Thursday, October 21, 2010


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


  1. Have fun on your trip. Can't wait to hear all about it.

  2. I'm not in the same place because Miss P is an adult and basically doesnt want to spend time the oldies. But , this idea inspired me to try to spend some time with Mr. P not doing household stuff because it's been soooooo long since we did that.

    I hope you create some wonderful memories this Saturday. Love your idea of a treasure hunt. Genius.

  3. I don't have that particular problem so can't help out there, but I love your treasure hunt idea, that sounds exciting and fun. There is nothing worse than regret, so go for it, then you will have some great memories to look back on (even if it doesn't all go to plan).

  4. A couple years ago we bought a pop-up camper. It was well worth the money - we try to go camping at least 5 times a year. But on a day to day basis? Does homework count for bonding time? I guess I'm looking for ideas too. On Wesdnesdays we let the kids stay up to watch Survivor with us - which is very special for them because they're to be in bed by 8 - 8:30 every other night.

  5. Kirsten: Isn't it sad that we have to be so intentional in making those special memories? Life goes by so fast, before you know it, the family is grown and gone and in a life of their own. I agree with Marg-nothing is worse than regrets & I have plenty of thoses-the things I wish we'd done when Josh was young-how I wish RJ hadn't been so consumed with "making a living" that he never took time to "know" his son until he became an adult. I pray Rob realizes how much his kiddos(and you) need him at this stage in their lives--it's a fine line to walk between what he feels is expected from him at work & the time he put into work vs the time spent with you & fam. I'll be praying for you guys this weekend that you are able to create wonderful memories from your day together! Love you guys!!

  6. thanks, everyone!
    Mrs P - let me know what fun things you decide to do this weekend!

    Marion - I'll take pics, especially of the donuts! :) I've already gotten requests for flavors, etc...the girls are really excited for Saturday.

    Marg - it probably won't all go according to plan, but I think we'll make memories either way - thanks for your support!

    Emily - I think sometimes the little everyday things are special - but you're right, it's easy to let the days go by without bonding. I think homework counts - I'm serious. That was great you let the kids stay up for a special treat!

    Jean - I'm so glad Russ has had the chance to get to know Josh now! You are such a close family. Thankfully, (or not) I don't have the constraints of being a saint like my mom and mother-in-law and I will not settle for a less than involved father in the lives of my children. I firmly believe the Lord will bless Rob's career if he puts his family as a priority as well. Thanks for your prayers - I'll take lots of pics!
    we love you, too - thanks for all the kind comments :)