A few weekends ago, my husband was spending time with friends and they asked why he doesn’t hang out any more. “Is the wife chaining you to the dining table?” one joked. Another asked if he had gotten old and boring. “Nope, I just really enjoy spending time with my wife and daughter.”
Happy hour is from 5-9 or so each weekday. At that time, I am battling DC traffic or its Metro system to get home. Karl is at home, prepping dinner or prepping himself to teach yoga. We eat dinner, we give Emerson a bath, we read bedtime stories. By 9pm we’re pretty worn out and proud of ourselves if we can get through a DVRed episode of a sitcom without one of us falling asleep.
Weekends for most are full of tailgates, couples camping trips, brunches, shopping trips, art classes, adventure parks, and cocktail parties. However, after a busy week we desire a weekend not scheduled from dawn to dusk. It’s far more decadent for us to lie in bed until 10am on a Sunday, watching The Last Unicorn on the iPhone. To be able to go for our post-ballet class Girls Only trip to Starbucks and take all the time we want. To have that time where Karl and I are together as a couple not folding laundry, prepping food, discussing finances, scrubbing toilets, bickering over petty household issues, or plotting out the next week’s schedule is heaven and something that is truly treasured. To have time to have a conversation with Emerson, get to know her as a person is something I think we all treasure.
We’ve caught ourselves attending events and over scheduling ourselves so we don’t seem lame to or miss out. We feel guilty for neglecting our friends, not having Emerson attend more classes and events. We hear what other families do, and see it on social media and wonder if we’re doing life wrong. When we try to live the life of others, and we feel stressed, overwhelmed, and frustrated. The other night after an action-packed day we asked Emerson what her favorite part was. “Waking you up and snuggling in your bed,” she said.
No one does their life better than another. It’s silly to compare yourself to others, especially when in this world of Facebook and Instagram you’re only getting the “cool” or “pretty” version. Be it your social life, your love life, or your wardrobe; do what feels right to you, what feels right to your specific situation, your specific life, your specific soul. Don't create a life for your virtual friends, create a life for your reality. It’s awesome if you are able to better balance social and family time than we are, and it’s also pretty awesome if you have no desire for balance and just want to hole up with your family and do a whole lot of nothing that feels like everything. Only you know how to best be you, and you are a pretty spectacular human being.