I have a selfish marriage, and you should too.

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I have a selfish marriage, and you should too.

There, I said it. Once you have kids, your life is no longer your own. Your body turns on you- after the “beautiful miracle” of pregnancy, you find things sagging and leaking and sort of looking like the icing sliding off of a cupcake on a hot summer day. Eventually you snap back to almost normal, but then you are left with a tiny person who needs you… For everything. Waking up every few hours, feeding, changing, the basics. This is great, really.. Having kids is an amazing experience, but they need you, all the time. Your entire day revolves around either taking care of them or working to provide for them. Then your kids grow, and there are new demands; homework, sports, and so many freaking birthday parties. So.many.parties. You spend your days helping them carve our their lives; their interests, their social circles, their place in the world.

Then you look to your left, and see that guy who you seem to remember sleeping in with on Saturdays, taking spontaneous trips anywhere you wanted, and going out to dinner with. Just because you felt like it- not because you are too exhausted to cook and would rather deal with the perils of taking a toddler to a restaurant than eat cereal for dinner.

He’s your husband.

He looks a little tired, a little older, but he’s there. And if he’s like Mr. Wonderful, he’s been working his ass off to make sure all these people he’s responsible for have everything they need. He needs to get out, and so do you.

So recently, we got out. We headed to Manhattan on a beautiful Saturday, and we only left 8 minutes late. If you know me, this is an extreme accomplishment in time management. We walked, we talked, we had an amazing brunch. Our new hobby is taking old furniture and up cycling it into new pieces, so we headed to the Antiques Garage. We spent hours looking at pieces and talking about different things, and taking inconspicuous pictures of the interesting (read:CRAZY) looking people there. We felt touristy so he felt me up at the Museum of Sex. (Sorry mom) We happy-houred (yes, it’s a verb) and met friends for drinks. A girl told him his beard was sexy, and I begged her not to promote the beard. Apparently, he looks like a lumberjack. I think he’s working on what I like to call the “Duck Dynasty”. We ended up dancing in a club and I was the wingman for one of his friends. We were out til four in the morning, and we felt free. Like we could spend the whole Sunday sleeping instead of getting up with three kids in exactly two and a half hours. Like anything could happen. Like we were us again.

Let me be the first to say, I know how hard it is to carve out time as a couple when you have kids. I’m not talking racing to Houlihan’s and a movie for a few hours. I’m talking an entire day (or weekend if you are so lucky) at least a few times a year in which you get up, walk out the door with your spouse, and do whatever you want. It’s liberating, it’s exhilarating, and it will make you feel like you are meeting them for the first time all over again. If you actually convince some unsuspecting soul to watch your children, you may not have the money to go anywhere. Being a SAHM of three little ones, our budget is tighter than my skinny jeans. Okay- tighter than my fat jeans. It can be nearly impossible, but you have to do it. It is an investment. You have to hold on to what made you fall in love with each other- otherwise you will wake up in twenty years sleeping next to a stranger. Give yourself to your kids, but keep your marriage sacred. As parents, we are made to feel guilty if we do something for ourselves, but a happy marriage undoubtedly makes happy kids.

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