We had many years together before having children. We had individual hobbies and interests, of course, but over the years we’ve acquired joint interests that we love doing together. On a weekly basis, we used to check out new restaurants followed by a trip to the movies. We loved the whole experience of going to the theatre, buying our favorite snacks, and making our “must see” list during the previews. We had a couple of musicians that we’d see every time they were in town at some of our favorite bars. We loved going to local festivals, LSU away games, weekends in New Orleans, and so many other adventures that came up either planned or completely spontaneous.
When we became parents, the things we loved doing together didn’t necessarily change, but the list grew to include things that were more kid-friendly. We do really love bringing our children along, but the duration of these activities has decreased and we have a substantial checklist of things that are needed in order to make the activity “worth it.” You know … “worth it” as in we won’t be asking ourselves “Why did we even leave the house?” a minute after arriving at our destination. We’ll try new restaurants as long as the Yelp review says the place is “incredibly loud and messy.” Outdoor festivals are perfect as long as they’re in large fields, so as to allow a lot of burning of energy before bedtime, and absolutely nowhere near busy streets. We love bringing them to sporting events but only if we’re completely uninterested in what actually happens during the game.
When we’re out and about, we’re so often practicing man-to-man defense with the kids rather than actually enjoying one another.
Nowadays, our list of hobbies / pastimes consists of going to parks, children’s museums, zoos, anywhere with a fun jump, and a lot of playdates with other families who embrace the crazy. We’ve also taken up a lot of “after bedtime” hobbies. We consider ourselves profession binge-watchers of all the best TV shows that can be found on Amazon Prime or Netflix. We love to cook a really fancy steak dinner at around 9 PM, with a charcuterie appetizer and all. An uninterrupted conversation about our work days before falling asleep is a luxury that neither of us take for granted.
Those not-so-kid-friendly activities still exist. Occasionally you have a work function after hours. I may have dinner or catch a movie with a group of friends. You’ve had bachelor parties. I’ve had girls’ trips. Time apart is important but so often, I want you with me for these adventures. Finding a babysitter for everything that comes up just isn’t feasible. There are times where we do enjoy a date together but those moments are few and far.
Hey husband, I miss you. I hate that we’re separated so often and have to “take shifts.” No matter what, you’re my favorite person to do life with anyway. I’ll sweat myself to death on a park bench next to you while our kids play for “5 more minutes” over and over again any day. I’ll spend all of our money on a children’s museum family membership instead of a 5 course dinner with you any day. I’ll spend more time loading the car than actually being at wherever we were going with you any day. I still love doing all of those really fun things with you that we did before children, but I also really love doing all that post-kids stuff with you, too. Missing you doesn’t mean that I love our children any less.
I miss you, but I love the life we’ve created and I love these children who get to have you as a father.