Ever try to have a conversation with your partner when your kid is around? Once they can talk, it's very challenging. Interuptions are commonplace and the questions they ask about what you say! So, you retreat to the standard, "How was your day?" and he responds, "Fine." and you hope you can connect after the tots are tucked in. If your kids go to sleep easily (and many don't even with the best efforts), you have a precious few hours to connect. But there is usually still the evening emails, and dishes and laundry that didn't get done during the day. You have to choose between getting ahead on that to do list that never gets done while you tend to your tot's needs during the day or try to cuddle and and ignite a hot evening or even spark an interesting conversation with your love. Sometimes it's just too much pressure. Or one of you is too tired, or your kids wake up and want water or are sick or whatever..... It's frustrating to not have control over your time and to have to patiently wait to have your adult needs met because younger people can't wait very long to have theirs met. So you get creative...... There is the date night where you don't go out really, just to a hotel to either sleep (if you are really sleep deprived and need to sleep as a prerequisite to even thinking about sex or talking) or have a hot romp with your husband. There is family nap time where you put your kids to bed mid day and use the middle of the day for connecting because you are fresher. And there are days when you agree to turn off all electronics after the kids are in bed and make a date to just talk. Funny how you move in together to share more time and now you have to work harder to schedule time to actually be together. They say kids grow up fast. And that when they are teens they don't want anything to do with you and you have tons of time to talk or have sex or go out. And that by that time you will want them to call out to you for a cup of water in the night. Hard to hold the long view sometimes and to be sustained on 5 hours of sleep a quickie here and there and a nap time snuggle, but this is all relatively normal in the first 5 years. The most important thing it seems is to be on the same page about how hard it is right now and to support each other and to make sure to break out of the mondain routine that kids need but that tends to put adult relationships to sleep. It's work. And it can be fun to be creative. It's a lot like the skills we used to sneak around as teens when we wanted to experience stuff.... only now we're trying to create a small space of separate life from our kids.
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