Tag Archives: marriage

Striving for Unscheduled Time

Before I had kids, I was definitely  more spontaneous. My husband and I used to book last minute trips to Las Vegas, stay up all night at the drive in, have more drinks then we should. Those were the sweet, early years of marriage before the stress of financial woes and a child who never sleeps came into our lives. But I miss being spontaneous.

As a couple and as a family. We’re so set in our dinner, bath and work routines that I often wish we leaned into impulsiveness more. If my husband ever suggested we play hooky at work the next day to have time as a couple I think I would fall off my chair. But it would also make me so  happy. Even if he suggested we skip work to keep our daughter home from daycare to go to Lego-land or something – I’d love it too.

It’s not just skipping work that has the appeal, it’s the freedom of unscheduled time together where we don’t have to worry about bedtime regimes or alarm clocks and could enjoy the time together. As my daughter gets older, I hope to be the kind of fun parent who occasionally pulls her out of school for us to go to the movies or get mani pedis and just enjoy a day outside of the usual grind. I can’t really remember my parents ever dong that with me, but when we got out of school early for the dentist or the doctor and were rewarded with trips to McDonald’s or somewhere out of the ordinary, I remember just loving it and I still feel that way.

When I’m on vacation, I bask in the lack of schedule, getting up on my own time (or my daughter’s), having a nap, my happiness is instantly magnified. Maybe it’s my daily transit or daily picking up toys and doing dishes, etc. But I just think that as we get older and definitely as we become parents that impulse to do things out of the ordinary or off schedule gets muted. I love a plan and a good list or two (or more, if you ask my husband) to keep my organized and my life in check, but sometimes it’s nice to just throw it all out the window and give in to fun. I hope as my daughter gets older (and I do too) that I remember to take a few last minute adventures.

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The Nag

In a few weeks is my 5 year wedding anniversary. Not a huge milestone by any means, I know, but it’s significant to me. I never really thought about being someone’s wife. I never thought about being someone’s mother either but I’m glad I’m both. I probably don’t do either perfectly, but I certainly try.

But sometimes with those roles come unwanted labels: the nag, the buzzkill, the financial analyst. Whether it’s your husband himself or his friends or coworkers ribbing about things he’s “allowed” to do – those are the situations I really hate. I consider myself a fun person or at least I try to be, but often finances, kid bedtimes, life – get in the way. And while there are some pitfalls to these labels, and they can hurt, I guess that’s part of life. I do my best to keep the budget intact, get the kid to bed on time. (Dads always seem to be the fun parents too). But I try to carve out my own fun, get out from under the labels when I can. I have excellent girlfriends who like a good road trip or a trip to the spa and I try to be a fun Mom along with the enforcer of rules.

When we first got married and I thought about our 5 year anniversary, I had fancy visions of taking a trip to Hawaii or somewhere equally exciting. But, another thing I’ve learned since then is that life doesn’t always work out the way you planned. I may not be going to Hawaii this year, but I have a husband who I still miss like crazy when he’s away and a little girl that is as stubborn and mouthy as her mother but is smarter and more hilarious than I’ll ever be.

I guess the point is, you have to take the good with the bad and not dwell on what you can’t change – that’s something I personally struggle with all the time. As the merger at work continues for a few months more, I realize all the more how many things are beyond my control. But while I struggle and freak out internally, I try to remember that work isn’t my whole life and I still have a lot to be thankful for.

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