June 9, 2017

How We Make Time for Ourselves & Our Marriage

Several weeks ago I asked all of you if you had any questions for me. Apparently I was wrong about feeling like people maybe had some questions, lol. Elizabeth came through for me and asked two questions. Thanks, friend! :)

She asked about speech and OT for Kase, which I think I answered in this post.

She also asked...

My question is... how do you make time for YOU? Obviously you find time to blog, but I know you love to walk on the treadmill as well, and I assume you must like to take some time to yourself to either go to Target alone, get a manicure, or just plain, be alone with no little fingers tapping you and saying "Mommy!". How do you find time to do that? Do you just squeeze it in during any down time? Or make plans for it? I'd love to know because I struggle with that.

The short answer? I have an amazing, supportive husband. When he gets home from work every night, we eat dinner and then I usually sneak away and take some time for myself while he plays with the kids. Sometimes I take a hot bath. Sometimes I go downstairs on the treadmill. Sometimes I go to the gym. Sometimes I escape to Target. He understands that I have been home all day and I just need a little bit of time to relax and recharge. Just last night he could see I had a long day with Kenley. She was up at 5:20 am, didn't get a nap, and was just exhausting. Tyler encouraged me to go do something for myself and take a break so I went to the gym and did a class. He had been working all day and although he was tired too, playing with the kids is what he wanted to be doing. He's not the type of guy that just sits on the couch the moment he gets home. He gives the kids his attention from the moment he walks in the door until they go to bed. Once they're in bed, he will unwind and relax himself. I am very, very thankful for him.

After I take some time for myself, I usually feel like a whole new person. I have more patience and can help with baths and bedtime, get the kitchen cleaned up from dinner, without feeling stressed and overwhelmed.

I feel like Tyler and I really do make a great team. Both of our number one priorities is our kids, but we support each other and know that we each need time for ourselves too. Tyler enjoys hunting and fishing when he can get away for awhile. He also usually stays up a couple hours after the rest of us to relax.

Thankfully we have a really strong marriage because we don't spend much time focusing on each other. Having kids puts added stress on a marriage, but having a kid with special needs is a completely different ball game. There are times when we go days without feeling like we had a real conversation, just for the two of us. Everything is about the kids - how therapy went, did we get that paperwork completed, did Kyla do her homework, when did Kase go potty last. By the time they're in bed, we're both exhausted and I just want to go to bed and he just wants to relax and watch some TV in silence.

My mom comes over a lot to help us out, which we are extremely grateful for. It's usually so we can attend a meeting with Kase's therapists, go to Kyla's parent-teacher conferences or go to the dentist ourselves. We go out to eat by ourselves a couple times a year (usually just on our anniversary). We haven't gone away for a night without kids since 2013 when we went to Chicago for the Big Ten run with some friends.

We do play sand volleyball together once a week in the summer. The drive to and from is sometimes our only chance to have a real conversation for the week so we appreciate that time a lot.

I'm not saying all of this because I want people to feel sorry for us. We chose to have three kids and we choose to put them first. We absolutely love our lives. But that doesn't mean it's always easy. A week long vacation probably isn't in our future anytime soon, but it would be nice to get away, just the two of us, for a night or two. Maybe this summer!

I know the question was more directed at me and not about our marriage, but I thought it all kind of goes together. And obviously I'm a stay at home mom. I imagine it's different for working mom's who aren't home with their kids all day. I think it's important for everyone to get some time just for themselves and I'm extremely thankful for the support I get from Tyler.

1 comment:

  1. I think it's so, SO great that you guys work together as a team so well. I think that is key in any marriage, with any size family, and whether or not you have a child with special needs, but very much more important with a child with special needs. I read somewhere that the divorce rate is way higher when you have that extra stress. And I believe it. Thankfully Seth and my relationship is similar to you guys though our family dynamic is slightly different. Even though I work outside the house and have a "break" from Mason (so to speak - hopefully that came out right), I still like to have some time to myself as well. Like today, I took off from work to get some stuff done around our new place and to just have some me time. I think you guys work well as a team and I love that you each get some me time each day/week.