Having kids brings on changes
My husband and I look forward to celebrating Valentine's Day, but our love life has changed since becoming parents.
Before: Spontaneous dates.
After: Finding a sitter, preparing our keiki for the separation, overly worrying during the date if the kids are OK, and rushing home so we can kiss them good night before their bedtime.
Before: Romantic dinners, watching movies, going on road trips.
After: Takeout dinners, watching children's DVDs, staying home.
Before: Talking about anything, everything, and especially each other.
After: Talking about schedules, tasks, and especially the kids.
And on the rare occasion when we are actually able to have a date night, that also has changed:
Before: Trendy outfit.
After: Whatever fits.
Before: A chic bag.
After: Digging my personal items out of our diaper bag to place in the outmoded purse I had used pre-motherhood.
Before: Ample time to apply makeup and style hair.
After: Happy if I remember to brush my hair.
Before: Cruising around in sleek two-seater convertible with the top down (well, not really, but at least it was some sort of vehicle that didn't resemble a bus).
After: Maneuvering a decidedly oversized vehicle stuffed with car seats, Costco-size cooler and forgotten playthings.
Before: 8 p.m. dinner reservation? No problem.
After: If the sun is not still out when we're starting dinner, it's already too late.
Before: At midnight, wondering which club to hit next.
After: At 9 p.m., wondering with a yawn, "Isn't it time for bed yet?"
Once back at home, the differences continue:
Before: Sleeping in until noon.
After: Sleeping in? What's that?
Before: Calling each other affectionate nicknames.
After: Calling each other Mom or Dad, often in a desperate tone (as in, "Daaad, help! The baby's pooped and I'm busy giving sister her bath!").
Before: Letting the radio or television play.
After: Quickly changing the channel if anything R-rated pops up, knowing that the little monkeys will, for example, gleefully repeat naughty words the next time they see Grandma.
Before: My hubby and I alone in bed.
After: We parents elbowed apart by two rambunctious kids who think the bed is best utilized as a trampoline, and who, when exhausted, like nothing better than to sleep snuggled up between Mommy and Daddy.
Before: Focusing on our marriage relationship.
After: Balancing our marriage relationship with the children's needs.
At least my husband and I are going out for Valentine's Day this year. Now where is my hairbrush?