Two sides of the same coin

Right now I feel like a coin, being tossed up in the air over and over again.  I mostly feel like I’m heads-up, feeling good when I land on the ground again.  But there are these moments of landing heads-down.  Small moments of feeling the darkness creeping back.  Asking myself what could I do to make things better?  Is there anything I could do?  Like I said before, this feels like a high.  One I will probably come down from relatively soon.  Even with my house looking almost as clean as it was before. Even with Mike home for the whole weekend and some time spent chatting with friends this morning.  I just can’t shake it.

And I really do love my kids, but I just wish I could have a day with Mike and only Mike.  For now it’s just not possible (counting Ben, who can’t be left for a full day).  I want a vacation.  I want a date night – the old kind where you go to dinner and a movie or even bowling.  Sometimes I just want to be young and carefree for a few hours. 

The thing is, whenever I leave my kids with someone for any length of time, I spend the whole time I’m away thinking about them and worrying that something is going wrong.  When I leave Ben, I’m sure he’s going to pick that hour of that day to need to be fed more often than normal.  I’m sure that when I get back home, I will get a report of all the terrible things that happened and how desperate the sitter was to have us come home.  So I just don’t leave them unless someone offers or it’s a very special occasion (birthdays and anniversaries).  Is this normal? 

I read part of a blog entry that questioned the common belief that couples must have date night for their marriages to survive.  We hardly ever have a date night without any kids and we’re doing okay.  Well, our marriage is doing fine.  I’m not so good.  But anyway, I think I agree with the blogger that wrote about this.  I think it’s good, but not imperative.  I think it is refreshing, but not necessary.

What do you think?  I don’t ask questions of my audience very often, but I want to know.  Has your marriage survived months without date nights or do you feel like it is a necessity to maintaining health in your marriage?  Do you get what you need just from heading out grocery shopping with your husband or does it need to be formal?  What about family activities instead of dates?  Just hanging out together?

Anyway, I’m curious.  Most people seem to believe that your marriage will practically fall apart if you don’t have time away from your kids, just the two of you.  I’m not so sure I agree 100%.



Filed under Life, in general, Melancholy

6 responses to “Two sides of the same coin

  1. My husband and I have 2 little girls, 3.5 and 1.5. We haven’t had a “date night” since our oldest was about a month or 2 old I guess. We have only left the girls with a friend since then if we had to go to a grown up meeting and couldn’t take them with us. While we would both LOVE to have time together outside of the house, without the girls, we make do with what we are able. When the hubby is home and the girls are asleep we spend that time together, not doing other things. Our marriage is great. There are other ways to strengthen and maintain a marriage besides date night. We are always thanking one another for doing whatever it was, and saying I love you. While they are both habit they are still both very true in meaning, not just said because. I feel the way you do, but try not to dwell on it too much. Chin up, the kids will be grown up before you know it.

    • Katie

      Thank you, Holly! At least I’m not the only one who thinks that maybe date nights aren’t crucial to the survival of marriage. I understand how important it is to spend time together when the kids are in bed, so we do try to do that as often as we can. Sometimes it’s just watching a movie or playing a game, other times we sit and talk, but it always feels good. Lately it’s been a little bit harder because Ben doesn’t go to bed at the same time as the other kids on most nights, and when he does, he doesn’t sleep very long. Still, we’re doing what we can.

  2. It is not normal to worry the whole time you are gone….at least I don’t think it is…it IS normal for me:( I hate leaving the kids with anyone other than Garry, and my mom sometimes, and I still worry.
    I think you have to have (like they say) quality time not quantity. I have found though that people feel good or bad about their time together etc based on thè way they view love. You should read The Five Love Languages book by Gary Chapman, if you haven`t already. I found it was revelational for me about every realtionship in my life too- mom, Garry, Aiden.

    • Katie

      I know a lot about that book, but have yet to read it completely. I’m not even sure I own it….
      Yeah, I don’t worry so much about bad things happening to the kids while I’m gone (although I do that a bit, too), but more about me being a bad mom because of leaving them or because of something they do while I’m gone. Like, if they have some sort of conflict, the person watching them is going to think, “Man, Katie is such a bad mom for allowing her children to behave like this.” I know very well that it has more to do with what people think about me than what my kids are doing.

  3. Carly

    I’ll have to give you a better comment after we have our baby and have spent some time raising her, with her in our lives. Lol. However, I do agree that it’s more about being in tune with each other and really paying attention to each other’s needs. When you do leave your kids for a bit and you feel bad, DON’T! No one is going to think your kids are misbehaving because you’re a bad mom, or else they’re not worthy to be able to spend time with your precious kids! Kids are kids and have to learn, but I adore your children.

  4. Robert


    My belief is that it is important to talk this over with your spouse. Determine what is important for him. Every couple is unique and what works for one may not work for another. If he believes it is important, make it happen. Be honest with your sitter about your concerns and make an agreement that you will be calling in every 30 minutes to see if things are going alright (or whatever you think you need). If it is not important to him, continue to do what you are doing. Marriage is an adventure where time will reveal what works best for your particular union.

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