If you were to write down a list of what is important in your life, where would your marriage/relationship fall? I’m going to go ahead and assume it would be pretty high. If you’re like me, it would be up there with your children and your health as one of the top three. But are you really prioritising your relationship?
But when you have small children, don’t you find you get so caught up in being busy and doing things, that you forget how to prioritise these important things? Kids are easy to prioritise: they’re noisy little buggers so you have no option but to prioritise them.
But your marriage and your health? Those things take some work. We’ve spoken about health a fair bit before (check out our health stories here), but I haven’t been qualified to speak on relationships too much. I’ve been busy prioritising other things.
If you follow us on Instagram, you would have noticed over the weekend that I spent a glorious 24-ish hours without my children. (And if you don’t follow us on Instagram, you should!) It’s not that I haven’t done this before, but this is the first time since Little Red was born 27 months ago that she has slept over at someone else’s house and Husby and I have just hung out together.
I’m not going to get into the whys and wherefores about it taking so bloody long for us to get ourselves together, but suffice to say, Little Red can be handful. And three kids all together are a handful. And I love my mother too much to inflict that upon her. Well, I did up until Saturday.
So I dropped the tinies at my wonderful mum’s house, and came home to get pretty. We were like excited teens: we drank cheap bubbles, played Chemical Brothers and Scissor Sisters very loud, and giggled and chatted excitedly.
Then we hit some great cocktail bars in West End, Brisbane (if you’re looking for some great places, try The End for its ambience and cocktail list, or Bosc for its outstanding knowledge of all things gin-related).
And – the first sign things were getting loco – we ate burritos and accompanied them with shots of tequila and some unknown chilli shot that a flamboyant bartender told me I “will totally love, love”. And I did.
Husby and I talked shit, we reminisced, we relaxed and we laughed. What fun! No pressure to be home by a certain time, no need to worry about children waking during the night – just the two of us.
It’s been such a long time since it’s been just the two of us.
Lame-o parents that we are, we were in a taxi by 11:30pm heading for the comfort of our home and elasticised pants.
But it was wonderful. And waking up the next morning and not rushing anywhere was wonderful. And watching Insiders in peace was wonderful. And going out for breakfast and eating eggs benedict and reading the paper in comfortable silence was wonderful.
I looked at Husby in a way I haven’t in a long time. Like he was a fun, fascinating and interesting man – not just the guy who hasn’t mowed the lawn or taken the bins out.
And it made me think: what the fuck was I thinking, all that time, neglecting my marriage like that?
Sure, my kids can be a handful. Sure, Little Red isn’t a great sleeper. Sure, I’m very important and my children REALLY NEED ME.
But my marriage is something I plan on investing in for the rest of my life – and it will be here long after my children have grown up and left home. Why would I not take my investment in that seriously?
Kids are resilient. Kids can learn to enjoy grandma’s house, and even if they don’t have a great time the first or second time, they’ll get used to it. And kids benefit from living in a house with parents who genuinely connect and like each other.
By ditching the tinies, I’m actually doing them a long-term favour.
And now they know my mother has jelly beans and ice cream, they’re already begging to go back. But we might have to wait until she’s recovered.