Copyright © June Cleaver in yoga pants
Design by Dzignine
Tuesday, March 22, 2011

on getting away

So I know I don’t write much about dada. It’s easy to be all la-dee-da about mommyhood. Not so much talking about grown up things like marriage and relationship. For me anyway. Let’s face it having young kids is hard on a relationship. It’s tiring.

we took the kiddies to the aquarium before we left -
yes, totally to assuage our guilt, ha.
Your evening interactions are spent thus:

Partner A comes in from work

Children attack Partner A

Partner B yells hi from the kitchen

Partner B gets dinner ready... okay well Partner A usually does this part while Partner B zones out on the computer for ten minutes, truth be told

Both partners fully and necessarily engaged in getting kids to eat dinner. Partners may or may not get a chance to eat whilst food is still warm

Partner A cleans up from dinner whilst Partner B rounds up children like cattle into bathtime

Both partners required for bathtime, getting PJs on, getting teeth brushed etc.

Partner A reads book to child A whilst Partner B reads book to child B (why? Because they insist on their own stories in their own beds, well, on difficult nights anyway)

Partner A lies with child A until child A falls asleep which typically includes multiple requests to hold still, stop kicking, etc. – usually Partner A drifts off too until Partner B comes in the room and kicks his foot to wake him up

Partner B lies with child B for five minutes until child B falls asleep then gets up and sneaks out of room to go watch TV or surf the internet for 30 minutes until child A is finally asleep
Partner A joins Partner B in watching said TV or lying on the couch reading for perhaps 15-30 minutes before a word is spoken. Then a conversation like this follows, maybe during commercial breaks of some generic police show or pawnshop reality program:

spooky jellyfish...totally looks like a placenta in this picture
“Oh, hi. What is your name again?”

“Sara, Hi. Nice to meet you.”


“How was your day?”

“Long, you?”


“I need to go to bed.”

“Okay, I am staying up for awhile.”

“Okay. Good night.”

“Good night.”

And there you have it.

On the weekends the length of this conversation may or may not be doubled, depending on whether the children are contented listening to “Baby Beluga” whilst driving to Costco Saturday morning. There is usually an argument involved at some point between Partners who are both tense and tired. It typically involves who deserved to sleep in that morning and who between Partners is more tired.

Now, I don’t mean to scare off my three regular readers who are without children. More than this is possible. The point is that it is WORK. Lots of work. Anything worthwhile is of course, but especially marriage, and particularly when there are small children around.

So. We have tried to go on dates more often. We manage once a month, maybe. We generally don’t see movies on these dates. Because all you do is sit in the dark. Doesn’t really help forge connections, you know?

And then there is the overnight getaway. We have done three of these since having children. And only for one night each time. THREE. Now, here is the thing. I would honestly rather be at home with my kids. We both feel that way. But sometimes in order to have a conversation or reconnect in a significant way the overnight trip is a good thing. Probably should be doing this more than once every year and a half.

what a cute dada!
We recently had overnight away number three. In a shee-shee hotel five miles from our house. My lovely sister and her husband stayed with the hooligans overnight (even managing to keep child B asleep whilst changing pee sheets after child A had an accident. IMPRESSIVE.) We wandered two malls, couldn’t decide what to eat for dinner. Then I took a hot bath and was bored within 15 minutes (its quiet, too quiet). Dada went and retrieved me a burger and we stayed up too late watching dumb TV. I woke up half a dozen times, once for more than half an hour and woke up for the day at 7:30. All that said. It was good. We laughed. Even flirted a little. I can still flirt, apparently. We had the obligatory argument and still had a good time.

I think more than these kinds of trips it’s the little daily things. We text a lot. A LOT. Dada has found that he learns a lot about my day reading my blog entries! (HI HONEY, I LOVE YOU!) And I have realized that greeting dada with a kiss and hug when he comes in from work, a la June Cleaver, really IS a good way to reconnect after a long day. And dada knows that I love LOVE waking up to a clean kitchen so he often does up the dishes that are left from dinner when I turn in early for the night.

We could do more though. But, like with parenting, I think it’s a gradual thing we learn, how to connect, stay grounded, listen and love even with kids shouting and whining and laughing around us. That cacophony after all is the soundtrack of this thing called a family. We just need to hear the melody in it. Sometimes that can be hard.

And besides, these little beings will only be little for so long. Our trips to Italy for two weeks of sightseeing and wine tasting will come. And ohhhh, won’t that be lovely???
a spin on the carousel - gotta love the MOA. okay, you dont HAVE TO
but sometimes its fun....
by the I was totally in a panic that little man got the purple dragon
to ride as he had been talking about for a week.
So, how many of you get away regularly? How often? Any thoughts or tips on reconnecting?  Do share.


  1. Oh, grown up time! As rare and precious as unicorns. ;-) Our goal is date night once a week. Reality is 1-2 times a month. We've had 2 overnights without the kiddos, the first when our daughter was 6. SIX YEARS! Granted, this was mostly due to our gallivanting around the country, far from relatives on whom we could comfortably impose, but still. When we did finally get away, we didn't quite know what to do with ourselves! (The "too quiet" feeling is overwhelming!) While a couple of days sounds blissful, I actually don't think I could handle 2 weeks. I'd miss the tiny people too much!

    But you're right, the day-to-day demands are challenging, and it's easy to just gloss over the other person, focused as we are on the tasks at hand. It's easy to take your friend and partner for granted, and forget your own needs as a couple. Sigh. I think I'm going to call the babysitter and see if she's free this weekend. :-)

  2. This is a great post, I think you pretty much nailed our day-to-day. We definitely don't do enough "dates" but right now that's okay. Our youngest is so hard at night, it's like I don't want to torture any potential babysitter. That being said, we have gone out for breakfast many times (that is our preferred "date night" activity, actually). So much easier on the babysitter, and so much easier for us since evening time rolls around and we are tired. My vision of perfection would be something simple once a week--a breakfast out, or grabbing a beer for an hour--but we average once a month. Sometimes on Sundays we go for a drive in the country and have wonderful conversations with two sleeping kiddos in the back. Not very green, but definitely good for reconnecting.

  3. Wow. I could have written this post to the letter... from the number of overnights you've had away post-kids, to what you do to get the kids to sleep and thereafter, to the number of dates you average a month. All very nicely said and summarized. Good post.

  4. This sounds amazingly and exactly like our lives, too. Especially the after-the-kids-go-to-bed "conversation."

    Regarding your questions, we never get away. We have a date night once a month or so and we're right on par with you and Allison in having had three overnights away (though the first one - when we only had one child - was actually three nights, so I guess we're a little ahead there). Our reconnection ritual is to have a 30 or so minute face-to-face conversation over wine and then have sex. We try to do that at least once a week. It fills my need to connect intellectually and David's to connect physically.

  5. Until #2 was born, we would go stay at a friend's apartment (which he doesn't use often) in Boston every few months. We realized that the big thing wasn't getting out in the evening- we could do that with a babysitter- but being able to wake up together in the morning and talk and have coffee and connect. It made us realize that there is actually a real market for the morning babysitter- a person that comes to your house at 6 am and lets you have time in the morning. But we too look forward to those eventual wine tasting vacations in Italy!

  6. tracy - six YEARS? wow girl. i hope you get a cruise or something soon. however, i see your point. we only do family for overnight getaways too. my problem is we DONT have a regular babysiter and family is 90 minutes away. so overnights can happen but the hour long date for a beer, not so much. need to find a babysitter!
    jayme - ooh, breakfast out is a geat idea. plus, i love breakfast food.
    alison - glad its not just me ;)
    jen - i like the idea of 30 minutes of purposeful conversation. plus the "adult time" ;) good idea!
    deana - it gets harder with two and a new one. i am realizing we have a 6 month window, 5 really. and then our overnight possiblities are gone for another year...definitely going again. totally agree with the morning time too. SOOOOO nice to sit in bed with coffee reading the paper!!

  7. and just an FYI it wasn't all that bad for said pre-children readers. we really did have a good time with them. payback for last fall. :) love ya.


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...