Tuesday, June 1, 2010

How do you stay connected to your partner?

My husband and I do not go out much as a couple.  We have two small children, no family around and the only babysitter who can handle our kids is away at college.  The last time we tried a new babysitter, our youngest ate an entire tube of toothpaste and painted his feet and legs with red nail polish.  I came home to a house turned upside down.  Every single toy we own was out of its container and thrown around the house.  The time out was not worth it to me as I wished I never had left.

A few weeks ago, our beloved babysitter came home for summer break and off we went for a date.  It was nothing special; we just went out to eat-but we were out…alone.  In the middle of dinner, I was having such a great time just talking to my hubby I felt like I fell in love with him all over again.  I miss this man.  I do not see “him” very often.

On this date we talked about trying to not let stressful kid moments take over our relationship.  It seems as though we have always been consumed by our children’s moods.  It they are not behaving, whining, sick or fighting with each other, we end up feeling stressed and arguing.  We talked about being more of a “unit”, taking on whatever comes our way-while maintaining our healthy relationship.

Yeah right!  This new way of living lasted our entire date, drive home and up the walkway to our house.  When we got in the door, all of our promises flew out the window!  The kids were wound up, awake  past their bedtime and generally misbehaving.  I instantly felt my shoulders raise right back up to my ears and the tension set in.  I could see it on my husband too, and there we were, right back to where we began before the date; stressed, overwhelmed and beat down.

We thought we would try again.  This time we would go away for the night.  Maybe we needed more time to relax, really relax.  After 2 weeks of sick children and sleepless nights, we packed it up and drove to New Jersey to my sister-in-law’s house.  We dropped the kids off for the night and drove to a winery resort.  It was a beautiful day.  We drank wine, went to the outdoor pool, had a long dinner, enjoyed a Jacuzzi tub in the room, we had total privacy to connect with each other, got a full night sleep and breakfast again the next morning.  Life was good for 24 hours!

This state of calm did last longer.  We made it peacefully all the way home to Maryland.  When we got home however, it all started again.  The kids were fighting, we were trying to unpack, my husband started yelling, my shoulders went up to the ears again and we were right back in it-the chaos!

We will keep trying.  Our babysitter is home until late July.  We have her coming once a week until then.  I just wish we could find a way to stay connected with each other during times of chaotic parenting.  We just haven’t figured out a way just yet. 

Maybe we will find each other again when the kids are in college!


  1. I think you are ahead of the curve right now. Once a week all summer is great. Michael and I commit to a date once a month, but that does not always happen. I think that is what keeps everyone sane, even if the aftermath is tough!

  2. I know! I am impressed that we have it all laid out. It makes up for the dry winter months!

  3. have the two of you made a plan of action for dealing with the stress when you get back home? Can you help each other take a step back from the chaos just inside the front door?

    Might be a way to help it last longer, but I'm a single mom for 7 years - what do I know ;)

  4. Jenn, Nope haven't tried that yet. We are usually happily skipping along, open the door---boom! Right back in it.

    And...being a single mom I'm sure you know a ton! You have had to create your own sanity strategies for sure!!!

  5. You're on the right track. I have five close in age and we go through the same ordeal. My husband is able to tune out the chaos by just walking out of the room. I just put in ear-plugs and ignore most of it in order to keep myself blissfully unaware!

  6. Darah,
    I love the ear-plug idea! 5 kids? If I was in front of you, I would bow down in your honor!!!! Amazing mama!