“We always said we would keep our marriage first.” I pleaded to my husband. “Marriage then kids. But the kids are demanding all of our attention right now and I miss you.” He shook his head and explained he knew, he agreed and “It’s just where we are at this moment.”
It had been 8 months since we’d been on a date and that is too long. Most couples probably would have already hired a babysitter and gone out, but we are both guilty of being extremely cautious when it comes to childcare. We’ve been scarred by stories involving babysitters that our past neighbor shared in his time as a volunteer EMT; after which he declared, “This is why my wife and I have never hired a babysitter.” His son was 8 years old at the time.
Friends and family encourage us to get out, to let them help but we keep biding our time, convincing ourselves that in just a couple of years we will have plenty of opportunities for date nights-out. For now, we can’t imagine leaving just one person with all three of our children because we can hardly do it on our own. When I used to work at night, we hired a sitter to help my husband put all three girls down. Bed time is chaotic with a 6 month, 2 and 4 year-old and requires lots of hands. It’s one of the primary reasons I quit that job.
As a result, there’s been a disconnect in our relationship. It’s hard to remember who the person you married was before children when you don’t provide opportunities to allow those qualities you once loved to shine. While cuddling on the couch, chatting or watching TV is nice, they don’t nurture those old bonds. We needed to get away. And soon.
I reached out to a friend who had daughters close-in-age to our eldest two. I offered to hire our mutual sitter to assist her with all five of our girls, but since our date was to be held during the day, she felt she would be able to manage and we trusted her sentiment.
The day came and my husband ventured deep into our attic, brushed the dust off our yard-sale-purchased clubs and threw them in the back of his truck. We were escaping our domesticated life to play nine holes of golf for the first time in five years.
We giggled. The kind of snickering and giggling you do when you know you love somebody but haven’t told them yet. Out came my husband’s silly euphemisms. “Don’t leave any chicken on the bone!” he quipped while I was lining up to take a putt. “What?!” I laughed out loud, remembering this to be one of the many qualities I love about him.
“That was really nice.” He said later that night. “I know, ” I replied. “We need to do that again.”
“We do. And we will.” All in due time. Not often in these early childhood days, but enough to remember who we were, who we still are. Just enough to strengthen the bond, to make it a few more months before needing to refuel again.
Until then, we will enjoy this family we are committed to nurturing; all the while, fantasizing about future date-nights out or perhaps even a weekend away (gasp!).
Golfer Ben Hogan once said, “The most important shot in golf is the next one.”
Here’s to hoping our next shots are on the green, right down the middle, and just a putt away.