Katie is the Care.com global parenting expert, a mom of 2 (almost 3) and has been married for 8 years (but together for 18). And she has a very good understanding of how life as a parent can take a toll on life as a couple. Here is a funny – and poignant – take on marriage with kids.
- When kid-less couples complain about their lack of time to see friends, go to the gym, go to movies – you want to wring their necks.
- Sexy pajamas? Those are for single people – or baby making – and thus are in the attic.
- You’ve spent "together time" hunched over a toilet looking at poop color/consistency/mass/all of the above.
- You send your spouse calendar invites. From the couch. With him/her next to you.
- You have a mental score-card tracking all the bum wipes, tub times and nightmares you’ve handled – alone.
- Your Facebook page has become a family photo album with only the cutest pictures and quotes from your brood.
- You often wonder how one person can be so smart, but still never remember that Saturday mornings are soccer practice.
- You’ve actually – legitimately - argued about the Elf on the Shelf.
- You’ve called each other Mommy and Daddy, not ironically, and not in front of the kids.
- You’ve had actual conversations around which cartoon characters are prettiest/realistic/have the best values/you would hook up with.
- You’ve negotiated "favors" to get more sleep.
- Scoring tickets to certain kid bands is just as exciting as going to U2 was ten years ago.
- Made-up words like "Wubby" "Bubby" "Luvie" and "Binky" are commonly used in your conversations.
- You have a rule that nothing said to each other between 12a.m and 4 a.m. can be brought up later.
- It’s a badge of honor to announce you haven’t showered/shaved/waxed/changed your clothes all day (or month).
- You can recognize what each stain is from on each other’s favorite sweatpants.
- During an argument, you’ve frustratingly pleaded your partner to "use your words."
I have to tell you that as funny and true as some of these might be -- you’re not alone. This is what happens when you go from crazy-kids-in-love to a couple with kids who love each other. We’re more mature. We’ve been through childbirth together. We’ve picked poop off the other person’s shirt. But with that type of intimacy often comes the lack of cuddling, the loss of deep talks about your future and life dreams, the absence of patience with each other. We think all we need is sleep. We just need the kids to get out of a certain phase. But we really need to just tap into that person we met X years ago, who we were at that time – and reconnect – as those people who have kids now. What would that couple think of the fight over which binky to use or whose turn it is to handle tubby time?
Valentine’s Day might be something this couple rolls their eyes at, but try to use this coming weekend as a time to take time for each other – with only each other. This family is about you. The two people who started it. Go on a date again. Go for a walk. Hold hands. Hug for no reason. Laugh with each other. These beautiful faces we’re raising have made us stronger, better people. We just need to make sure we’re making ourselves a stronger, better couple. And remember, all this kid stuff – it’s just a phase. They’ll be gone one day, leaving us back to the couple with more free time than we know what to do with. And hopefully, no more score-keeping.
I hope you take time to cherish this Valentine’s Day.
What would you add to this list?
P.S. I also made a YouTube video about some of the funniest "romance killers" parents face... I hope you’ll watch it – and laugh about it together!