Like Ships Passing In The Night


Like Ships Passing In The Night. I think a blog post with this title could probably be written about the relationship between spouses at almost every stage of parenting. When they are infants, you sleep as much as you can and when you’re awake you’re barely conscious. As they grow, you begin to juggle activities. If you have more than one kid, you’re rarely attending the same activity as your spouse, most often splitting up to cover all of the bases. It’s easy for the time you do have together to be spent on the “business” of parenting and marriage. If you go here, do this, I can do this and go there and maybe, just maybe, we can get it all done and meet back home at 9 p.m.

I often hear people say they can’t remember life without kids. My husband and I remember it well. We had 15 years together before we became a family of three and then a family of four. We had lots of things we did together and lots of things that made us our own people as well. We traveled together and alone. We had mutual friends and our own friends. We did a lot of really great stuff! But still I kick myself for not appreciating the freedom of no kids. But how was I to know? It took me 5 years, but I finally got him interested in yoga, just as I became pregnant with our first child and worried I’d do something wrong at yoga to hurt that lima bean growing insde me. He’s recently taken up running, something I tried numerous times to make a habit for myself in my twenties. Now that he’s into it, I’m totally and completely over it. I used to go to several classes at the gym a week and he swore he’d never step foot in a gym. Now that we have kids, he tries to get there at least a few evenings a week. I squeeze my workout time in during my lunch hour at the office gym.

With kids, we find it’s nearly impossible to do these kinds of things together. Sure, we could hire a baby sitter, but $15 an hour for a $17 yoga class x 2 seems wasteful. We could do yoga at home, but we hardly ever sustain that practice for a time long enough to make it a practice. We could join a gym with childcare, but by the time we both get home from work it’s dinner and bedtime. And my office gym is free. So we divvy the evenings and weekend days up – you go to yoga this day, I’ll run at the gym that day, you work late this day, I have a late meeting that day, you pick the kids up this day, they’ll stay late until I can pick them up that day – it sometimes leaves us living like ships passing in the night.

We’re fulfilled ships at least – I go to church to nourish my soul and he stays home to practice music to nurture his. He’s losing weight and getting healthy at the gym, I’m trying Yoga Nidra with one of my best friends. But I miss him. Our time together is so limited. I find myself wanting to stay up late, shooting the shit about our days, being silly, like it used to be, not wanting to go to bed and the next manic Monday to start. But this makes me smile. At least I still love being around him, he still nourishes my soul too. I couldn’t ask for more. The time we spent together, alone and with our children, is mostly quality, mixed in with a little yelling and crying. Life is good. Is it ok to just wish for a few more hours in the day to spend with those I love?

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My husband and I – 20 years ago – totally unaware that after having kids we’d never be able to make another late night fast food run because leaving kids alone with the dog is frowned upon.

4 comments on “Like Ships Passing In The Night”

  1. Loved this. This is so hard. Having kids really does change marriage. I didn’t know you had 15 years together without kids! What a great base to have built.

  2. Love this!! I can so totally relate. I read this at the right time, because tonight I was just thinking about the importance of teamwork and getting it all done. And what a great teammate you see to have!

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