Pots, Pans…and Marriage?!?

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I remember, growing up, we had this one big skillet that we used for frying. The handle on the lid was broken and all it was was this pitiful little screw sticking up where the handle had been. We used the lid anyway and just used a potholder to grab the pitiful little screw to lift the lid. It was a favorite skillet, so we just dealt with the broken lid.

The other day, I dropped one of the lids from my favorite set of pots and pan – the one stainless steel set I got when Brian and I were first married. Part of the handle on top broke into three pieces. I was able to fix it — sort of — but my first thought was, “Wow! We’ve been married long enough to have broken pot lids.”

Long enough to have broken pot lids. That’s long enough to allow apathy to set in, to get to the point of taking one another and our marriage for granted. It made me think about how long it’d been since Brian and I have been out together — alone — and how long it’s been since we really made some time for just each other. Due to some changes in circumstances — my mom moving away, his parents having some health issues — it’s been awhile. I mean, honestly, who can afford a babysitter these days? And, no sitter = no date nights.

I wonder if Brian’s thoughts were moving in the same direction because he called his parents and, if nothing changes, they’re going to take the kids overnight this weekend so that Brian and I can have some time alone. While that is wonderful and I’m really looking forward to it, once every three or four months really isn’t often enough to allow time for just us.

I think that, especially as homeschooling moms, it’s easy to get totally wrapped up in the kids — schooling, mothering. Often, finding time to yourself is much easier than finding time as a couple. We do, at least, have an older daughter who is old enough to begin “sibling sitting” a little here and there, but I don’t like to leave the kids at home alone very long.

What do you and your spouse do to get some couple time? I’d love to hear your ideas! You know, now that I’ve been married long enough to have broken pot lids.

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Kris Bales is a newly-retired homeschool mom and the quirky, Christ-following, painfully honest founder (and former owner) of Weird, Unsocialized Homeschoolers. She has a pretty serious addiction to sweet tea and Words with Friends. Kris and her husband of over 30 years are parents to three amazing homeschool grads. They share their home with three dogs, two cats, a ball python, a bearded dragon, and seven birds.

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  1. I totally understand where you’re coming from. My husband and I have been married for 12 years. As our family grows we are finding it more and more difficult to spend time together without interruption. I cherish the nights when I actually get the girls in bed on time so we can sit down together and visit or watch a movie.

    You’re right, babysitting is expensive. We only have family watch our girls. I think if we could budget babysitting money every month we would go out more often. It’s just very hard because there are so many other places for the money to go right now.

    I know it won’t always be this way. I guess it’s all about priorities. The key is finding creative ways to continue to make time for each other.

    Thanks for this post.

  2. what a great post. We all need those lightbulb moments, or broken pot moments as the case may be, to keep us headed in the right direction.

    We do have family around, but I hate to impose very often. We have occasionally swapped childcare with other families. Now that our kids are getting a little older as well, we enjoy going for walks alone when the weather is nice.

    Some seasons in life are just different, too. I know with my personal Bible time I needed to do it in broken up chunks throughout the day to manage all the 24-7 demands of a mother with little ones. My relationship with my husband has been that way as well, it’s more the snippets of time that we snatch for ourselves here and there.

    Now we are getting more of that extended time alone which is wonderful, but you are right, you need to be aware and protective so that relationship isn’t neglected.

    Thanks for sharing,

  3. This idea may help your readers with young children. We would have date night at home. I would tuck the kids in bed and dh would either be preparing a favorite dinner (he’s a better cook) or he would run grab our favorite takeout. I would light candles at the dining room table and it would be ready when he came home around 8:15pm. We would sit and talk and have a quiet candlelit dinner and then either watch a movie or play a board game together. It was really fun, and helped us stay connected through the toddler years.

    Now I need to re-think everything since my older boys go to bed later, and my toddler is in bed by 8:00pm. I’m not sure what I’m going to do… but we definitely need to do something!

  4. We must be thinking along the same lines. I was just getting on the computer now instead of later just so I could spend time with my dh after the kids are in bed. It seems the only time we can even attempt to carry on a conversation!

    What a wonderful post. I like Jackie’s idea but I am afraid I am in the same boat as you so I have nothing to add.

  5. You’re so funny. 🙂 We’ve been married almost 8 years, if that matters. We just went out Saturday night…so I can’t complain, but it had been over a year. It was a lot of fun and kind of weird to realize, “Hey, I still like you!” Of course, I love my husband, but it’s nice to still LIKE him too. If that makes sense???! I guess I feel that it’s almost easy to love out of habit, but liking someone is a choice. Sometimes I feel like we’re living separate lives under the same roof. It IS hard to find time for each other. Our best way to connect is to get to bed a little bit early and together and just talk for awhile. We need to do that more often. I’m listening if anyone has any more great ideas. I loved Jackie’s comment…

  6. We do have a sitter come every week and you’re right, it is not cheap. When we were looking at our 2009 budget, we discussed letting her go and giving up date night. Dh decided that he’d rather give up the money and keep that time set apart for the two of us to get our alone time each week. it has become something we really look forward to. We’ve only been doing this for about 5 months and we love it!

    If we couldn’t use the sitter, I am not sure how we’d get the regular time together.

  7. I have always swapped child care with neighbors and friends. It’s not always an even swap, but the alone time while children are with responsible and like minded adults is priceless.
    My husband and I have gone cross country skiing at a park 1 mile from our house. we get out, exercise and spend time together all in one fell swoop.
    We have also just started to attend friday evening or saturday morning conferences while leaving the children at home. They have our cell numbers, neighbors phone numbers and instructions to check in, and finish certain chores or homework while we are gone.
    At 10 and 8, with their personality types, they seem capable and trustworthy.
    But boy, do I remember the last 10 years!

  8. Our date nights often involve driving into town while I am in labour and comming home with a baby LOL. We have babysitter access MAYBE three times a year, so we get creative. Every Thursday night the kids get put to bed early after a special tea (often something defrosted and finger food-ish so it is easy for me to make and serve and needs minimum supervision to eat) then I make Beloved and I a special meal (often things the kids don’t enjoy as much, like a nice steak dinner. Sometimes we watch a movie, sometimes we just talk, sometimes one of us will give the other a special back rub etc. It is too easy to let the marriage slide with 4 aged 4 and under. I also try and wake up Beloved with a dup of coffee and a cuddle before the kids are up and about. Once the kids are up I tend to be going in a million directions at once, but if we get those few moments of solitude and special time to start the day, we both have a happier day. Another thing we do is read a devotional together each night as we climb into bed at the end of the day. Sometimes I barely stay awake through the whole reading (even when it is me reading!) other times it sparks a wonderful conversation.

  9. My husband and I go through this same thing. It’s tough.
    It’s especially tough when you have kids with special needs and it costs (hod on…wait for it….)
    $300.00 for one blovk of 8 hours for the 3 kids.

    Yep….$300…You know what I can DO with $300?? It makes me ill.

    We don’t go out much at all. And it makes me cranky. We’re military and nowhere near family.

    But God does provide. He put me into a circle of lovely homeschooling friends who have come to my rescue. And for the 1st time in 3 years or more, I accompanied my husband to a cocktail party. The food was awful, I don’t even drink but man, was I happy to be there!!

    I hope you guys get some more time together….and very cool story on the broken pot lid.


  10. @ TasJess – That literally made me LOL. Hopefully, I won’t have to go to that extreme…especially since I got my tubes tied after my last baby. 😉

    I hope to be posting an optimistic update soon…I came up with a plan and I just have to run it by the key players first.

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