Remember when we were DINKs? 'Dual Income No Kids' - most of our friends experienced that at one time or another, some of us may relish the memories no matter how strong our parental love may now be. I just realized another transitory phase of this marital/parental journey and wanted to share it here...get your thoughts.
I have always considered that on a macro scale, there are two major phases to my married life. Allow me to explain.
- We were married almost 14 years ago. We were living in Ohio as 'newlywed' DINKs for several years before we were blessed with our first child. We knew how to have a good time! We became de-facto buckeye fans and thoroughly enjoyed the Columbus Ohio experience. Income was not great (I was still a hotel manager) but we had lots of friends and could stay out late. Good Times.
- Fast forward - we are living in Dallas with 2 kids, boy and a girl. We have lots of friends again (some of the same) but we have successfully made the transition to friends who are also parents to kids roughly the same as ours (this is an oversimplification...but just bear with me). As you soon learn, when you have kids you become very strange to your single friends and it becomes difficult to do the same things you use to do because your values, your time and your sleep patterns have all changed. My migrating to other parents you begin valuing the ability to have adult conversations while your kids can help entertain each other. I cannot overstate the joy of this when it works (kids are not fighting).
I have just realized Phase 3. My fear is that by the time we adjust to it...we will already be back at phase 2.
The kids have started summer and both have left for Camp Grandma and Grandpa, (my father/stepmother in Magnolia, TX. ). We wept when they pulled away yesterday. I think it is largely because this is the first time that BOTH of them have gone. We have wiped the tears and are now suffering through this new phase 3 phenomenon: Now What? This should be a joyous, 'we are back at phase 1' feeling...but it is not working that way.
- We long since gave up our single patterns.
- We both value sleep much more than late night partying like we used to.
- Most of our friends have their kids.
So we started a list - still working on it if you can help:
1. Rent a DVD(s) that is rated R...watch it at full volume.
2. Find which friends may be without kids this week. (Tuesday night dinner/theatre with the Overstreets...Dinner Wednesday at the Garners).
3. Call Camp Gramps every day?
4. Leave the bedroom door unlocked?
We are obviously very creative people...but the list does feel short. I figure many of you have been through this short-term phase and may have further ideas?