Last night I hosted 8 moms and their 10 kids aged 16 weeks to 12 years old at my 1200sq ft house.
It was an off shoot of a breastfeeding support group I am a part of.
Jellybean spent a large portion of the time letting the other kids the toys are "MINE!" and alternatively trying to climb inside the fireplace that I was positioned strategically in front of.
The kids? They spent an hour and a half torturing Chevy. I found him being held captive in a bucket used to store puzzles in Jellybean's room. Blue and Cadillac had escaped to the safety of the backyard. I finally locked Chevy in our bedroom. I think he decided to appreciate the minimal amount of torture Jellybean puts him through because he spent the whole night snuggled up to him sleeping after that ordeal!
Me? I loved the chaos. And I don't do noises.
It was loud. 10 kids. Countless toys and a whole lotta ladies chatting.
The topic of discussion though?
It was relationships after kids.
What I discovered?
We all have the same issues.
Everyone struggles with maintain intimacy in their marriage. We all fight with our spouses over chores. Kids make marriage harder whether one person works outside the home, both do or neither does. They aren't just time consuming. They are life consuming.
What I took away from it?
Its okay to have different priorities/expectations of what needs to be done around the house. I feel that the laundry NEEDS to get folded and put away. Joey is just as slap happy to use that time to sit on the couch and watch TV and will gladly wear his clothes straight from the dryer. Just because I want it done doesn't mean that he has to do what I say. If I want it done its up to me to do it. Just like I could care less if his shed gets organized but he feels a need to spend an entire afternoon rearranging tools.
The big picture stuff is what we need to agree on. How we raise Jellybean. What bills we're actually going to pay this month. The right way to put away dishes.
Intimacy requires effort. Even if you're both tired and neither one of you wants to try. Because once you start trying - chances are you'll forget you were tired. Communication as always is still the key.
But the one thing we haven't been making a priority is time for each other. With Joey's work schedule there just hasn't been much time for us. We're making efforts to change that though.
My work has a family fun day at a water park by my parents on Saturday. Our plan? We are going to the park with Jellybean for a bit and then dropping him off with my parents. Then we're heading back to the park to spend a few hours slipping and sliding away, go karting and having our own little date.
Then it will be all family time for two months since Joey's son will be down. The plan after he goes back?
I'M GOING TO LET JELLYBEAN SPEND THE NIGHT WITH MY SITER OR MY PARENTS.
Yup, you read that correctly.
Me and the hubby?
We're getting a hotel room and will spend the weekend with each other. Talking, sleeping, reconnecting.
Without a strong marriage we can't have a strong family.
I think I just needed to hear that everyone else goes through it too. And give ourselves permission to do things without Jellybean.
The other upside to having 10 kids running around my house and me not going insane?
I realized I can handle another kid or two when we're ready! :)