Marriage and Relationships

Wow, if you thought dates were important when you were single~ that’s nothing in comparison to how vital they are to married life. When you are single, dating is like a popularity contest. A status symbol. It separates the haves from the have nots. When you are single, dating feels like it could be life or death, social life or death, that is. When you are married with children, dates mean something quite different. It still means life or death, but this time it is more literally the life or death of a crucial relationship; your marriage.
I can not stress enough, how important alone time is with your spouse significant other the person who got you tied up in this mess in the first place. It took me a while for this lesson to sink in.Hell, who am I kidding? I fought it tooth and nail.But it has finally sunk in that my girls will be perfectly fine and not doomed to years of therapy or their imminent death just because I decide to have a night out with the big guy. They are in perfectly capable hands if I elect to leave them in the care of a trusted, thoroughly investigated caregiver (i.e. My Mom or my Mother in law~ baby steps people, baby steps!).

Remember when you were single and a date was all about the what ifs and possibilities? What you wore? Where you went?Would you or wouldn’t you give up the goodies? His apartment or yours? Now, its actually about what it was always meant to be about… spending time alone with the other person.

What will you wear? Who cares what you wear! Of course you want to look nice for your honey. Hell, smoking hot if you can pull it off! But keep in mind, he’s probably seen you give birth, and lets face it, there’s nowhere to go but up from there!

Where will you go?  Seriously? Do we really care? As long as we are getting out of the house, alone, able to have an adult conversation across a table with one another, isn’t the rest all gravy? I mean, I’m sure usually when that happens, we end up somewhere gazing through a blur of exhaustion at one another thinking, “Holy shit it’s quiet in here. I sure could go for a nap but its so nice being alone with you baby! Instead, I’ll have a red bull and a vodka so I can stay up and enjoy our time together!”

Will you or won’t you? Of course you will, provided the kids stay in their own beds ,the red bull and  vodka do their job and keep you awake, you can keep your eyes open after eating an entire warm meal in one sitting, and all the cuddling hasn’t relaxed you into a comma! I actually think, for couples with children, “dessert” before dinner is a good idea, if  you can swing it. You’d feel a lot sexier with an empty belly ( at least I know I would), plus it would be before the heavy, comforting meal, the dark theater  and the cuddling.Problem solved! Yes, the more I think of it, a little naughty before the nice date would be perfect.

Who’s place? Obviously the home that you share.Pick a room, any’s your house. If you’re really feeling adventurous, get a hotel for the evening, Sybaris anyone? Get your married freak on.You deserve it, damn it!

Personally, the big guy and I have not yet made it to the Sybaris but let me tell you, the big guy spontaneously took me to a movie ( while we were visiting the in laws this past weekend). Grandma (trusted and thoroughly investigated caregiver..check)watched the girls. She even volunteered to sleep in the room with them so I could actually “Sleep” alone with the big guy ( because normally there are 2 little girls in the bed with us). Personally, I think Grandma is bucking  for that illusive Grandson ( barking up wrong tree Grandma). Hey, its a theory. Or perhaps I just really look like I need some alone time with the big guy. No matter the reason, it was fabulous. I even got to fall asleep in the big guys arms ( right next to him and everything…you co sleeper Mommies know exactly what I mean). I woke up well rested with a smile on my face. That was until Grandma looks over at me at breakfast and asks ( NOT in her indoor voice either) “Did you guys mess my sheets?” She was chuckling and I turned about 27 shades of red. I thought to myself, “I’ll never tell but I’m pretty sure I just shat myself!Thanks for asking!”  With that, the spell was broken! But it sure was nice while it lasted!

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Tonight, when the big guy had to leave us bound back for his hole (his work apartment) Bella and Gabs followed him out to his car and jumped inside to “inspect” it. I was on the stoop, as always, watching on. I refuse to walk out to the car to say goodbye, it just makes it harder.

Bella, walks back and says,” I just needed to smell the car!”
Bella: “To get me through..”
Me: “What do you mean?”( I seriously wasn’t sure where she was going with this)
Bella: “To get me through without crying!”

And with that, I took a deep breath and so did the big guy, and we both held back our own tears at our little girl’s stiff upper lip mentality and little breaking heart on the inside. What an awful lesson for someone who is barely 5 years old to have to learn, little lone know and deal with. This whole economy and living apart during the week situation is for the birds. But on a positive note, the big guy has an interview for a permanent job. It will eventually require a move if he gets the job but at least it will allow us all be together again like a family and we will finally be able to say goodbye to all of these goodbyes. For now, we pray and hope for the best.

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what is commuter marriage, commuter marriage, living apart, the toll of work travel on a marriage, married and single, single parenting

You’ve all seen me write about it but maybe you’re wondering what is Commuter Marriage?  As I stand on the front stoop watching my husband pull away for the 17th Sunday, bound for his hole he calls an apartment in Iowa, my throat closes up and I feel like I will be swallowed completely by the huge lump in my esophagus and my eyes burn and sting as they get a little watery.

I watch my girls run down the sidewalk waving and screaming , “Bye Daddy, I love you!” and my heart is breaking into a thousand pieces inside. Every week it stings my very core; every single time. Sometimes worse than others, but always. I really loathe all this single mothering that I’ve been doing lately but more than that I hate that we are all getting used to it, comfortable even.

What is commuter marriage? It’s hard on the family.

The girls are getting used to not having Daddy around, and I am getting used to handling things on my own, and sometimes when he’s here, I think he feel’s like he is out of place in his own home. That is what really bothers me. Isn’t this how people drift apart? Isn’t this how families fall apart? I love my husband, and he loves me but if you get used to not having someone around, pretty soon won’t you stop missing one another?

When your husband travels for work, it’s not consistent and it’s random and you learn to deal with it by looking forward to the next time he returns. But when your husband has a residence in a whole other state for a job because his office is there and you KNOW he will be gone for at least 4 of the days of the week, it’s a little harder to swallow.

There is no room for superfluous personal days or no chance of no travel because every week you know, come Sunday afternoon..he’s pulling away and you are left behind on that damn stoop and he’s left watching you grow smaller and smaller in the rearview mirror.

I thought being married meant someone to share my life with. Recently, I feel more like I am a kept woman; a lonely one at that. I have someone to pay the bills. We’re getting to the point where we are forgetting to tell each other the little things that happen in our day to day and that scares me. Pretty soon we won’t know each other. I can deal with geographic distance but not emotional distance. I mean, I never thought I’d be married and alone.

What is Commuter Marriage? It’s being married but alone.

What do I do? Do I tell him to quit and come home because I need my friend, my partner, my husband? Or do I just keep going on ignoring the fact that this is really hard and slowly becoming impossible? Some days, I am okay with it. Other days, I can hardly bear it.I am lonely and I miss our relationship. The day to day, seeing each other, talking about nothing, sharing laughs and feelings, stolen glances and touches. Now, everything is forced into a weekends time and it’s not enough.

I feel like such an ungrateful asshole. I know I should be filled with gratitude that he has a job at all in this economy but it’s extremely hard when you’ve spent every day of the past 13 years with this man and suddenly you are living separate lives. I know he is just as lonely there but some days I feel overwhelmed with all the responsibility of holding it all together. Some days, it is just too much.But what do you do when you have bills to pay and kids to feed, mortgages, groceries, and school loans? You suck it up, you be a grown-up, you get out of the fetal position, stop crying and stand on that damn stoop and wave goodbye and hope its not for the last time. Commuter marriage is not for the weak.

What is commuter marriage?

It’s survival and groceries and mortgages. It’s not being homeless. It’s saying goodbye more often than you ever dreamed. Have you or would you ever be in a commuter marriage and make it work?

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Big Guy:” The Kids asleep?”
Me: “Yeah, we better hurry.  You know they’ll be waking up soon for… something….anything”
Big Guy: “OK. where do you want to do this?The kids are in our bed right? How about the living room?”
Me:”No way, we’re too exposed. We’d be right out in the open.”
Big Guy:” How about Bella’s room?”
Me: “NO, that’s right across from our room..they’d walk in and there we’d be. It’s too easy to get caught!”
Big Guy: “What about Gabs room? They’d have to make a turn, we’d have a warning!”
Me: “Sounds good, but not in the bed..that would be gross!”
Big Guy:” OK, so we got about 10 minutes on Gabs’ bedroom floor?”
Big Guy:” GO!”

Sound familiar? I know I am not the only one with co-sleepers, or small children in general. This was NOT in the baby handbook! How people have more than 2 kids, I will never know. It must be pure unadulterated dumb luck. I know how we go the first one, we were alone, we were married, we lived in Tennessee and nothing was on TV so we got a lot of practice entertaining ourselves!  Then we went on a romantic getaway with nothing to do but linger in each others arms. BAM! There ya go! But number 2, that baby was conceived on a Labor Day afternoon while a baby napped, Daddy had the day off, and Mommy was feeling frisky. Now, fast forward to 3 years later..there is no way that we could conceive another one. Love making has been reduced to an Olympic qualifying sport.It’s all about being very strategic and very fast, rushed and quiet (Sush, you’ll wake the girls).There’s no falling into it, no looking longingly into each others eyes with that hungry look. We still have those hungry looks but now its usually a hunger for sleep.

We’ve never really been busted, probably because we are like merry minstrels roaming from room to room to find a spot to engage in the occasional coitus. Making matters worse, now he is always out of town for business so that leaves me with only 3 nights and 3 days of potential love making to choose from.  So, if I say I’m too tired or I’ve got a headache, I have to think carefully because the opportunity may not present itself again until the following week.(Yes, a whole week more)Who are we kidding, you can’t make “love” in that sliver of time we are allotted after our kids fall asleep and before the first time they wake up for water, the potty, nightmares, what have you.Let’s call it what it is, we are making a quickie and sometimes we can’t even get through that before someone wakes up and calls out. Nothing like being almost there, and having to go soothe a cryer back to sleep. That will dry you up quicker than a shot of Sudaphed.Don’t worry Daddies, I’m pretty sure it can shrivel your junk up too, within a matter of seconds. Thank God its the quality and not the quantity that counts. Quality is fantastic, quantity, well, we need to clear up some scheduling conflicts…like children running a muck and working out of town! I never understood what the hell all this “I have a headache” stuff was about. Then I had kids and I realized, the headache of which they speak is the headache it is to try and choreograph “Special” time with your partner.

Sometimes, you just need a back rub and that’s it. It’s not code for anything but I’m tired and my damn back hurts from chasing and lugging kids all day. Can you help a Mama out and just rub my back? But we can’t even get through that without someone waking up, calling out, or creeping up on us.I have been busted getting a late night massage in front of the fire place, thank God it hadn’t evolved any further. That’s why I know the living room is too exposed.  I have a friend who told me that her and her husband used to rendezvous in their closet for “special” time, away from the prying ears of their teenagers. My closet just isn’t big enough for those kind of escapades. Her and her husband are both on the smaller side. My husband is a giant and I’m life size not fun sized, so there’s no way that could happen in my house. Plus with all that clean laundry that’s hiding out in my closet floor, there’s no room left for love making…unless the big guy wants to hump my clean nighties that are in desperate need of being put away. He never sees them on anymore, so I am sure one look at them and he’d be done.

How do you coordinate special time? Dose the kiddies with Benadryl? Lock the doors and turn out the lights and pretend no ones home? During nap time? Where do you have to hide to get your groove on? I need suggestions, I am running out of  rooms that are safe. I was thinking about the basement but then I’d die if one of the kids woke up, came looking for us, and fell down the stairs. Oh, the joys of Motherhood! Happy Parenting!

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When you were a little girl, what did you imagine your perfect proposal to look like? If you’re a guy, did you agonize over how to propose and make sure that you got a yes? I guess that would be stressful. I never really imagined the perfect wedding proposal. For me, it was more about the perfect guy proposing.

Not perfect like a Greek god. Not perfect like a model or earning a certain income. Perfect in that he loved me unconditionally, just as I am. Perfect in that I loved him the same. The perfect proposal to me had nothing to do with anybody getting down on their knee and everything to do with being willing to stand by my side for the rest of our lives.

Our original proposal was nothing short of comical. Endearing and filled with good intentions but more impulsive than it could have been. I was shocked and I was flattered but mostly, I was knocked off my feet by how soon in our relationship he knew that I was “the one.” I had never been anyone’s, “the one” before.

After 11 years of marriage, I finally got “the proposal”. The one you read about on fairytale wedding blogs. The ones photographed in perfect sunset light and captured in remote destinations. Only, mine was in my living room.

This past weekend was the Big Guy and my 11th wedding anniversary. It was pretty special since last year for our 10th, he had just been downsized and our whole life was up in the air. Not much celebrating went on last year. This year, however, was a completely different story.  Is it really possible that I can be more in love with this man by the day?

READ ALSO: I F*cking Love You Man

We met in college, at a bar, through a mutual friend. He very nonchalantly looked down at me ( since he is a towering 6’5″ ) and said, “Hey”. I barely warranted a nod. I thought, “What an asshole!” Anyways, fast forward 4 months and there he is in yet another bar proposing. I was shocked and ill-prepared for such a question.

We had been dating exclusively since a few days after the “hey” incident but isn’t 4 months really soon? Did I mention he asked me in the middle of a bar? No big drop down to your knee with a ring, hush over the crowd, as the DJ booth announces that the big guy needs quiet. No, just a “will you marry me?” in the middle of the dance floor, in the middle of a dance, in the middle of a night of drinking. WTF? I was shocked. I was flattered. I was confused. I was lucky. It took me a couple days to give him an answer, because as I mentioned…I was shocked. In 4 months, I was not expecting a ring.

Being the list making thinker that I was I thought about it and realized listen to your heart, ” Are you, crazy girl? It’s too soon. Then I thought to myself, are you crazy girl…he’s amazing and you love him. This is the way it was all going to end up anyways. He just figured it out first! (That’s why I’m lucky).”

Then I said yes, then I got a ring. He liked it but he wasn’t forking out money to put a ring on it if I didn’t say yes. I did tell you we were in college, right? Anyways, that was my first proposal back on January 28, 1998. The one that I found out later was supposed to be Valentine’s Day proposal ( how romantic) but he was nervous and jumped the gun…that’s why he didn’t actually have a ring on him.

For our 5th wedding anniversary, he got me an upgraded ring. My original one was beautiful and it is very special to me but my 5-year one was something else. Lots of sparkle and shine, just like I like. Then he whisked me off to a hot and steamy vacation for two in New Orleans. I came home with really frizzy hair from the heat, and I’m pretty sure all the booze and love gave me our first daughter. Talk about a souvenir!

READ ALSO: Ten Things to do in New Orleans to Get Pregnant

Fast forward, 6 years later to our do over 10 year anniversary ( our 11th anniversary) and the big guy has once again, shocked me! Oh yes, Ladies, he came home ( from out of town work) and the girls were napping. He had a sandwich and sat dawn and watched a little bit of trash tv the Real Housewives of New York with me. He let me ramble on about some inane scenario that was taking place and then he left the room. I figured he went out to use the bathroom, check his email, who knows. We’ve been married for 11 years, I don’t ask him where he’s going every time he leaves the room, anymore.

I am sitting there, mind you with my grimy gardening clothes on, hair pulled back in a bun with crazy curls sprouting everywhere from the humidity…not a stitch of makeup on. I turn around and I’ll be damned if he is not next to my chair on his knee. Yes, his KNEE. I have been waiting for this my whole life. It was “the proposal”, I always wanted and never got. But I figured as long as the guy was the right one, who cares if the proposal wasn’t what I had always expected.

Next, I heard him saying “Now, will you marry me?” I think. I was in such shock. I was so happy, I grabbed that ring and hugged his neck and squeezed him and kissed him and said: ” Of course!” ( We are planning a vow renewal for our 15th..some place warm).

I understand now what that crazy reaction is that women have when they are asked to marry the man of their dreams when they have been waiting for it..expecting it. The ring is gorgeous. I am totally in love with my new ring, almost as much as I am with my husband. It is very special to me because it is actually the ring I was proposed to with!

To top it all off, the next day ( our actual anniversary) we had a wonderful date ( alone without children) and it was amazing hanging out with my best friend, soul mate, the man of my dreams and just talk and hear and see one another. Then I found out he was going to propose that night at the restaurant..drop to his knee, in the romantic. There he goes jumping the gun..again! I so love this man. I can’t believe that he still makes my heart swoon. Thanks baby for being everything I never knew, I always wanted! Te amo!

These are some of the pictures from date night on our anniversary! We are goofs, but I can not imagine my life any other way. So full of love and joy. My cup runneth over!

What did your “the proposal” moment entail?

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Ok, I promise….No more sap until…TOMORROW![/fusion_builder_column][/fusion_builder_row][/fusion_builder_container]

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In a couple days, my husband and I will be celebrating our 11th wedding anniversary(we married when we were 19..not really but its the only way the math works if I am perpetually 30) and it has me feeling a little (how shall we say it) romantic! So this is for you baby! Because  for to me, you are better than ice cream. That’s saying a lot considering my love affair with ice cream. I could give up all other food, but not ice cream. Never ice cream!
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The power of the big O. No, I am not talking about an orgasm ( though that does sound pretty nice right now). I am referring to a much bigger O, I’m referring to Oprah. I am not a hater of Oprah, nor am I an avid follower. I mean I watch her show, if it’s on and I’m available, but I don’t DVR it. Anyways, I never realized the immense power she wields. She is more than just a celebrity… She is very powerful… Like a superhero. Example; on an episode the other night, in about a 2 minute segment she mentioned Geneen Roth’s book,
Women , Food, God. I don’t know if it’s because it actually sounds good or its solely because Oprah recommended it, but I’ve been searching like crazy for this book to no avail.Oh, who am I kidding, we all know I’m stalking this book because Oprah told me to do so. In this world, if Oprah says it…we must do it…conscious or unconsciously. It’s like some crazy itch that I can’t scratch. I gotta have that book. I’ve been to all the stores in my area and the libraries. There are like 20 holds on that book. That means I wouldn’t get it until like next year! The power of the Big O.  I wish she’d tell me to sew my mouth shut and exercise some more. Finally, some advice that I could get behind. Anyways, I digress. Back to the issue at hand. I go to Barnes and Noble and customer service tells me they can’t keep it on the shelves. They asked why everyone was so interested in this book, I answered , “Because Oprah said so!” To which a choir of “oooooh”s responded to me. Now, if I could just get her to mention my blog, imagine the possibilities? Hell , I’d even sign one of her damn no texting while driving pledges:)

If you see this book, be sure to grab it. It’s scarce and apparently mind blowing, at least that’s what Oprah says!
-Truthful Mommy xoxo

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As excited as I was for my husband to come home Friday night, that’s how depressed I am that he has left. They say your first year of marriage is the hardest, and I used to believe that. They also say that the year you have a child, that is a very difficult year in a marriage. Makes sense, the once again shifting of the relationship paradigm. But, that year brought us scary close to one another. It’s sorta like being in war together; you’re scared to death, you are fighting to stay alive ( or at least to be sure that you keep your child alive), and you do some growing up together. It definitely takes it to the next level. Now, we are heading towards are 11th year of marriage (yes, I married at the age of 13:), we’ve just spent year 9 &10 being downsized 3 times. Oh yeah, you heard me correctly. If that is not the test of your marital strength, I don’t know what is. Seriously, in my world, money is the root of all evil; when there is none….I get evil. Not really, but its a stress to have bills coming in and what little income you have going out. But we weathered through it together. Hell, this last time, I didn’t even stress about it. I just said to myself, “Hey, worrying helps no one, it makes my energy all negative..I’m not doing it.” Then there was a job. A wonderful lovely, knight in shining armor job rode in all the way from Iowa on its big metaphorical steed and rescued us. Yey, the day is saved. But all is not what it seems, yes, we are blessed by God to have found employment in this economy so quickly. I know that. But seriously, did it have to be 4 hours away from where we live. Here I am , a wife who actually likes having my husband around a lot, and he is in Iowa. Poor guy is living like a transient it what we refer to as his “hole” , a very nice 1 bedroom apartment furnished with a blow up bed, 2 camping chairs and a few other oddities from our garage. I feel really terrible. I know he is not taking more because he doesn’t want the girls and I to feel as if he actually “lives” there. But the fact of the matter is that he is there more than he is here. I essentially have a long distance marriage at this point. I think if we hadn’t been through so much together already as a married couple and be in such a stable and committed marriage,  this could be dangerous. I used to always use the line, “hey, if I wanted to be alone I would have stayed single.” That was back when we first got married, when I was 12 and apparently really immature and needed to be with him constantly. I used to shutter at the idea of him traveling for business. I guess I’ve learned my lesson. Traveling occasionally would be amazing compared to this situation. It’s kind of exciting, that I get to get all excited to see my husband like when we were first dating but at the same time, the parting is such sweet sorrow! Every Friday, I get all jazzed up like a 15 year old version of myself about to see her boyfriend for a hot date and then Sunday night reality slaps me right across the face and I realize I won’t see my husband for a few more days.I’m not complaining, well maybe a little, but hey what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger, right? After the last couple years of marriage, I think I probably have strength and fortitude the likes of Lou Ferrigno! So, just to recap; job good, money good, having wonderful husband 4 hours away from myself and my girls..bites!

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