When Nic and I started dating we had so much fun. We used to go to happy hour every week. We had so many karaoke nights with friends. Our trips were always tons of fun. Everything was an adventure. We’d also always laugh about things until we cried. I loved all of this about us.
When we had Kuya the fun continued. Kuya loved adventure as much as we did. He was also such a happy baby. So happy that we knew we wanted another one.
When Sissy Boo entered the world she was ready to take it on. She was serious and cautious. She didn’t quite find as much fun in exploring and adventure. Because she was the baby a lot of attention was of course given to her. This naturally changed the dynamics of our family. Additionally, having two kids under two was so much harder than we expected.
Going Through the Motions
When you’ve been together for almost ten years and you have two toddlers your relationship will likely change. It’s hard to find time to have fun when the babies are hungry, cranky, or need to use the bathroom. Usually one or more of these three things is happening at any given time. Throw laundry and dishes on top of that and your life begins to feel like a stagnant to-do list.
Simply going through the motions of marriage and family life can make life mundane. So many of us end up doing it, however. So many of us that we begin to believe that that’s just how life is.
Most of the people I know in Minnesota are married with kids. Nic and I don’t regularly hang out with couples without children. While we were here in Hawaii, however, my sister Michelle and brother-in-law Mike who do not yet have kids spent eight days with us. Spending this time with them made me realize how important it is to have fun in my marriage.
It’s the Little Things
Michelle and Mike spent a lot of time with us in Hawaii. They also went off and had adventures on their own. They had a blast, just the two of them. It made me remember the childless days Nic and I had. It wasn’t not having kids that I missed. It was finding fun in all of the little things.
One thing that Michelle and Mike brought with them was a card game called Phase 10. They were adamant about all four of us playing when the kids went to sleep. I admit that I had very low expectations. I didn’t think it’d be that fun. At least not as fun as they were describing it. Additionally, I often fell asleep with the kids, so it took a while before I actually stayed up to play.
What I discovered once we were able to play was that I really liked the game. It had probably been years since Nic and I played a card game. Nic and I were really enjoying ourselves and having fun. So much fun that for the next few nights we played the game ourselves even when Michelle and Mike weren’t there. Our competitiveness and egging one another on — these were the little things we used to do to keep things fun. It had been so long that I had completely forgot about them.
Find Your Fun
It doesn’t take much for Nic and I to have fun together. Despite this, we haven’t had fun like this in a while. When we do get a moment to ourselves it’s usually spent watching a movie or going out to eat. Both of which can be fun, but not necessarily fun fun. I’ll be the first to admit that it’s hard to find time to have fun together. Especially with two kids as different as ours. But, this whole trip and this realization made me remember how important it is. How I need to make and find the time.
One day the kids will grow up and be more independent. If we don’t find time to have fun now while they’re young, we’ll have no idea what to do with one another when they’re older. My relationship with myself is the most important relationship I have. Second is my relationship with Nic. I often forget this and put the kids second. I think a lot of us parents do. However, if your marriage isn’t strong, then your family can’t be strong.
After Michelle and Mike left we bought Phase 10 🙂 However, we haven’t played it yet because I’ve fallen asleep every single night since. The first night we bought it I told Nic to wake me up if I fell asleep. To shake me if he had to. Last night I asked him why he didn’t wake me up. He said he shook my arm so hard, but I just rolled over. We both had a good laugh about it. Tonight I’m determined to play and kick his butt. Wish me luck!