You know when a friend knocks you off your feet with a conversation and you can't stop thinking about it? This was today.
I dropped my older boys off at school and drove right to a local park where my other two enjoy playing. I remember laughing at myself during the drive...um, it's 7:30AM...does anybody else come to the park this early?
Little did I know, I had a spy. Just kidding, a friend saw me pull in and stopped to say hi. It was one of those days where breathing felt a little heavy. I think it was due to a combination of things, but mainly because I'm headed back to the hospital in a few days to bring our fifth little bundle into the world. As exciting as that is, I feel more pressure this time than ever before. Number five means there are FOUR others (!), which, with the newborn, means four kids will be 4-years-old or under. It's official...I've lost it! My only strategy is to RUN :O
Back to the story ;)
My friend and I sat and chatted for a bit. I'll bet she thought she was coming for a casual conversation, some big belly laughs, and to get some big squeezes from my minis. Laughs and squeezes came easy, but today, she got the unexpected life-load of concerns and worries and everything in between.
What are friends for after all?
My friend also has five kids, is a kickass (and HILARIOUS mother) and somebody for whom I have tons of respect in so many areas. She always listens without judgement, laughs when shit gets weird, and gives the best advice no matter what.
After our impromptu meeting, I called my husband at lunch and told him we need to date again, among other things that I'd been advised. My friend had said, 'This will be the hardest time for your marriage, you guys need to focus on yourselves, and each other, and truly carve out time each week for just you-time.
Not the first time I've heard this. My mom is always on me about that as well: date, date, date. Well shit, what do we talk about?! How do we find the time? Who will babysit? Can't we just lie in bed and watch a movie? Does sleeping next to each other count?! Yeah, I'm really kinda tired...can we postpone this?
After some serious thought and looking deeper into our days, nights, and weekends, it really did hit me. In the beginning there was dating, then babies (we chose an alternative route ;)), then marriage. There was so much love and excitement between us, everything was spontaneous and full of laughter, we did anything and everything for each other just to pull out another smile or make each other feel good.
Yes, now life is busy. SHIT, somedays I wakeup looking for a hand to tag and say, "YOU'RE IT, you get to be the mom today!" So far, that's never happened...but despite being busy, I need to constantly remind myself to focus on WHY we have this crazy and beautiful life. WE have it together. WE started it. WE choose to.
I'm grateful for my friend and our conversation today. I know if I weren't there in person, I wouldn't have had that talk with anybody, and I needed it. My husband needed me to have it. My kids needed me to have it. So grateful.
Today we choose together to listen and have regular dates. HUBBA HUBBA. For anybody with jokes, no that doesn't mean more babies, you'd better watch your mouth!
Word to all the parents out there: translate this to your own life, your relationship, your family. Focus on what's important, because without a strong and growing relationship with your spouse, what does the future even look like? You freaking deserve a beautiful, ever-growing love. Be willing to work for it, even if it's just a little bit of time here and there, but really focus and take part in what makes the other person happy.
Please share with me, I can't wait to hear stories of dating and how your relationships evolve! I'm anxious to share ours as well.
PS. If you're a reader, "The 5 Love Languages" is excellent for your relationship. Audio books are one of the greatest ideas ever!