No-Tell Motel to the Rescue
Midnight bottle and diaper changes killing your mood?
Non-sound proofed doors making it hard to”live in the moment”?
No where to unwind without teens arguing or toddlers pounding their baby sisters?
I know. Boy, do I know. With 4 kids it’s hard to find the time to not-be-mom and not-be-dad. To just be a woman and her man spending quality time together.
After Damian, my third child, my husband’s first, was born, we went weeks without “communing with nature”. Not that we physically couldn’t. We were just too tired. And when we weren’t tired, there was a bottle to make, a diaper to change, a colicky baby to soothe. Not to mention there were two tweens who also needed quality time with us in the face of new “competition” in the house.
But at some point, everyone gets tucked away, right? Time for that communing business, right? wrong. Time to take shifts. Hubby would stand guard the first half of the night, listening for Damian, while I tried to grab what sleep I could before my shift started at 2am. At which time, I would be the one to get up for Damian and hubby would sleep.
After 3 months of this, the crankiness started. Not Damian being cranky. Hubby and I being cranky, with each other. But fear for me not, it was only crankiness. Hubby and I have only had one major argument since we’ve been married and it ended in tears, each of us crying for the other. We’re not the loud fighting type. When he’s pissed he doesn’t talk to me until it’s built up and then he says in very few curt sentences what his issue is and tells me to stop. *snort* When I’m pissed, I tell him as it is and wait for him to apologize. Eh, it works for us. And it only happens occasionally. Don’t get me wrong, it’s not that we’re the perfect couple, I just know when to pick my battles and when to let stuff slide. He knows when to let me have my way and when to put his foot down.
Anyway, after 3 months the crankiness kicked in. We barely spoke to each other for two weeks. We were just frustrated and feeling like one was neglecting the other. Then one night, Damian went to spent his first night with Grandma. The girls were in bed by ten and hubby and I sat on the couch with my glass of wine and his stout. At first, we had this awkward silence going and then I realized how far I was sitting from him. This wasn’t our habit. I usually cuddled up to him. I also realized I was afraid to take that first step and do so. It was like I didn’t know how to anymore. Thankfully he remembered and dragged me over and that’s when the tears started. Actually the bawling. We found that night that we were both frustrated for the same things and we were both to blame. It’s not the new baby’s fault or the tweens fault, it was our fault. We weren’t taking the time to be alone. We weren’t taking the time to be us. So we started making the time.
We’d send Damian to hubby’s mom and my mom would come by and stay with the tweens. At first we would just go out for dinner, maybe a movie. Then we did outings with friends. But we still felt . . . confined and a bit disconnected.
Then we made plans to go to Atlantic City for Valentines with friends. I rented a room at the Showboat. Affordable for parents if done a few weeks in advance. We arrived, checked in, hubby went to the casino with the boys, the girls went up to the rooms to change after the traveling. An hour later I appeared at his side in a black wrap dress with knee high boots. Just to say hi before walking off with the girls. An hour later hubby had me back in our room. He was amazed to see the woman he married. Lately all he saw was the mommy of his son. The woman of the house. His partner. That night he saw the WOMAN. We found what had been missing. We reconnected. We also conceived Natasha.
Two months after Natasha’s born, we realize we need that away time more than ever. But with four kids, no one’s going away for the night or spending money. So we went out to dinner one night, hit a bar and instead of going straight home, we decided a motel room was in order. Four hours, $40, no diapers, no bottles. Just communing.
But then we got home late, realized everyone was in a tizzy. Damian was still awake. Natasha was still awake. Both were missing mommy and daddy and driving my mom and the girls nuts. Were we gonna give up? Hellno.
Every two weeks, hubby and I have to “work” Saturdays from 2pm to 6pm. So we leave home at 12:30pm and we return at 7:15pm. One and a half hour commute each way on the weekends into Manhattan. Truth be told, the motel’s 10 minutes away and when you check in early it’s 6 hours for $55. But first we grab wine and food. We unwind, we chat, we eat. All at the little table in our private sanctuary. And we bloody well commune. We get lost in the moment and not worry about the kids hearing us or Damian knocking on the door.
It’s made our marriage so much better. We’ve even gotten back into the groove of quickies at home. Just to keep us going. Our next Saturday “workday” something to look forward to. And yeah, my mom’s no doubt figured it out. but, she won’t say anything as long as I’m happy.
Now some will say, ewhh, stay in a motel? Not a Hotel where it’s bug free? Not the Showboat? The fact is, some motels are really clean. The one we go to definitely is. And, if you’re driving, hide a bag in the trunk with the necessities. You’re own sheets, a nightie, maybe candles, definitely massage oil. It’s cheap and it’s saving your marriage and your sanity.
I’d love to hear what you do when you need to get away and spend quality time with your partner.
Update: January 31, 2011 For other ideas on keeping your marriage alive, check out SocialMom’s recent writing prompt “How do you keep the romance alive in your relationship with your spouse?” You’ll find other mom bloggers are sharing links to their great ideas in the comments section.
By the way, SocialMoms has a list of daily blog prompts to help moms find a little inspiration for non-commercial blogging/writing topics. The prompts are topics that other mom bloggers submitted and are interested in reading about.Happy blogging!