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Wanted: One Weekend Away

I've never been one of those moms to wax annoyingly rhapsodic over her pre-kid days, that glorious time when I could go wherever I wanted at any time I wanted. No way would I send Jack and Molly back to the manufacturer so I can go back to sleeping in on Saturdays.

That said, I'm just going to be flat out honest and say: life with a toddler and a baby has put a serious cramp in my style.

People giddily warned us about expanding your family from two to three. You'll hate your husband! (Not true.) You'll feel scared and inadequate and incapable! (Sometimes true.) The first three months are HORRIBLE! (Not true for us.) Life will be such a blur- night will be day! Day will be night! (This, unfortunately, was EXTREMELY true.) But Jack was an easy happy baby who didn't put a lot of constraints and demands on his parents. Fitting him into our world (or, should I say, adjusting our world to fit his) wasn't too difficult.

Enter Molly, an even easier newborn (note: I said NEWBORN, not SEVEN-MONTH-OLD which is a totally different and completely aggravating story.) It took forever to get ready in the mornings and the How To Leave The House learning curve was incredibly steep, but we managed. We thought we were doing well, and if you ask one of us we'll probably STILL tell you we're doing well, except every once in a while Phillip and I look at each other and think, "Have I spoken three words to this person today?"

For us, two kids is a bit tougher than one. Forget having friends for dinner and going out on Friday nights -- I'd be happy if I could figure out how to have a decent conversation with my husband during the week.

I don't even really remember what we used to DO before Jack and Molly came along. I know that I used to work, so there was twice as much work gossip to dish over dinner, which we ate at dinnertime instead of when the kids go to bed. I was blogging then too, but I don't feel like I spent all my free time on the computer the way I do now. And I had plenty of alone time during the work day, so when I was home, I was available.

Throw a toddler and a baby in the mix and it's a much different story. Phillip's arrival home from work signals the beginning of the evening routine: fixing the kids' dinner (and ours if we're feeling ambitious), bedtime and cleaning everything up. By the time that's done it's late, I still want to update my website, Phillip has a few work things to finish, there's a heap of laundry on our bed that I didn't get around to folding and oh yeah, we have to take the trash out. No wonder we've been feeling apprehensive and disconnected about the layoffs that happened at Phillip's workplace, the vacation we want to take this summer and possible grad school plans in the fall -- we haven't had time or energy to talk about them!

A friend was asking me if I get out much and I said, yes, definitely all the time. But now that I think about it, those are meetings and nights out with girlfriends and emergency retail therapy trips to Target after the kids go to bed. I don't often get away from mommy life WITH my husband, even though all it would take is a little advance planning and asking the grandparents to babysit. I can't be too tired to plan THAT.

Phillip keeps saying this is just a season of life and I think I can live with that. Still, I wonder when I start the season of life where I'm more excited about dressing up and going out to dinner with my husband than I am about an hour decompressing in a bubble bath with a gossip magazine.

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