Last week I kept my nephew for a few days. He's a pretty normal fixture at my place but last week was different. It shed a lot of light on the whole parenting gig.
A little back story: Tommy and I are a one-car family right now. We have been for years b/c our first place had a train station downstairs and it LITERALLY dropped me off at the front door of my office. When we moved from there to downtown it just so happened that my office moved to a new building and that building is directly across the street from my residence. I literally walked out of my residential lobby across the street through a building and into the next. Approximately a 2 minute commute if that! So needless to say another car wasn't needed for work and my husband and I as cliche as it sounds are BFF and we spend a lot of time together.
While he was in NY I had the luxury of having the vehicle at my disposal and coming and going as needed. For instance when my nephew was here the week before last we had 3 play dates, story time at Barnes and Noble, lunches out, etc.
This past week was wayyyyyyy different b/c Tommy was here and working so he was gone during the day in the car. It was too hot for swimming in the day or the park. Too hot to travel for play dates and I was exhausted. My nephew was restless and I was exhausted to keep up. When Tommy got home each day around 7:30 he was tired but my nephew WASN'T and wanted his attention (as did I). After I'd cook or whatever they would both be sleep by like 9 or 9:30. So I had no time with my husband, no real interaction. Another day I had a dinner date with a girlfriend so when Tommy got here I was leaving and when I returned he and Key were once again sleep. The next I had a movie/dinner date with my cousin b/c our schedules kept clashing and that was an evening we both had free. Needless to say once I returned Tommy and Key were fed, showered and sleep AGAIN. OK, I'm starting to see a pattern.
So Friday morning my nephew and I walked to breakfast about 10 blocks away. We ate and stopped by the store on the way back for new pool toys. After nap time I took my nephew to the park cafe across the street for ice cream and a hot dog. Then we went to the pool and I was still exhausted just from entertaining him all week and trying to fit in my friends. Luckily there were tots at the pool and my nephew shared his toys and I could sit by the side and just watch him play. About 30 minutes later the tots left so I became as I had been all week his only "playmate". We stayed at the pool for hours and he was having a great time. Then I heard him say "Buddha"!!!! I looked and my husband was coming through the gate. He came home early and came down to be with us. It was very sweet b/c I know he was tired and could have used a nap without being disturbed since we had no idea he was home.
Anyway I said all that to say this:
We caught up at the pool, you know talked and just re-connected a bit and it made me think...A LOT! We dropped my nephew off at my mom's Saturday morning around 10:30, went to a meeting then back home b/c I was going out that night with my beautiful gays and a girlfriend. While I was getting dressed that evening my I asked my husband come into the bathroom while I was doing my hair. Now every 2-3 months I do a what I call "check-in" with my hubby. I ask him if he is happy, anything he wants to change, does he have any concerns, could I be doing anything better as a wife, etc...
That always starts pretty deep conversations for us and we use that ice-breaker as our little therapy session. He asked me if I had any concerns and I did....concerns about the baby situation. After realizing how tired I was, how tired he was, how easily irritated I was at times and just our lack of connection that entire week b/c we were so absorbed with my nephew and life in general. It made me nervous about what a full-time child(ren) could do to us. Tommy and I are VERY close and our connection to one another is strong but trying to balance it while being pulled by a tot was hard. I felt disconnected from my husband, clingy, irritable and I knew where it was stemming from. I had to share my husband not just with his job but also a child that had no worry about neither one of us being tired or not having alone time. It was difficult and I'm a bit of a spoiled brat so the adjustment was hard for me. I have never felt that as much as I did last week. We've had my nephew for numerous days at a time for almost 4 years now. I think 10 days was the longest and even then I didn't feel the disconnect like I did last week...nowhere near.
It made me fearful of what our lives would be like with children all the time. I see so many marriages just become so child-focused and honestly I don't want that. My husband and I are the foundation of our marriage and our family and if that cracks it will only be inevitable that "we" may disappear. That scares me. So now I find myself second-guessing my want for children. My intention is not to gain children at the cost of our relationship. Children change everything and honestly I'm not sure if I'm ready for change so permanent.