We agreed over 15 years ago to spend our entire lives together… and then we had kids.
Now we are lucky to be able to speak to each other for five minutes. I’m not sure if that classifies as “spending our lives together.”
When she’s at work, she is very busy. I call and text and email her from time to time, but it can’t be anything but short and to the point. It’s not that she doesn’t want to talk to me; she just doesn’t have the time for the idle chit-chat we used to do.
Then when she gets home, the kids are all over her. They all try to talk to her at once and demand her attention with 10 million, “Mom, watch this” or “Mom, guess what happened at school today.”
If we do try to have a conversation we have to talk in short stints between constant interruptions and we have to talk in code or else the kids will know what we’re talking about.
For example, we recently were trying to figure out where we were going to have dinner while on a short family vacation. “I don’t want to go there!” our oldest daughter screamed. “I want mac and cheese,” another daughter implored. “WAAAAH!!!” our hungry 3 and 2-year olds cried.
We just needed to discuss our options and come to a mutual decision; something that 9 years ago was how we communicated. But with 4 kids who want to interject their opinions, that method is impossible now.
And that disappoints and frustrates me. My wife and I have always been great at communication and compromise but we have been reduced to speaking in code and making decisions without consultation.
Luckily that hasn’t caused too many problems.
We do go out on “Date Nights” once a month like Mike Becker suggested in a recent blog and it’s great. We get to catch up with each other on some things and remind each other why we still love each other. The problem is the day-to-day… a lot of communication just gets missed.
It makes me lonely, to be honest. It makes me sad too. I really miss my wife even though she is lying in the bed right next to me. She is my best friend and my only true confidante. That is why I married her.
Of course I love our kids to pieces and can’t imagine our life any other way. Some days, though, I wish we could recapture some of that consistent quality alone time we used to have before kids.