Sometimes I like to think about us before kids. When it was just you and me. When we were each other’s priority. When we could come and go as we pleased. If we felt like taking an overnight trip or heading into the city to see a show, we did. We had friends over for dinner and drinks. We stayed up late and slept in if we wanted. There was time for you. And there was time for me. There was time for us together. And there was quiet. Remember, quiet?
We went on tropical vacations and to concerts and read in the sun. We went on ski trips with college roommates and visited wineries. We cuddled, kissed, and held hands. We looked at the stars on summer nights. We planned for the future and envisioned what life would look like down the road. You were my focus. You were my whole heart.
And together, we welcomed our first baby into this world. Together we created a miracle. I watched you become a father as they placed her in your arms for the first time. And my love for you grew.
Within that first year of parenthood, things shifted completely. It wasn’t about us anymore. We were exhausted and tired. And somewhere between all those late nights, blowouts, piles of laundry, and work obligations, we started to take it out on each other.
Our fuses were shorter. We were quick to snap. We felt the weight of trying to keep up and staying afloat. We needed to remind each other that we were on the same team. But we found a new normal. We created a routine and delegated roles (you’ll always have the dishes). We started to get the hang of this whole parenting thing.
Then we added another child. And then, another. And now all hands are on deck. We are learning as we go. We are doing the best we can. We are discovering we yell more than we said we would. This whole parenting thing is hard. We still need to remind ourselves that we are on the same team. We are in this together. And we also need to remind ourselves that we still count. Because we are where it all started. Because there is no family without us.
And among all this beautiful and not so beautiful chaos, I wish we had more time for us. Most days, I don’t have the energy. Most days, we get pulled in every direction. I know we don’t cuddle and kiss like we used to. I miss holding your hand. I miss us.
I wish we had more time. I wish we had more date nights and time away without the kids. Because it’s in those moments that I can look into your eyes. It’s in those moments that I can feel our closeness and am reminded of the person I fell in love with. I can see you. You can see me. And it feels so good to be able to laugh and be playful together. Because when it’s just us, it feels less heavy. It brings me back to our connection in the beginning. Back to when we met in college.
But I guess for right now, we will have to take what we can get. Right now, there is not much of us without them.
Please know that I love you. I loved you then. And I love you now. You’ll always be my person. Thank you for sharing this life with me.
Someday there will be more time for us.