After reading Flux I had so many thoughts, so much bumping around in me and the need for one of those conversations.
The conversations that last so long and take ages to get to the point. The ones that the light fades and emphatic whispers bump up against babies fussing. Then hushed tones are exchanged across the distance of a bed separated by a warm little baby nursing and as the words fall out and the minutes rush by it is impossible not to count away the moments of sleep that you are missing. But it still feels worth it. Very worth it.
In Flux the author talks about the satisfaction level in marriages going down with each child, and that in specific , satisfaction with intimacy in marriage drops dramatically until those kids are grown and out of the house. Later in the novel the writer tells of women who have had affairs and that each of them references “feeling like herself” and “finding herself again” as a reason for the infidelities. She also draws the conclusion that the more you know yourself the more intimacy in marriage and satisfaction you will find.
In all of this intimacy seems to be a code word for sex, and while I believe this rings painfully true I also think that it is in reference to all intimacy. Those hard conversations that go late into the night, dates that end in feeling more known and loved and time spent together that isn’t used purely for strategy; of how to get through the day (and night) with kids.
Motherhood and the need for “me time” seem to go hand in hand now. In every circle of Mom friends I am a part of that is a buzz phrase- me time. Are you getting it? How much? When? Is it equal with your spouse? and on, and on, and on. And I get it. I need it. We all need it. Badly.
But where I find it and carve it out needs to change. I have spent the past few months feeling like I need MORE and more of it. I need it under specific parameters- there are no kids, I am somewhat rested, I can indulge in something that I typically couldn’t and I won’t be disturbed. Those desires are laughable and nearly unattainable in our current stage of life, but yet they are affirmed by endless Moms. Because we all want it, can’t get it and then feel more unknown that we did before. Unknown by our spouses and unknown to ourselves.
I have decided to challenge myself to shift my focus. To not trivialize the time I do get because they “aren’t long enough” or weren’t out of the house. I am making a goal to find me time in dishes, Facebook, laundry and those few minutes in the shower in the evenings. To find couple time in the hour that both girls are asleep at night without us- to not check out, not turn on a computer and actually talk and look at each other. To now and be known for not only the sake of sex, but for the love of intimacy.
Overall I am a thankful person. I don’t want for much of anything and I am very aware of how privileged that is. But I have let this monster creep into me that seems to roar “more time! I need it!” and sits on a crutch of “better wife and better Mom”- making it almost a threat to Charlie. If I don’t get that time I will be unbearable.
So I am shaking that off. I am giving validity to that time and acknowledging that need but I am also taking it where I can and not demanding it be bestowed upon me in heaps, because all that breeds in me is discontent and cries of “not enough! more!”.
Today I am feeling challenged and filled. Filled by 20 minutes spent in front of my computer putting words out that percolated on a pleasant walk with my ladies. Feeling filled by this time even though there is no wine, there is a babe suckling away and a girl reading loudly close by.
This can be me time. Alone with my hands in the warm suds and the dark taking over the sky. Piling veggies in a crockpot as the sun peeks up. Pouring a cup of coffee that will be cold before it is finished, I can savor one sip. Watering the garden and hearing the spray hit the house and bounce back on my bare legs. This can be life giving and fulfilling if only I give it the chance.