Even though I’ve only been married four years, sometimes it can feel like a lifetime and other times I really am surprised that it’s already been four years, since it can seem so new. I tend to like the moments that seem to be so new over the ‘lifetime’ ones. So in a personal attempt to have more of those new moments, I’ve come up with a sort of plan. Now I know having a plan in and of itself might seem like the whole thing would feel like a routine and thus not feel new at all, but for my marriage it works.
When Zach and I first started dating we pretty much only got to really spend a lot of time together on the weekends. Now though, with him working on Saturdays quite often, and with our lives now being shared with our daughter, we don’t even have the weekends to spend together by ourselves. But that doesn’t mean our lives are now bad; we’ve just transitioned from a more “play-land for us” type of good time, to having a “play-land pretty much in our living room for our little one” good time. But, we still need to keep our marriage fun too.
The first and honestly most crucial part of this plan is to be okay with having someone else care for my baby. For the first two years of my little girl’s life I would kind of panic at the prospect of someone else watching her for me, even if it was for a few hours. But I’m happy to report that after two years of denying anyone the chance to baby sit for us, I now can allow it. That was the hardest part of this whole ‘getting time back’ for Zach and myself. I would always feel so guilty if I didn’t have Elizabeth with me all of the time. I felt like I was abandoning her and that she would think I didn’t love her or want her, and so I was determined to never leave her. But now I understand that she knows that I love her and that I’m not abandoning her, but rather, that I am letting her experience the happiness and memory making that comes from forming relationships with people other that just her father and myself. So, for about eight hours a weekend day, every couple of weeks, Elizabeth gets to enjoy going to spend time with different grandparents, and I am finally able to allow myself to enjoy this short separation. It was all mental. The entire ‘getting back to us’ effort started with my willingness for there to be an ‘us’.
So when we do get time without our baby, the rest of how to make everything feel new is very quite simple for us. We usually just do simple things. We have a few things that aren’t too expensive that we alternate doing, that way we don’t get bored with the things or with one another. We like to go to flea markets and just walk around and really look at whatever we want to look at. There’s also a paved bike trail that we can access in our town that we prefer to use as a walking trail. We’ll start walking on the trail, holding hands and not rushing, and we actually walk for about two hours in one direction and then we turn around and walk back. And sometimes we just hop into Zach’s truck and go for a drive. We usually take country roads with all sorts of hills and turns, and we always make sure to take a bunch of roads that we’ve never been on before. It’s an activity that aids in the new feeling, because we usually don’t know where we’re going or where we’ll end up and so there’s a bit of an adrenaline rush that occurs for us in the unknowing aspect of it all. And after we’ve done one of these things we usually go back home for some quality snuggle time.
The thing that makes our relationship feel new is simply that when we get those moments to ourselves, the time flies. It really does, and that was always one of the best feelings from our dating days. When we were dating and would get to spend a whole day together, the time would be gone before we knew it and we were always left wanting more time with one another. I find when I’m left wanting more time with Zach, I spend less time thinking that we’re in a rut and more time being excited just to be with him.