Here at House of Joy, where every day is the same, it feels like there isn't really any time for K and I to spend together other than parenting time.
Once the children go to bed there's about an hour that each of us can use to do whatever grown up things we want. (Like
obsessively reading other people's diaries on the internet, watching TV, reading Tolstoy and making homemade jam.)
How is it possible to be a couple with two toddlers?
We're too tired to date each other... and even if we weren't...
On weekdays there's only two and a half hours between when we pick the kids up from daycare and put them to bed.
We feel like we should spend that time with them.
So if a babysitter came after bedtime, what does that leave us?
Movies don't start until 9:00... because movie theaters have no idea how much money they could make off of parents if they just started a show at 8:30 so you could watch, get home, get to bed at a semi-reasonable time so that your eyes didn't BURN when the children woke at 5:43 a.m. ready to start the day.
We ate that at 5:30 because the children were pounding their fists and screaming,
"SALAMI NOW! SALAMI NOW!" (What is with our children's obsession with Salami?)
We think about getting into some kind of weekend babysitter routine, but it's hard. They spend a lot of time at daycare while we work during the week. We are torn.
Maybe we need to come up with a "date at home" strategy.
I have read various ideas on blogs before - twinkle lights in the bedroom, romantic movie picnics right at home...
It's not that my relationship with K is in trouble.
I think we both feel like we have a pretty solid foundation of love for one another.
It's just that right now one or the other of our children is throwing a tantrum at all times.
Having an 18 month old and a two and a half year old in the house is like living with two jack hammers.
One of them is constantly hammering away at the nearest road or sidewalk, breaking up the concrete and JANGLING OUR LAST NERVE.
The constant, ceaseless, noise makes me feel like someone is rubbing my head back and forth across a cheese grater.
It is stressful.
It saps our energy for anything beyond simply getting through it.
When they finally go to bed we are zombies.
Before we had children we used to go out to dinner (and talk), go to films and then out for coffee (and talk), go to lectures (and then talk) or take walks (and talk the whole way.)
These days, talking to K has been reduced to ...
"You get up."
"No, You get up."
"Can you get Rooster some socks?
Oh, and her medicine?"
"I CAN'T HEAR YOU OVER THE MAYOR SCREAMING."
"I CAN'T HEAR YOU OVER THE ROOSTER SCREAMING."
"bu bu bu bu bu bu bu bu bu."
I think both of us worry that we could wake up in five years feeling estranged from one another and not have even noticed it happening.
We want to be a little proactive if that's possible.
What do other couples do? How do they keep their relationship as a couple alive with little kids?