Realising and remembering that it doesn’t always have to be about the kids. We all need some ‘me’ time and that goes for the other half too.
I count my lucky stars everyday, as I have 2 beautiful children, (I’m biased, and of course, all children are beautiful), and a very unselfish, hardworking husband that sometimes we might take for granted. (Please don’t think I’m bragging, he’s not perfect.) He gives up his time to be with our family by working away from home 5 days a week. He misses out on parents evenings, sports days, nativities and anything else that happens on a week day that can make the hard work all seem worth while. (If he reads this, it’s going to add to his, already huge, ego!) We do try to make the weekends count; treat it like quality time but they fly by, like they do for everyone, and then Monday morning rolls around and it’s time for him to set off again, for another week of work. I’m not saying I have it harder than anyone else or even complaining. Parenting, in all shapes and forms is a tough job, but with caring for the kids, working part-time myself and running a household on my own during the week means John is usually at the back of the queue with his needs. We’re not talking caring for him here, he is grown man who is quite capable of looking after himself and us; more his hobbies and things he likes to do. I know he feels incredibly guilty, going out to meet friends for a drink or play a round of golf, so often turns down invites. He feels his weekends should be spent with the girls as they haven’t seen him all week. We all need time out to do something we enjoy to appreciate why we work so hard. Some may say he should get his enjoyment out of being with his family and seeing the kids enjoy themselves and he really does, but the girls aren’t really into motor racing, car shows, and tinkering around with an engine. They might help him wash the cars sometimes but generally they are in side it pretending to drive somewhere while he washes the outside. (Cute)
When John asked if we could go to the ‘Oh so Retro Car show’ this weekend I made sure that we went. The plan was to go as a family but then my sister-in-law offered to have the girls for us which was handy. I don’t think the girls would have enjoyed walking around looking at antique and collectors cars. We could have taken them, and they probably would have been fine, but it wouldn’t be long before Emma is complaining her legs are aching and continually ask when are we going, as it isn’t anything that she wants to do. Kids, you’ve got to love them! It was weird being out without the girls, as it doesn’t happen very often (almost never). Weird, but really nice to spend time together, not watching what you have to say or talking in code. Also to have the time to talk to each other and listen, without being interrupted by an impatient child who doesn’t understand that the whole world doesn’t actually revolve around them. (Emma is still only 6)
Now Retro cars isn’t my thing but it’s John’s thing. I actually enjoyed walking around with him talking about all the cars he’s owned in his youth that have now become collectors and worth quite a lot of money now. Many of them I remember, we’ve known each other since we were 17, so we reminisced together, remembering some good times, even funny times that happened. Those few hours we spent together were important. For those few hours we were Husband and wife, back to being John and Bec, not Mummy and Daddy, we were us! We were only gone 4 hours but that’s all we needed. We were happy to go back to being Mummy and Daddy and listen to the girls tell us all about the mud pies that they had been making in Auntie Tor’s garden. Not sure Auntie Tor was that thrilled though, but I’ll make sure that I return the favour.
Spending that time just me and my husband, took me back to where it all began and reminded me of how and why we feel in love. (Sick buckets ready!) Sometimes, caught up in the hectic chaos of family life, it can all get forgotten and although I have never stopped loving John through it all, you can easily forget that you need time for each other too as well as the ‘me’ time.
When was the last time you and your partner made time for each other?