Real talk time.
Here’s a little breakdown of our evenings, full of we-have-kids-now marital bliss:
5:45 – Eric comes home. He, Owen, and Elsa build block cities, wrestle, and play living room baseball while I finish dinner.
6:00 – We eat. We talk in sentences or phrases. To complete a paragraph without some kind of interruption would be nothing short of a miracle.
6:30-6:45 – We play together as a family / sometimes I go to the bathroom alone for the first time all day.
6:45-7:00 – Eric patiently teaches Owen to clean up the toys while I start cleaning up dinner.
7:00-7:20 – Eric gives the kids a bath while I continue to do dishes (will someone please buy me a dishwasher and the kitchen space to put it in for my birthday?!?!)
7:20-8:00 – We read books, I nurse Elsa, we put the kids to bed after one more story, one more pray, one more song.
8:00-8:30 – We clean up the 72% of the toys Owen didn’t get to. I sweep what feels like six years of cheerios off our floor.
101111:30 I make a to-do list for the next day and/or fold a load of laundry and/or write a blog post and/or read a little and/or watch Master Chef Junior while eating between one and three chocolate chip cookies. Eric will do a little freelance work and/or work on blog photography and/or track a basketball game online and/or start watching a movie that I feel like is too sad or has too much creepy Lost-like music, and he puts on headphones.
It’s so cliché, it’s almost not even worth writing: it’s hard to connect, to do marriage well when there are kids in the mix. Because even when they’re asleep (as if they stayed asleep, ahem, Elsa, ahem), they zap you, and at least I often feel like by 8:30 p.m., I’m this glaze-eyed shell of a person, with a shirt on that has at least three samples of body fluids that are not my own.
Let me be clear here: I’m not complaining. I’m describing. And what I’m describing is the almost universal exhaustion that accompanies small children wherever they go.