I was in a pretty deep funk the other day, so I e-mailed my bestie, Amy, who lives three hours away.
Amy will tell it like it is. I’ve always loved that about her: we’ll sit down over coffee or go for a walk or just talk over text or e-mail, and she’ll show me things in a different light.
The great thing about this particular epiphany was that I had e-mailed her about a different woe-is-me topic entirely, and part of what she came back with was related and relevant and not at all what I had originally said.
Without actually quoting her entire e-mail, she said that she can see me and Aaron “sagging with the weight” of parenting a toddler. And I absolutely agree. We’re kind of in Groundhog Day mode, where every weekend is like the last, and every week includes three Daycare Days and two Daddy Days, and we honestly don’t get out of the house much, unless it’s for a weekend meal or a trip to the grocery store.
Another great quotable was, “I can’t shake the impression that you’ve let this whole parenting thing drag you down instead of letting it give you something new to enjoy.”
I got to thinking about that. Thinking hard.
It’s true that we didn’t initially choose the path of parenthood for this very reason. We liked our lifestyle of sleeping in, eating out, and annual trips abroad. That said — we both love our son immensely. Just because we as a family have weirdly conflicting schedules doesn’t mean that we can’t also find something to enjoy about the weirdness. Maybe Saturday mornings can be my and Connor’s special time together, when I can take him someplace he’s never been before. There’s nothing saying I can’t just plop Connor in the car and head out on a Saturday before Aaron gets up. Right?
I’d like my son to remember the times we spend together to be fun, happy, memorable. Mommy Time and Daddy Time and Family Time can and should all be different. What kind of precedent do I want to set: Saturday Morning TV Time with Mommy, or Saturday Morning Fun Time with Mommy? We could sit at the kitchen table eating breakfast — me staring bleary-eyed into an iced latte, him playing on my iPhone and being reminded to eat his mini-waffles — or maybe we could go out to breakfast! Share some fancy pancakes. Or we could make breakfast — something that doesn’t come pre-made out of a box. Then we could go walk around a store, or the mall, or the park, or even the zoo, and come home in time to relax for a bit before we go out to lunch with Daddy.
Maybe we can go make some memories. Discover something new to enjoy.