Just Asking For A Few Sparks

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SparksI’m pretty sure I could remedy all married-life bickering if I could just get a little more time with my husband.

By the time he gets home, we eat dinner, the kids get baths, and everyone finally ends up in some form of pajamas, it really turns into about 30 minutes of quality time for him with his children. And after the kids go to bed, he gets one hour of quality time with his wife. During which his wife wants to chill out with some Netflix and her pillow.

Truth is, we’re both so exhausted by this point that we’re perfectly content lying in bed, side by side, zoned out to “House of Cards” or something similar. I have already found out how his day was at work over dinner. He has already heard about my day over dinner. These conversations are perfunctory and bland and interrupted by a screaming baby and a food-aggressive toddler with the stomach of a teenage boy. In other words, it’s pretty much the same conversation every day, each of us half paying attention to the other. Besides these brief tidbits, we really don’t get to reconvene for deep meaningful conversation until about 9:00 at night. Kid chores, real chores, and last-minute work chores all prevent any substantial communication from taking place. And by then, I don’t have the energy or patience for thought-provoking dialogue. If I am being honest, at this point in the day I can be down right moody.

The more I think about it, the more I feel that the one hour I get with my husband isn’t enough time. That’s 5 hours total Monday-Friday, and not even five quality hours. Plus, we spend it mostly staring at a TV, too tired to even bother with the stimulating conversation I daydream about most of the day. We are tucked under the covers, baby in a bassinet, watching TV with seltzers at the ready.

Netflix and seltzers. We certainly know how to keep the romance alive.

And they aren’t even those fancy LaCroix seltzers, either. Good old Kroger brand.

I’m pretty sure we’re not alone in this sad state of affairs.

What do we do about this? How do we keep the spark alive? We don’t have family anywhere nearby so actual date nights are tough. Plus, did I mention the exhaustion? I used to think newborns were rough. Until I had a toddler…

So what do we do…

My solution thus far has been to become the epic planner. I scour the Internet during nap time for possible fun, free, family-friendly events. I make arrangements, pack picnics, get the kids dressed in proper attire… Just to get out of the house with my husband and change the scenery for an hour or two. We go to parties in the park (Sawyer Point on Wednesdays, Ault Park for their monthly Thursday events, Oakley After Hours, Clifton’s musical events… Etc. etc. etc.). We travel to different ice cream parlours for an occasional treat. We try different family-friendly restaurants. We do various events at the zoo like Tunes and Blooms. We play in the backyard or at an actual park. We go to the pool in the summer on week nights. We pack the kids up and get a babysitter-free date night at the Drive-In movie theater. Yes, by the end of the day I am exhausted. My husband is exhausted. But I know how important it is to create quality family time for our kids AND for ourselves. I schlep the kids and he meets us. And even if we aren’t looking forward to it due to the process of it all, we usually have fun when we get there. The sunshine helps. And then I don’t feel nearly as bad when we collapse into bed and immerse ourselves in some Netflix original series with our sparkling water.

What do you do to keep the spark alive?

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One minute my husband and I are strolling down the boardwalk near our home in New Jersey with our daughter and dog, and the next we're on a plane bound for Cincinnati! As far as I'm concerned, there's nothing better than an adventure. Plus, it seems as though all of the things I love: running, snowboarding, traveling, food, and sports are all right here for us to enjoy. I'm looking forward to discovering this city with my family, trying new things, and sharing my experience with you!

1 COMMENT

  1. Loved this post. I can totally relate minus the newborn. I guess long weekends help. I am already planning every minute of Labor day weekend!

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