Rarely do I write about something recent. Most of my writing is quite retrospective, but despite the rain, this past weekend earned its own spot on the blog.
April 7th is my birthday. This year, it was also the wedding of two of our friends, and we were lucky enough to make an adults-only weekend out of it. I guess I should thank the bride for not inviting children! Thanks, E!
The wedding was absolutely beautiful; full of light, natural colors and ethereal décor. The venue was stunning! It is hard to believe this is actually someone’s house and she lives here full time.
Not only did this wedding provide me with the perfect excuse for an out-of-town birthday weekend, but it also gave Jon and me some much needed adult time.
Time alone together is so important for parents. It is a time to remember how precious your relationship as Husband and Wife is outside your roles of Mom and Dad. It may not be a popular opinion, but I truly believe that your relationship with your spouse should be prioritized over that with your kids.
That is not to say your children should suffer or go without for the sake of your husband. Husbands are grown men and can take care of themselves while children need parents to provide for them. Any parent should put the well being of their child above themselves. But your relationship, your emotional connection, is different.
Your relationship with your kids is natural. You share a bond that can never be broken or replaced. As a mother, you carried them inside you, birthed them, and nurtured them with your own body. You are their safe space and nothing will ever change that. As a father, you have always protected them and comforted them. You are their strong tower and they will always need your guidance. Parents and children never existed without each other.
But a husband and a wife were once two strangers who happened upon each other. The relationship had to take time to grow and bloom. It needed tending to become what it is today. One day, when they kids are grown and gone, it will be just the two of you again, and if you have not continued to exist with each other outside your children, you will, once again, be two strangers.
Spouses are equals. They are teammates. Children are subordinates. A husband and wife are there to support each other in the raising of the children. They need to consistently be a single unit with a united front, and that becomes increasingly difficult if they do not take the time to connect without children, and remember why they started this journey together in the first place.
This was not our first weekend away together. Jon and I are fortunate enough to live near his family who are not just willing to watch Cillian when we ask them to, but they actively seek their own time with him away from mom and dad so they can get to know him as an individual and foster their own relationship with him. As someone who did not grow up around her grandparents, this means the world to me. I want Cillian to know his grandparents and to love spending time with them.
My husband and I have spent many evenings and even entire weekends as child-free parents before this one, probably half a dozen or so in the past year. Cillian even spend Christmas Eve at his Nanny and Poppop’s house without Mama and Da. We got a great night’s sleep, which was much needed to get through the shenanigans of Christmas with a toddler!
But this weekend held a little more for us. Jon and I spend a total of four hours in a car together listening to the music we used to listen to when we were dating. It took us back to the time when we were just beginning to fall in love. It reminded us that we used to do eight hour road trips like it was nothing, and now we were struggling to make it only two hours. We had to navigate through a strange, crowded city while we were hungry, the true test to any relationship. We found what is quite possibly most efficient Chick-fil-A in the entire Southeast. (Sixteen cars ahead of us and it only took twenty minutes? Who does that?) We took the opportunity to talk about plans and memories, hopes and dreams. We spent our hypothetical multi-million lottery winnings. We did not turn the TV on once, even though the hotel offered MLB premium.
Watching two friend promise the rest of their lives to each other reminded me why I made that same promise to Jon four years ago. It brought out my romantic side, and made me want to fall in love with him all over again. But, of course, I can’t because I am still falling in love with him every day. We danced for hours, laughing and enjoying each other’s company. As much as I was on that dance floor, I still managed to miss the group photo they took. I guess the happy couple will never know if I was really there. Isn’t it ironic.