I was leaving the gym yesterday, and Ben’s sitting there at a table and says, “Hey, babe. Two quick things. First, don’t forget about date night tonight. And, second…” And, he gets this look on his face like he’s about to drop something on me.
Which he does.
He asks if there’s a way that I can do my blog during the day instead of later at night after the kids go to bed.
I knew this was coming for a while because we’ve fallen into a rhythm where Ben’s falling asleep around 8:30 or 9 PM because he’s been getting up for the last few months at 5 AM to some work done before he trains at 6:30. I, on the other hand, have been sleeping in until about 6 or 6:30 AM, hanging out with the kids during the day after I get home from training and coaching, and then waiting to write my blog at 8:30 when the kids go to sleep.
The point here is that we’ve turned into that couple who never end up falling asleep together at night. At best, I’m writing in bed next to him. But, there are a lot of nights when he’s just up there alone while I’m sitting downstairs or on the deck working by myself.
So, while he has a totally valid point and it’s not the direction I want our marriage to be heading, I got a little defensive. I immediately responded by telling him that I don’t know how to do it any other way.
Since I don’t want to give up the long bike rides in the afternoons with the kids or playing with them in the back yard so that they can sit there and watch me write for an hour, my only other options are not coaching anymore or not writing my blog anymore. With neither option sounding like something I was interested in.
I said, “Why don’t you stop getting up so early so you don’t need to go to bed so early at night?” I knew he wasn’t going to like this because I know how much he loves that quiet, productive time he starts his day with.
We were at a dead end with this conversation.
It wasn’t a “fight”, but it ended with an uncomfortable, “Well, let’s talk about it tonight.” It was one of those things you say to someone when you just want to stop talking about something, but you know you made no progress and you can’t come up with an answer.
That comment is usually like our equivalent of dragging an email into a folder so you don’t have to deal with it, but you’ve brought zero closure to it.
I, of course, couldn’t get it out of my head on the way home. I didn’t think it was right to sacrifice the awesome time I spend with the kids in the afternoon to sit there and type while they entertained themselves. I’ve already cut out an hour of my training time in the morning so we can save on childcare. And, this blog means so much to me that I don’t want it to suffer and just turn it into a photo book…or, worse, and just stop it altogether.
But, before I even got home, it hit me that I was being selfish.
For starters, the fact that my husband of 7 years is pushing weekly date night so hard and asking me to figure out a way so we can go to sleep together at the same time every night is adorable and incredibly romantic. How lucky am I that my husband wants to spend all of that time with me? So, I decided to take a different angle on this. I needed to stop using my energy to come up with a list of all of the reasons why what he was asking for wasn’t fair, and start being appreciative and trying to work with Ben on finding a better option.
Basically, it was time to put my big girl panties on and actually try to make progress on this instead of putting it on the back burner until the next time one of us gets frustrated by it.
Instead of my ridiculous request asking for him to change his routine so that I could keep doing my thing my way, I tried to figure out if there was something I could do to make this whole thing work better.
Which is what I did.
I texted him when I got home to let him know that I was going to start going to bed with him at night and waking up early in the morning with him to write my blog before the kids get up. That way we’re on the same schedule, but we’re both still doing the things we want to do.
The only challenge with this plan could be if the kids wake up early and I can’t actually get any writing done in the morning. Then, I’m really screwed.
Which is what Bode did.
So, I told Bode that this was our “Hard Work Time”. I told him that when he gets up early like this before Baby Love, that’s our time to work really hard: he “gets” to work really hard on his trains and train tracks, and I “get” to work really hard on my blog.
And, it worked.
For all of us.