Tuesday, September 20, 2011

married to the law: is there time for dating?

Relationship got you down? Mine does. We've been in a funk. You know, the whole ships passing in the night scenario. HF has been taking on extra shifts, training, assignments. You name it, if it is available, or someone is needed, he's your guy. That's great and all for his employment, but what about me/us? I like to think of myself as way laid back and cool. The first week of not really seeing him, I think, "I got this. This is not a big deal". During and after the second week, I start to feel a little crazy. Like, let's pack up the car and go stay with my parents crazy, because what is the point of living like this- crazy. I'm definitely Miss Crabby Pants after being alone with the children for days upon end without some sort of break or reinforcements. I notice we will argue more, do our own thing without hardly speaking to one another and I start to feel resentful because dang it! He's supposed to be the one planning all our together time. No. Ideally, we both need to nurture the relationship and take turns making plans. It's not fun when only one person is working on it.

I don't know about you, but having kids has really thrown a wrench into our romantic life. Scheduling a babysitter, babysitters falling through, no family within hundreds or thousands of miles, friends that are just as busy as we are, etc. etc. I know that when you have kids that is just one of those things that comes with the territory. We had a good streak of dating a few months ago with a regular babysitter until said babysitter got a boyfriend that has a checkered past with the law (Trust me, that is definitely a good story for another time). Dating at home when the kids are in bed has been great, but to make a long story short, we need to get out of the house! I'm tired of the excuses and I'm ready for some fun. Like before the kids came along fun.

Thus began a brilliant brainstorm with the assistance of my friend Google. Here's some of my favorite recent discoveries for dating my LEO:

1.  Plan a YEAR of dates. This is one of HF's Christmas presents this year. I found it here. The idea is that you plan and hopefully prepay for 12 dates, one for each month of the year. I am ambitious, and am going to include two dates for each month! Each month, you open up that month's envelope to see what the surprise is and find a date on the calendar that that works for both of you that month. For some date ideas, she has a link to all the dates they have gone on so far in 2011. Some ideas I have thought of are an overnight stay at a B&B, dinner at a new place, a movie premiere, a concert, volunteering at a soup kitchen. . .

2.  At HOME dates. Another dating resource I discovered from googling is The Dating Divas. They seem to have an endless resource for fun dates out, at home, and with friends. These were some of my favorites:

The Post-It Note Date (great for an at home date)

Sleepover or CampOut Date (another at home date)
For this one I would set up our tent in our living room and use sleeping bags. I like all her other ideas as well. This is great for when you can't do it outdoors like we love to and you have pretty much 6 months of snow...
Host a Chocolate Tasting PARTY. I went to a party like this with my sister when I was visiting Denver and thought it was such a fun idea. You can use chocolates from all over the world and as many varieties as you would like. The winner can take home chocolate. This would be fun with some friends. Everyone can bring appetizers and drinks and we'll call it dinner.
And last but not least, I found this picture via tumblr. This obviously takes little to no planning, and might be a good way for both of you to blow off some steam!

Or you can always practice your new hobby, Wife Carrying, for the 2011 North American Championships coming up. I think we just might try it. If I can convince HF first.

What are your ideas/thoughts on this?

25 comments:

Deputy's Wife said...

Girl, you are so not alone! I have only seen hubs when he falls into bed at night in the past 3 weeks. And that doesn't even count! Love your date ideas, too cute!

Pam Landy said...

This may be too obvious, but have you tried talking to him about what you've written here? That you're at your wits' end and need more together time? Sometimes with JB I feel like I'm very patiently explaining something -bleedingly- obvious to me (I miss you. We never see each other. We need to both figure out ways to make this work.), but it's usually a surprise to him. Does he need to take on every single little extra thing? Surely he can forego one or two of those things and set aside time for one of these awesome date ideas. Or just crash his shower. It's worked for me! ;)

mrs. fuzz said...

Pam- yes! All the time. It's just been one of those months or couple of months. However, we are in need of some communication improvements. He is the strong silent type. My love language is words of affirmation. So. . . . But I've been bitter and resentful so I haven't tried anything lately like crashing his shower. :) Also, the other day he came home and started to tell me about a protection detail that he got asked to participate in the next day (which was a day off) and I clenched my jaw waiting to hear the bad news, but he said, "I told them no.I told them I really wanted to do it, but I hadn't seen you or the kids in weeks". It was really touching and meant so much. SO I know he's thinking about it and missing us, but he does have a hard time not putting work first. Maybe I'll add that to my post so he doesn't look like a jerk and I don't look like a crazy.

Suz said...

Better half isn't a cop but we've worked different shifts off and on and for years he had rotating days off. We spent the majority of Lance Criminal's childhood in this funk. Looking back I can say it was worth it, but going through it often SUCKED!!! I was never as proactive or as organized as you are, though, and I really like some of the ideas you have posted - I sure could have used them. I think you'll be OK if you remember that it bothers him too; you're in this together. During the time you manage to carve out for the two of you, shut out EVERYTHING else and focus on romance. This is the kind of stress that breaks weak marriages; if yours is strong, work hard to keep it that way. And grab onto any little thing that makes you happy, that's what will get you through the tough times.

Sister Copinherhair said...

Thank you for this post. Sometimes affirmation that you are not the only one goes a long way. And this is not the first time I have found great ideas on your blog.

RoryBore said...

Since we have only one income, it is really tough having date nights -- we can't afford both the sitter for 3 kids AND the night out. We try to do a lot of at home stuff too. But yes, the rutt is deep. So Thank You for some of these great idea!

John Rambo's Wife said...

Awesome post! I LOVE LOVE LOVE the idea the pre-planned pre-paid dates. :) That's JR's biggest complaint - we don't do date nights because they aren't in the budget (once you add the babysitter, meal out, no family to dump the kids on for free etc etc)

I'm going to reread this post later again and write down some of the ideas.

Thanks for sharing your thoughts and struggle with wanting to make your relationship with your LEO the best possible.

mrs. fuzz said...

I LOVE you guys! Seriously. and Sister you are right. "Sometimes affirmation that you are not the only one goes a long way." So true.

Mommy to Monkeys said...

Oh my goodness, I think we have the same hubby! We went 2 months with only seeing each other for 1hr a day, and it was a 10min here 5min there type of hour. I finally took matters into my own hands. I dropped the kids off at my parents and we had an at home date. Fire, beer and pizza. It wasn't fancy but it was 24hrs of us time which we really, really needed.
Good luck and hang in there!
I love the pre-planned year of dates!

Elle said...

I found the year of dates through Pinterest and have already begun it as a gift for my fiance. He works 8 to 10 hour shifts, 6 days a week and I'll be delivering our first baby in about 6 weeks. I figured now was the best time to make sure we make time for each other. I hope this idea works wonders for you as well!! Maybe the following year, when I won't be leaving a newborn with her Auntie, I'll try two dates a month two!! Goooood luck!

Lauren said...

I hear ya! In the year before hubby deployed (he's both a civilian cop and an MP) there was a stretch where he did 300 hours of overtime in 3 months! I definitely started to get a little cranky and tired of going to events alone. I just got an email the other night stating that he's now realizing the quality time he was missing and will be doing less once home. Yay!!!

Jenney said...

We have times where it seems things are great and he's around all the time, and then BANG we have weeks where all he does is work, work-out, SWAT, overtime, and police softball. And I get cranky.
We try for a date once a month, but the thing that kills us is BABYSITTING. We have three kids, which means minimum of $9/hour for a sitter. Ugh. That really puts a damper on being gone more than like maybe 3 hours and even then we're not doing anything exciting, because all the money goes to the sitter!
One thing we've started is that on Tuesdays all of our kids except one (17 mos) are in school on the same day. So after we go grocery shopping (so romantic) we stop and spend like $3.25 at McDonald's. We get a small coffee and a small hot chocolate. Our darling daughter makes friends with everyone walking through the door and my husband and I get 40 minutes to sit (they have big cushy coffee shop chairs in one corner) and talk. It is SO nice.

Anonymous said...

This is my favorite post! I've been secretly and quietly lurking but had to comment. Thanks for all the great ideas :D

Mrs. Gumshoe said...

Great ideas! I've seen the pre-paid date idea before and think I'll do that for a Christmas gift as well. We don't have a set date night, but we totally need to. It's so easy to get stuck in that rut and let resentment creep in. Add to that the fact that these guys work so hard for so little and that doesn't help. Keep working on it and try out some of these awesome ideas! I know I will :)

Simply Complicated said...

I absolutely love the pre-planned dates ideas (or at least pre-paid!)
It's been one of those years here too...and I'm actually seeing my husband get burned out which is as hard for me as feeling like a single mom.... Soooo.... This is a fun, fresh idea to at least get next year off to a better start! (with no excuses of $$/ideas getting in the way) love it thanks for sharing and being honest. I'm gonna start brainstorming now! :-)

CJ said...

Wow, my LEO and I just got in a little arguement about this exact thing. If he isn't working he is recovering from five night shifts in a row and it gets so frustrating. We don't even have kids yet and it is impossible to get time together between our two jobs. Thanks for the ideas, I really needed this post today! Like others have said, it feels so good to know you're not alone

badluckdetective said...

My children are grown and on their own. It's still hard for my husband to drag me away and I go kicking and screaming. Once I arrive at our destination, I'm so glad to be there. Been married over 30 years. Make him go on those dates!

Nora said...

Ooohhh... That year of planned dates is awesome! While my beau isn't a police officer, he sure as heck seems to have the schedule of one. Busy, busy, busy! I wish you and HF best wishes on your year of dates. :)
And thanks for the post!

Lacey said...

This is awesome. I'll have to try some of these.

Natalie said...

Well, now I know why I've missed blogland so much! Thanks for such a great post and even greater ideas! We're doing a homemade Christmas theme this year since our budget is so tight, and what better way to say I love you then pre-planned date nights? For a year?! Thanks!

BunnyO said...

Mrs. Fuzz, I think you just saved my marriage. I have sooo felt your pain this past month. Five more days til hubs is back to the land of the living. Thank you SO much for making me feel justified and unalone in my misery!

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Anonymous said...

I am a future police officer myself, is there anyone on here who happens to be a husband of a police officer? Maybe this is a blog that my husband can follow.

Filipino girls said...

This is one of the best article that i have read. Very inspiring and heart touching don't lose hope instead plan some things to save your marriage.

Kazak Bride said...

I do know it, but having kids can really thrown a wrench into your romantic life.