What used to be frequent occurrences and a mere addition to an already teeming social calendar, are fast becoming infrequent treats which guarantee some child-free, stylish, adult fun with your other half. And fun is important! The baby years are busy and all-consuming but they are fleeting and when the chicks fly the coup, I need to be sure I’m happy to still hang out with the old rooster (I’m quite pleased with that analogy, if I do say so myself!). (Regrets to the Rooster).
A good friend once told me that his favourite thing to watch on TV, ever, was his wedding video. At the time, I thought this was hilarious/tragic/indicative-of-very-boring-life, but now I kind of get it. A wedding day is pretty momentous. I definitely don’t think my wedding day was necessarily the happiest day of my life – I’d imagine those days rarely are? (Or am I opening a can of worms? It was an absolutely fantastic day; I just honestly find a lot of happiness in more mundane things. Like, from where I stand right now as a mother of small children, the happiest days of my life were when I could devote a full Sunday to reading newspapers, having coffee and maybe a walk with the dog. H-A-P-P-Y :-)) But it is certainly an extremely important, joyous and fun day in your life and one which most people will bring to mind over again. And when you recall the ceremony, you won’t think you should have gone for more flowers, you’ll think of your family and how they were there behind you, supporting you 100%. When you remember your guests doing ‘Rock The Boat’ (one of my firm favourites. Honest!), you won’t cringe, you’ll think of how they were giving it socks, making sure your celebration was a party to remember. And perhaps most importantly, you will remember that feeling of being on the same page, knowing where you wanted your lives to go, just not necessarily sure how you were going to get there.
It’s only in the day to day you realise that while you may have common goals, you will most likely have differing approaches to achieving those goals. Therein lies the challenge.
The morning was always going to be a busy one. Two babies to dress, feed and entertain – all while cleaning up, packing up and dolling up. We were going to a prompt-at-1.30pm wedding, so there was no margin for tardiness. Its stressful. And you begin to wonder if its worth it all… but you know it will be, if you can get over the line, if you can just leave the house with your nerves/body/relationship intact.
Even if I do say so myself, we work pretty well as a parenting team. OK, we have yet to face any big moral-type parenting decisions, but we’ve got the ‘doing’ part well covered. My other half is capable, knows what needs to be done and puts the work in. He’s no slacker! But even at that Mr. Ying from Mars won’t always be in rhythm with Ms. Yang from Venus. I, in my head, (because constructive communication at 7am is beyond me) became absolutely obsessed with the emptying of the dishwasher. Dishwasher emptied, good morning; dishwasher not emptied, with mounting ware from breakfast accumulating fast, not so good morning. I began to seethe. I flew around the house, doing everything, while aforementioned Rooster lolled on the couch with the toddler watching cartoons and organising porridge in a defiantly nonchalant manner. I was too busy (I repeat) doing everything to empty the dishwasher and began to loath my husband for not seeing what had to be done, immediately, in order for us to be able to leave the house!
OK. Let me give you that without my ‘crazy lady’ glasses on. I looked after the baby, he looked after the toddler, taking time to chill out with him as its only at weekends that they get to have a lazy morning together. I was like a crazed headless chicken. I wasn’t actually getting anything done as, in a haze of adrenalin and secret loathing, I ran around the house waiting for him to realise the importance of doing a chore that happened to be top of my list and ninth on his. Tell me I’m not alone in this craziness! Basically, I went a bit mental at him, secretly, in my head.
I’ll summarise by saying that in the end we worked together, we closed the door on an acceptable kitchen situation with dressed babies and most of our sanity in-tact.
I do mull over things. What’s a life if one does not reflect on it and all that jazz? Once we were on our own in the car, normality returned and my (totally internal, I must remind you) rage had waned. We stopped for coffee. We took a breath. I thought how happy I was to be with my wonderful husband. I felt bad for wanting to wring the neck of this loving, hard-working man only a few hours earlier. It occurred to me that while we had a common goal that morning we had two absolutely differing methods of achieving it. And that will probably be true of how we tackle the many challenges, opportunities and situations that will crop up over the course of our lives together. But what matters is that shared sense of having a place to point the ship towards. And, I guess, the love that keeps you interested in ensuring your chosen method of steering that ship is somewhat in harmony with that of your other half. Communication guys! It’s elemental. (As is emptying the dishwasher. Just saying).
And so it was with all of this on my mind that we had an absolute ball at a wedding of two gorgeous, in-love, deserving-of-every-happiness people. We had sworn that we would take it easy, get a good night’s rest and return with renewed energies to the babies the next morning. Not a hope. We danced till 3 , we had fun – an absolute ball – and, more importantly, saw how celebrating a wedding can reinvigorate your own relationship a little too. Witnessing another couple as they take the plunge reminds you of the journey you’re on together and for me, not to sweat the small stuff too much.
By the way, this entire story will be news to my husband. He’ll think; ‘She was a bit stressed, then she was grand. Glad I kept the head down’.
Ying and Yang folks.