“All you need is love”….. da da da da da
Actually I’d argue you need a lot more than just ‘love’. Patience of a saint, compromise, hard work, perseverance, commitment…..
Marriage pre small-humans
There you are leading your lives as a duo for ‘x’ number of years. You have your own interests, on the same night, no problem you pop off to your respective rugby training/body pump class. Fancy a few drinks up the local after a busy week? Grab your coat and off you go. A cozy night in just the two of you? Roll out the popcorn/wine and start scrolling through Netflix.
It’s Valentine’s Day this week. Whether you’re an all in ‘rose petals leading to a candle lit table with a meal for two’ type of person or you think it’s all over commercialized I always take the opportunity to take a look at ‘us.’
I’m not going to refer to Darren as my best friend or soul mate. Nor will there be a full PDA (public display of affection) because (1) he would kill me and (2) it wouldn’t be very authentic as that is just not how our relationship works. Some people might look at us constantly taking the mick out of each other and think we have quite a dysfunctional relationship but it works for us and 13 years [anticipates joke about getting less for murder] down the line we must be doing something right.
His proposal has to rank up there amongst the most romantic. We were travelling around Australia, such a selection of beautiful places he could have chosen to pop the question. He chose ladies’ night at a hostel on Magnetic Island. If the blokes dressed up as women they also got free drinks so at the end of a night of dancing on tables, with a jelly Haribo ring and wearing my clothes, that’s how the grand gesture came about. I even turned up at my wedding in an A-team van but if it got me to the church I didn’t care.
Marriage post small humans
With the arrival of children the dynamic clearly shifts. From the care free boy racer days of our 20s when we used to drive the streets at all hours in our kevved up motors, listening to the latest Clubland compilation to now me being in bed by 9pm most nights. From weekend after weekend of clubbing/pubbing to owners of National Trust memberships, movies and a bag of kettle chips on the sofa.
I know I’m not the easiest person to live with yet this chap has stuck by my side through it all, especially the hard times after our first small human. I’d read about people’s outpouring of love for their partners after their babies were born. Poor Darren would only so much as to breath in my direction in those early sleep deprived days, riddled with anxiety, and he’d get an ear bashing. But he knew that wasn’t me and with his support, day by day, it got easier and we got back on track.
I remember sat laughing with him at breakfast on a night away, heavily pregnant with no.2, wishing each other luck and “See you on the other side.” Second time round and I’d be lying if I said it has been/is a walk in the park but it’s a lot better. Better in part because I think we communicate with each other a lot better.
Time for us
I blog about taking ‘time for me’ and how I’ve found pockets of time to do the things that make me happy. Time to read, play in a band, catch up with friends over dinner. It’s also really important we make ‘time for us’ as the days keep ticking by in the routine of parenting. Before we know it the weeks have passed and the only time we’ve spent in just each other’s company has also involved the TV!
So each month we try to take it in turns to arrange a childfree evening so we can go out. Last month it was quite an entertaining evening at the local with a few G&T’s/beers, a grab bag of ready salted crisps and 90s dance tunes on the duke box. We’ve also had a night in with the Scrabble board. How very rock n roll. Seems I get a bit feisty and competitive after a few drinks though!
He’s on call this Valentine’s day so I might roll the M&S meal for 2 over to the Friday and revisit that game of Scrabble. I did say no PDAs but it has to be said that although he can drive me nuts sometimes, which I’m sure is reciprocated, he is a fantastically supportive husband. He’s an awesome father to the small humans and we all love him very much. So even with the romantic range of a Neanderthal cave man he’s a keeper.