Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Separation Anxiety for adults

Hands up if you recognise this scenario.

Mum and dad settle in the babysitter, booked weeks (months!) in advance,
rush out to the taxi as fast as they can without seeming like uncaring parents,
get seated at the restaurant with the first bottle of wine
and sigh in bliss.

An evening without children.


First rule of such evenings: There wont be talk about said children. At all. For the whole evening. Nada.

This works swimmingly for a while.

At least 5 minutes.

Until an apparently innocent conversation
about the amazing paintwork of the Sistene Chapel
turns somehow to the topic of toilet training their youngest.

And a funny chat about using the brand new digital camera
inexpicably ends up being a conversation about their child who who refuses to eat anything
that is green...or red...or...any colour really.

Ring any bells?

Hubby and I reminisce about pre-children times
and wonder at what we did with all that spare time and money.
Heck, to be totally honest,
we entertain thoughts about what we would be doing now without kids.
(Don't frown at me. It is only occasionally.
Like tonight where I have projectile vomits coming from all directions of kids' bed)

Divorce rates are increasing in couples over 50.
There are a number of reasons for this
but one seems to be due to suddenly being distant empty nesters
when the kids move out.


My husband and I celebrate 16 years of married life together next year.
21 years of a shared life.
I am somewhat self-satisfied, comfortable and happy
that we seem to be in a good place.

But the "we" is definately taking a back seat at the moment.

First up is the offspring's demands on our time
Anything left over is about sleep and "me" time.

In hubby's case, that means getting up at 5am
and cycling up hills...(yes, apparently for fun)

For me, that means sitting up till late watching movies
or crafting or drinking chai
or better still, all three.

He would get as much excitement and enjoyment from learning how to do a rolled hem
or crochet a multicoloured granny square in front of "Breakfast at Tiffany's"
as I would from pulling on lycra from head to toe
and then trying to stay upright on a bike while reaching the top of a hill.

Big. Fat. Zero.


(Though I harbour a sneaking suspicion that HE may be entertained by ME
squeezed into a lycra outfit trying to get up a hill on a bike )

Even with the kids,
while family time does happen frequently,
other times we tend to divide and conquer where possible for ease and economy.

So where does that leave us?
Headed for the divorce courts when we should be headed to the travel agent
to book our retirement overseas cruise-of-a-lifetime?

Should the list of modern wedding anniversary gifts read...
1st- clocks
2nd- china
25th- relationship counselling


Hubby has single handedly brought back date night.
Each Friday we put the kids to bed
then eat "adult" food,
(you know, with flavour)
watch "adult" telly
(and I don't mean rated R- I just mean not rated G and with a soundtrack along the lines of
"Toot toot Chugga Chugga Big Red Car")
and then some "adult" relaxation.
(Big sticking point here as my definition of that is a good book and a good night's sleep.
Let's just say that he uses a different dictionary)

I do hold out strong hopes that this will not be an issue for us.
If for no other reason that we are older parents
and we will probably be in aged care and physically incapable of walking out on each other
before we get the kids out of the house.


Carolyn said...

very true! I think date night is a necessity for any couple!
Hope you have fun cuddling on the couch!
Good on you both for committing to keeping the spark there, whichever dictionary you use.

Liz said...

So very true Tas! And good on your hubby for bringing back date night :)

Lola Nova said...

Ha ha! Oh yes, the Mr. and I have lost our regular babysitter some time ago so, nights out are few and far between. We had one recently though and it was amazing to be able to just eat in a restaurant like "normal" people. We used to discuss books, movies and music, now the talk always comes 'round to something cute or infuriating about the wee one. We'll have to see what happens when she leaves the nest. I'm hoping for the best.

P.S. The Mr. has outlawed "the big red car" in our home.

quilary said...

Hee hee - I recognise that so well - were you looking over our shoulders all those nights out?
My relationship rules - keep talking, have a hobby you each love, keep talking, recognise the other loves their hobby as much as you love yours and keep talking. Simple? Will it work? I'm pretty confident!

Karen said...

Great post Tas!

I think we need to adopt your date-night idea into our house.

Our time together is not as high quality as it was pre-children!

Anonymous said...

ROFL - no matching walking frames for your 25th anniversary ;).
Having never had pre-children time with DH before we met, I am really looking forward to the day. So many adventures planned!

Tracy said...

Loved the post Tas.