After the kids go to bed, it’s our only real time together.
We pry our own sleepy eyes open and hold hands while watching TV. We make love when we’re exhausted, because it’s our one chance.
He kisses me as he goes out the door to work every morning. We text “I love you” during the day. Sometimes we text angry things we didn’t get to finish talking about before our coffees were finished; before it was time to shower and get dressed for our days spent largely apart.
I stay home with our kids, and this beloved role sometimes feels like it consumes me—I admit it. I love being a mom. I hate being a mom sometimes, too. It’s complex, just like my children—just like people—are, but it’s everything I dreamed it would be, and it’s a billion other things I didn’t expect or wouldn’t choose.
But my marriage is far from over, and our “us” isn’t resigned to past tense.
We do share a history—most couples do. Most couples have a story of their own special romance hidden inside of the 9 to 5, dinner-making, and school bus meeting; tucked inside of a peck of a kiss we wish lasted longer; buried beneath laundry piles.
I admit to wanting a future with more of “us” waiting before the sunset.
I want to know in my heart our kids will only be little for so long, so we’ll cherish and nurture this gentle space in their lifetimes, where we get to be parents, and partners, and a family. I do believe this, but I know also life can be unfair.
I don’t want to save our “us” for someday.
I don’t want to pause our romance for tomorrow.
I don’t want to wait for the weekends to hold a kiss.
We try to fit our “us” into our Mondays, Wednesdays and Thursdays. We try to be the people who met, fell in love, and had children, before finding our love story placed haphazardly underneath a stack of our daughter’s school papers. We try to, but the reality is that life and love are different when you are sleep-deprived, loving parents to small kids.