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February 18, 2009

P.S. I Love You

P.S.ILoveYouPicture A few years back my husband changed the bedroom doorknob to one with a lock. We were determined to preserve something from our life BC: before child. Until recently, it seemed more a symbolic gesture, akin to collecting dust like the elliptical fitness trainer – another under utilized piece of equipment in our bedroom.

Truth is our libidos are usually two ships passing in the night. I’m a morning person when it comes to everything. I’m convinced I run on solar energy. It might also have something to do with juggling working from home, dealing with three meals a day for four people, laundry and all the other chores that come with motherhood. And, I know it’s not just me. It’s the same chatter I hear among my mommy friends. We’ve all become either so consumed or so fatigued by motherhood, that we often find no time left for the men who started the journey with us.

Stephanie Coontz summed it up best in a recent New York Times’ Op-Ed piece.  Marital relationships are suffering from parents investing too much time in their children and not enough in their bond with each other. Coontz sites a study from 1997 in which moms were spending six hours more a week with their kids than in 1981. Surely that number has risen in the last decade but the piles of laundry, playdates and dinner dishes haven't decreased. Since we haven't surpassed a 24-hour day, that means more hours with kids equals less time for each other.

I sometimes wonder if living in a big urban center like New York City adds to the "noise". Cramped quarters are one issue. When the baby is napping, it means her sister can't play in their shared room, so me or the Mr. take her out while the other babysits. We also pay a hefty price to live here. Tack on $15 an hour for babysitting and a night out often seems financially out of reach.

Desperate times call for desperate measures, so back to the bedroom door lock. Me and the Mr. want more than to just grow old together. We want our love to grow too. We've both realized it's the quality the not quantity of time we spend together. Even if it means letting our five-year-old watch Noggin while the baby naps so mommy and daddy can have their own playdate.

This is an original post to NYC Moms Blog. Jennifer Perillo is the food editor at Working Mother magazine. Read more musings on parenting, marriage and feeding the family at her other blogs The Daily Juggle and The Mama Chronicles.

Photo by Piotr Rydzkowski courtesy of dreamstime.com.

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