We got the news today that some friends of ours are getting a divorce. It’s not entirely unexpected—they’ve been struggling for a while. Still, it made my heart feel heavy. Marriage is hard.
Before Charlotte was born, I felt like my own marriage was rock solid. We had a great life, and we loved living it—together. Having Charlotte completely upended our world.
Our old home didn’t work with a baby, so we left the best friends/neighbors/community we ever could have hoped for and moved to a house where we have none of that.
Our old friends don’t have kids, and we’ve drifted apart.
Old hobbies have faded into the background because they require time away from Charlotte, and our time with her is already so limited that the hobbies just don’t feel worth it anymore.
Gone are the days of extended happy hours and last minute trips to wine country.
This weekend, we fought. We weren’t communicating on the same level. I was hurt and angry. She was hurt and angry. We exploded at each other in the kitchen during nap time as we stood awkwardly in front of the refrigerator. As we talked through everything, Catch said that we’ve both changed. I was adamant that we’re still us, but we’re just too tired to do anything about it. In hindsight, I think we’re both right.
Motherhood has changed us, for certain. We have new joys and fears and responsibilities. New priorities. But the old “us” is still tucked away in there somewhere. It’s just that in all of our efforts to make Charlotte’s life better, we’ve stifled the parts of us that don’t thrive on motherhood—the parts of us that didn’t change.
The solution seems so easy when I write it out: Make time for ourselves—both separately and together.
And we should. We really should. Catch should be playing softball. (There’s a reason I call her Catch!) I should be—something—sitting in a coffee shop knitting, maybe. We should be venturing out together to take selfies in a vineyard—we have no shortage of willing babysitters!
It’s not that complicated, and I really believe it would make us better, happier people—both as spouses and as mothers.
It’s just so hard to convince myself to take time away from my little girl. She is all I think about at work. I wait all day to come home and hold her in my arms (for the ten seconds she will allow). Weekends are a mix of uninterrupted Charlotte time and time to get our lives put back together after a long week and ready for the next long week.
It feels like we can’t win. When we fill our hearts up with motherhood, we’re not leaving enough room for us—as individuals or as a couple… but if we don’t fill up on motherhood, it feels like we’re missing out on precious time with this little girl who is growing up too fast.
What we really need is about 6 more hours in the day. Or to win the lottery.