time for this. Another suggestion, cooking together - never going to happen either. The article kind of reminded me of those silly articles entitled, "how to save $4,000 a year" - which then give common sense ideas like, don't buy starbucks every day or pack your lunch.
I almost need to find an article that deals with the fact that we have so little time together. The last time the kids were gone overnight was last week and Rob arrived home at 11:30pm and left at 5:15am. It was real meaningful. Life goes at such a dizzying speed and I just don't know how to make time "count". I am struggling to carve out family time much less time for just the two of us.
So, here is my idea for Saturday! I am devising a little scavenger hunt. I have found that if we, as a family, don't distance ourselves from all distractions (tv, computer, phone, etc) - we won't spend actual time together. Our destination is a surprise - I have told everyone that we're starting our day with doughnuts. I hope this will soften the blow that our travel time is 2+ hours each way. I am creating little clues that I'll give out periodically - and the first person who guesses where we're going will receive a prize. My hope is that we have a great day together, making memories and re-connecting. I'd like Rob to look back on raising our children and not have regrets, the way both of our fathers do.
Rob and I have trouble relating simply because my job is to put our family first. I obviously have a lot more free time on my hands and so planning activities is not a luxury. I have time to unwind. I have time to pursue friendships and hobbies. But, I'm not willing to let him work his life away. I'm not willing to give up the opportunity to help our family make memories, laugh together, and bond. And we need time for that.
I'm sure we're not the only family struggling through this frenetically-paced life of raising school age children. In fact, I know we're not - I just talked today with one other mom who said, "I'm right there with you". I wish I had the answers. I sometimes wish I could snap my fingers and go back to the idyllic family I see walking our neighborhood with their baby in the stroller - walking and talking. What I would give to have nothing else to do but take a family walk - no where else to be, no homework, no activities. I understand that this, too, is life. This is a stage we're in - but one that will be over before we're ready for it to be - we need to savor these times, in the midst of the busyness.
How do you spend time together with your spouse, children, etc? How do you protect that family time without getting bogged down with all of your obligations? I'd much rather hear your suggestions than read some meaningless drivel on msn.com