Even though Mike and I have had some great Valentine’s Days (e.g. engagement and Rigby), I’ve generally disliked the holiday. If you’re not in a relationship you feel crappy and everything is overpriced. Lots of forced togetherness and obligated demonstrations of love. It’s exhausting. Except this year if it wasn’t for Valentine’s Day, Mike and I probably wouldn’t have had a date night for months.
Adjusting to Mike’s new job has been challenging. I’d thought maybe we’d reached our groove, but no. Mike and I had been lucky for so long in that we’d repeatedly been able to land contracts that allowed us to work from home. We had a whole system worked out for housework, child care, and getting our jobs done. Now that he’s gone all day I have to do everything. I haven’t had to handle a house and a job since Annie was eleven months old, and now there are two kids, and more responsibilities, and you’re breaking out the tiny violins for me, right? They’re good problems to have, but they’re still my problems.
And…a lot of the time, I don’t think I handle them very well. I’ve never been great at managing my time, and I’ve always preferred to work late into the night. That’s a recipe for disaster with two early-to-rise kids. By the time Mike gets home, I’m exhausted, my patience is gone, and I’m snippy and UGH, snippy people are the worst.
The thing is, I’m doing it to myself. Mike doesn’t expect or even want me to do all the household stuff. He just has to know what I want him to help me with, and I have to be fair and tell him in advance instead of getting huffy when he doesn’t read my mind. We’re very uncertain in our new roles and don’t want to step on the other’s toes, but we have to be honest about what we need and for some reason, that’s been really hard these last few months. The first step is making time for each other. For us, that means literally leaving the house because it’s impossible to give each other undivided attention at home.
Valentine’s Day was a good night to start making time for each other. Although, we didn’t go out on actual Valentine’s Day…mostly because by the time we remembered to make reservations, the only times available that night were 3:30 pm or 9:15 pm. Instead we went to a nice dinner last night, and it was so much more laid-back. The restaurant was half-full and there wasn’t any pressure for us to eat quickly so the staff could flip the table. My parents were with the kids (thanks mom & dad!), so we didn’t have to worry about them at all, and instead we were able to talk about the things we needed, and the struggles we were having with our new set-up. Mike loves his job but is missing being with the kids, and is jealous of the time I get with them. I am thankful I can be with them, but also jealous that Mike gets to work in an office (I love offices!) with grown-ups (I love grown-ups!).
So we’re working on it. I’m working on it. If we keep working, we’ll hit that groove. Right?