Finding a balance

It’s 6am and I’m having breakfast at the computer. Outside, somewhere in the fields, I hear a cat having the time of their life, if you know what I mean. I envy cats and the energy they seem to wake up with.

I’ve been married almost four months now and, while we’ve sort of established a routine at home (very important for Munchkin), I still feel like I’m struggling to balance things out. I work every morning of the week (my week includes the weekend) and some afternoons too. The Man works shifts so he could be gone all night or all day or not at all. Every Saturday (which is usually the day he gets given the following week’s working times) I spend a few minutes coordinating our moves for the following 7 days on my diary. Not spontaneous at all, but necessary. We have to make sure Munchkin is taken care of and if neither one of us is at home, she needs to stay with my parents (who will certainly become saints). Then comes the day to day planning…clothes to be worn the following morning, time to do the housework, meals to be cooked and ingredients to be bought…you know the works. There’s one VERY important thing I never seem to manage to fit it, however, and that’s couple time.

Our story is not the most conventional in that it started off when Munchkin was already 3 years old. The Man (and now you’ll see just how much of a real man he is) became a parent first and my husband after. He took on Munchkin as if she was his own blood and she now sees him as her father (which he is to all effects…almost…but more on that another day). Only someone who has gone through single parenthood can fully understand how I feel about him assuming such huge responsibilities (without batting an eyelid too) and it is not just gratitude or love. I’m impressed by him, his huge heart and his…well, his guts. It takes some courage to dive headlong into a relationship with a single mother who had been very single for 4 years (YES, F. O. U. R. years!) and propose 8 months later. And while all this is incredibly romantic (by my standards at least), it also means that we were never just a dating couple. We were parents from day one and that’s no mean feat. We rarely EVER had time on our own (save the weekend away when he proposed and our honeymoon) and we are still struggling to find some time to spend as a couple, without discussing Munchkin or what needs to be done/bought/fixed.

I see women my age still going out on the town every weekend, dressed (make that undressed) to the nines, flirting with every man in sight (I’m not actually there to see them, but see the photos they very proudly show off on facebook). I am nobody to judge them, but it all feels wrong. The way things are going with us also feels wrong. It’s all about finding a balance, but WHERE is this balance? How do you spend quality time together if you both fall asleep out of exhaustion at 9.30pm? The day goes past in a blur and the few hours we have together (when we do have those), there’s always a four year old to entertain, feed, wash, taxi to/from activities.

I suspect the only solution is to plan ahead (I’ll have to keep it in mind this Saturday while I’m organising next week) and commit to it. A couple of strong coffees might help too…

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